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Ron Bigness

School: Madison

Sport Played: Track and Field

High School Honors: 2 Track & Field letters, PIL and State Champion in the High Jump as a Senior. Runner-up in Long Jump and Triple Jump and earned 30 points individually as a Senior in the PIL District Meet. 3rd place in State HS Decathlon.

Post High School Career: 4-year career with the US Air Force. 32-year career with the City of Mesa, AZ fire department; recognized 3 different times for heroic rescue actions. In first group of Paramedics assigned to the Mesa Police Dept. SWAT team. Coached Little League Baseball for three years. Retired in 2017.


My parents encouraged my brother and I at a very young age to try any and all sports. We were taught that winning isn't everything as long as you prepared and trained to the best of your ability. We were also taught that we only had control over our own performance and not to blame others for failure.

Coach Bill Franzke refined my track and field skills by reaffirming the importance of preparation and training. Coach Franzke took training sessions seriously and expected his athletes to do the same. He thought nothing of sharing his own time on weekends with his athletes and made every attempt to get the best equipment available even if we had to make them. I remember gluing large foam pieces together in the basement of the high school so we didn't have to land in saw dust or the burlap bags filled with foam.

Coach Franzke also took video with his 8mm camera and after he had the film developed would make side by side comparisons of elite athletes of the day to help improve our performance. His concern for his athletes didn't stop on the track. It is difficult not to want to compete at your best for a coach who is that dedicated to athletes on and off the track.

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