When opportunity knocks, it's best to open the door and take advantage. Which is exactly what new Oak Forest High School Athletic Director Ron Towner did when the position opened up following the retirement of Sue Bonner. Towner, formerly an English teacher at D228's Hillcrest, assumed his new position July 1.
“I had my certificate to become an administrator and was looking for the right opportunity, in terms of position and all that stuff,” Towner said. “Then this opportunity presented itself, and I applied and worked hard and things ended up working out.”
Towner said that his first few weeks on the job were spent getting the lay of the land in Oak Forest's halls, and beginning to build a strong rapport with his new coaches and athletes.
“Hopefully the extra time I put in this summer will allow me time to get to know the athletes and students here,” Towner said.
Towner said that while he'll miss his role coaching football, cross country and track at Hillcrest, along with his day-to-day classroom responsibilities, but that he now has even more to look forward to throughout the year.
“Teaching and coaching I'll miss tremendously, as well. Double-sessions for football though, I won't miss that,” Towner said with a laugh.
Taking over for Bonner leaves Towner with some big shoes to fill, but he feels that with where Oak Forest athletics is now, he hopes to continue the Bengals rise.
“Oak Forest athletics has been a strong athletic program for a long time,” Towner said. “Mrs. Bonner was an outstanding athletic director, very organized and they had some really good success. So to go ahead and say, 'I'm going to do this or that,' I'm not comfortable with that. I just want to make sure my coaches and the student athletes here are getting the best possible opportunities to succeed.”
Towner added that he's incredibly excited to be a part of the Oak Forest community and is ready to take this year and the coming years head-on.
“This is the type of job that I think you get, and you say, 'OK, I can see myself here for a long time,'” Towner said. “I really look forward to making this a good relationship that will last a while. Go Bengals.”