Ruth Lawanson has been involved with volleyball for over 35 years as a player, coach and clinician. She has coached at University of Nevada, US Air Force Academy, Fresno State, Angelo State and Purdue University. In her career, she has helped coached 25 all-conference players, one all-region selection and an American Volleyball Coaches Association honorable-mention All-American. She has also helped mentor 90 academic all-conference student-athletes. A setter and hitter during her career she was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team that won the bronze medal in Barcelona. She spent four seasons with the U.S. National Team, playing on the 1991 World Cup squad that earned a bronze medal in Japan and the 1990 World Championships team that won a bronze medal in China. She was also honored with the national team's 1991 Judy Bellomo Players Award and won a gold medal with the 1992 U.S. Olympic Festival West Region team. Prior to her time on the national squad, Lawanson played with the Dallas Belles and the Minnesota Monarchs of the Major Volleyball League from 1987-89. She was the league MVP in 1988 and earned USVBA All-America honors with the national champion Chrysler Californians club team in 1989. She resumed her professional career in 1992, playing three years in Italy and France. At the collegiate level, Lawanson was one of the greatest players in Fresno State history, becoming the first Bulldog ever to earn NCAA Division I All-America honors as a senior in 1984. She was a three-time team MVP for the Bulldogs (1982-84) and her names still appears in several categories in the Fresno State record book. As a senior in 1984, Lawanson guided the Bulldogs to a 26-13 record and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Tournament. For her efforts she was named NorPac co-Player of the Year, first-team All-NorPac and earned All-Northwest Region honors. At the conclusion of her stellar Fresno State playing career, Lawanson became the first female athlete in the history of Fresno State to have her jersey retired. She was also the first athlete in a sport other than football and only the fourth athlete overall to receive that honor from Fresno State. Her other Fresno State accolades include the 1984 Rosa Parks award and designation as the 1984-85 Female Athlete of the Year. A member of the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame, Clovis Unified Hall of Fame and the Clovis West High School (Calif.) Wall of Fame, Lawanson was also named one of Fresno State's Top 25 Greatest Athletes and one of the Central Valley's Top 25 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and continues to pass on her expertise at a number of volleyball camps and clinics around the country.