Ron Polk was a longtime baseball coach at Mississippi State University. He began his college coaching career as an assistant at University of Arizona in 1966. He was an assistant at University of New Mexico in 1967 and Miami-Dade South Community College from 1968 to 1971.
He became a head coach at Georgia Southern College in 1972 and remained with the school through 1975. In 1976, he joined the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Under his leadership, the team won four SEC championships and appeared in the College World Series six times. He coached for the USA in the 1996 Olympics. He retired after leading the Bulldogs to the 1997 College World Series. He managed Team USA in the 1998 Baseball World Cup.
He returned to coaching in 2000 at the University of Georgia and led the team to the College World Series and an SEC title in 2001. The next season, Polk returned to Mississippi State, where he coached until retiring after the 2008 season. When the school went through the process of finding a replacement, Polk pushed hard for his assistant, Tommy Raffo, a former player. When new Athletic Director Greg Byrne instead chose John Cohen, another former player at MSU under Polk, Polk said he would take his name off the stadium and the athletic department out of his will.
In 2009, Polk became a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.