BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Ron Rose has been on the job at Illinois Wesleyan 17 years and been highly successful leading the Titans program.
But he says the wins and losses come and go. It’s the relationships that stay.
“I enjoy winning as much as anybody but as you get older as a coach, you think about the people who are on the journey with you,” said Rose.
The veteran coach has seen it all. Like conference titles, Final 4 appearances, and coach-of-the-year awards.
Rose has coached through COVID, rules changes and the transfer portal. But he says the more things change, the more they stay the same.
“The kids are the same, the job is the same,” said Rose. “As a coach you’re a mentor. You’re trying to get the best out of young men and watch them grow. How you do that is different.”
Rose played at Morton High School and coached at Normal Community and Bloomington High Schools before taking the job at Illinois Wesleyan. However, he says his love for basketball started at ICC.
That’s where his father Stan, a mathematics professor, started the men’s basketball program in the early 1970’s.
“It’s all about my dad. My dad started the basketball program at Illinois Central College,” Rose said. “I remember in second and third grade going to practices and games. And I loved it. (Coaching) is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Rose can earn his 300th win when IWU hosts Wheaton on Saturday. And even though he approaches a milestone win, he’s far from thinking about the finish line.
“I’ve always enjoyed what I’ve done. The coaching an very part of it,” said Rose. “The Lord has blessed me with health and opportunity. I’m going to keep doing it as long as I can.”