Despite battling Stage IV colon cancer, veteran coach Ronnie Coker is still Winning the Day

Coker led Parkway and Captain Shreve to state baseball titles
Ronnie Coker details fight versus Stage IV colon cancer
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 12:24 AM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - In 2016 KSLA visited Captain Shreve High School, during the then 10th year anniversary of the the Gators’ state baseball championship.

Ronnie Coker speaks to Captain Shreve baseball team on 10th anniversary of state championship
Ronnie Coker speaks to Captain Shreve baseball team on 10th anniversary of state championship(KSLA)

At the time Ronnie Coker told our cameras, “What I like to see is that they’re good dads. They’re good husbands. They have their priorities in order.”

Fast forward to 2023: “A quarter of a century later, as men, all of them have kids, married. But, they see everything is not perfect, " says Coker.

Life throws curveballs. But, how you respond is what always stands out.

Veteran coach and administrator, Ronnie Coker was given the toughest news anyone could be given.

Ronnie Coker sitting on the front porch of his Bossier City home
Ronnie Coker sitting on the front porch of his Bossier City home(KSLA)

“I was just told, medically speaking, that we’re going to be done in May. We may make it to June.”

Coker was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. After successful treatments in March 2022, the disease returned later that year.

“My nurse says, ‘It doesn’t even look like you have cancer.’ I said, ‘I don’t.’ That’s my mindset, " says Coker. “’You don’t even look like you’re on [chemotherapy].’ “I haven’t been on chemo in five weeks.”

Ronnie Coker sitting in backyard of his home
Ronnie Coker sitting in backyard of his home(KSLA)

The Minden native relied on his beliefs to battle one of life’s toughest opponents.

“I have faith that God is going to do what’s best for me and my family, " says Coker. “It’s different. It may not be the answer we’re looking for. I don’t want to leave my kids and grandkids, and wide and incredible friends. But, [God] knows what’s best.”

His wife Kelly, his number one fan, has been his biggest caretaker.

Ronnie Coker and his wife Kelly
Ronnie Coker and his wife Kelly(KSLA)

“She still had to work, as well as take care of me, " says Coker. “She does almost everything for me. As far as from medicine. Shoot, driving us to the football camp. It was tougher on her.”

Coker retired as Airline High School’s Athletic Director in 2021, after 25-plus years in the business. However, he’s still leading those down the right path.

“There was a guy who refused to get a colonoscopy. I said, ‘Come by. Come by my house.’ The guy came back and had three polyps on his colon. Praise God that all three of them were benign.”

Ronnie Coker sitting in front porch of his home
Ronnie Coker sitting in front porch of his home(KSLA)

Coker also guides everyone through his “Win the Day Foundation” to help, inspire and give back.

“God gave me the gift of encouragement. Leading, mentoring - and my job is to give it back to [God].”

If you ask Coach Coker, he’s already winning in life.

“My niece comes by and she goes, ‘Uncle Ron, I want you to baptize me.’ Her mom says, ‘Me too.’ Man, I started crying. To reach heaven, you got to believe. If you passed, you’re still going to heaven.”

For decades, Ronnie Coker has been a God-fearing, fierce competitor - and that will never change.

“Afraid? Chris, I used to be afraid, and then this happened. Then reality sets in. It’s almost like [God] asked me, ‘Why are you afraid? I brought you into this world. You did all of this. You did what I wanted you to finish. Now you’re here with me. How could you be afraid?’”