Ron Crawford played water polo for Long Beach State University, the Phillips 66 Water Polo Club, Lynwood Swim Club, Inland NuPike, and the Downey Athletic Club. He played for the United States at the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympics and at two Pan American Games. Crawford won a gold medal at the 1959 Pan American Games and a silver at the 1963 Pan American Games. He worked as a physical education instructor, starting at Beverly Hills High School in 1966, and a Los Angeles County beach lifeguard. Crawford served in the US Army from 1966-70. He was a nine-time AAU All-American, was elected to the US Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1977, and was an inaugural member of the Long Beach State Hall of Fame in 1986.