Ron Wilson was born May 28, 1955 in Windsor, Ontario. The seventh choice, 132nd overall selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1975 NHL Entry Draft, Wilson is a graduate of the ECAC's Providence College Friars.
A standout player at Providence, Wilson was a two-time First Team All-Star (1975, 1976), a two-time NCAA East First All-American Team (1975, 1976) and an ECAC Second Team All-Star in 1977. After a stellar collegiate career, Wilson made his professional debut with the CHL's Dallas Black Hawks in the latter stages of the 1976-77 season. In 1977-78 the Windsor, ON native spent the majority of the season in Dallas while playing in 13 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wilson's strong play that year earned him CHL First Team All-Star honours.
Over the next two seasons, Wilson split his time with the Maple Leafs and the AHL's New Brunswick Hawks. After seeing limited action with Toronto during the 1979-80 season, Wilson moved to Switzerland where he would play for the better part of the next eight seasons. In his eight seasons in Switzerland, Wilson continued to put up strong numbers and eventually would sign as a free agent with the Minnesota North Stars in the spring of 1985. Wilson went on to play parts of four seasons with the North Stars before ending his playing career in 1988-89 as a player/coach with ZSC Zurich.
Upon the completion of his playing career Wilson became an assistant coach with the IHL's Milwaukee Admirals and Vancouver Canucks (1990-93), before accepting the head coaching position with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1993-97), the Washington Capitals (1997-00) before landing the head coaching job with the San Jose Sharks in 2002-03.
On the international stage, Wilson was a member of the U.S. World Championship team in 1975 and 1981.