By Robert Stoneback
The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- School board members regretfully accepted the resignation of Ron Kanaskie as head wrestling coach, ending his historic career with the sport.
"My yes vote will be with regret," said board president Allan Schappert, during the board's meeting Tueseday. Member Stephen Schooley said his yes vote was also cast "with regret."
"He's been here longer than anyone else here. Ron is kind of an institution in and of himself. He's certainly well known and respected throughout the state," Schappert said.
The board's unanimous yes vote had nothing to do with of dissatisfaction with his service, Schappert said. "I think the directors first of all were stunned by his resigning," he said. "His decision to resign as wrestling coach was his decision, based on a multiplicity of factors which I'm unaware aside of what he's put in his letter."
In a letter received by district administrators earlier this week, Kanaskie wrote that his decision came after months of thought and deliberation. Kanaskie, who was not at the board's meeting, wrote that he would like to continue to serve as the district's athletic director.
"For the past 42 years I have had the great fortune to serve this tremendous school district as the head wrestling coach," he wrote in his letter. "These years have provided me the opportunity to be a positive influence in thousands of young people's lives.
Over the course of his career with the district, Kanaskie coached 75 wrestlers who qualified for state competition and 38 PIAA medalists, including six champions and eight runner-ups. His state champions included Paul Wysocki (1981), Jim Martin (1982-1984), Brian Stamm (1982) and Chris Ackerman (1987).
He led Danville to 1982 and 1984 PIAA Class AA team titles, and the PIAA runner-up rank in 1983.
He had a career record of 662-242-4. He is only one of 26 coaches with more than 600 career wins, and has the second most wins in state history.