Remembering RHS coach
by The Press and Standard | November 10, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 7, 2018 at 12:17 pm
Early mornings and late nights, Coach Tommy Lawrence’s red truck would take him back and forth from Orangeburg to Ruffin. He coached and served as athletic director at RHS for 15 years (1987-2002), then at Colleton County High School from 2002 until his death in 2007.
His memory and service to the Ruffin community were honored at the recent Ruffin High School reunion held at the BZS Community Center in Ruffin.
“My father loved his work, the students and the community. It was his calling to be there. So, his ‘work’ was indeed ministry and he gave it his all. He wanted the best for everyone and he gave his best to all that he did,” said his daughter, Tonya Lawrence. “He took great pride in his work at Ruffin.” And he had great friends there, from the women in the cafeteria to the principal.
“He loved athletics and coaching, but his commitment went beyond the court or the field. He would personally mark the fields, launder the uniforms after games. He supported teams whether he was coaching or not and would travel with them to show his support. He frequently told us that he loved his job and it showed in every way,” she said.
The same extended to his family. Lawrence has fond memories of her dad — many days playing basketball in the back yard, watching football and basketball every Sunday afternoon. “My dad always loved sports. He loved music. He loved math. We played. He poured every bit of himself into his work. He didn’t cut corners and didn’t let anyone else cut corners either.”
But his players and students were his kids too. “He loved them and they loved him. He was a blessing to them and they were also a blessing to him,” she said.
“He would have been proud of the honor that the alums extended at the dinner on Saturday Oct. 27 — I am sure of that. It was our honor to represent him and to share in the evening with the Ruffin family. That evening was a blessing to us.”