The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 9, 2013

H.S. wrestling: Danville coach Ron Kanaskie resigns after 42 years


Kanaskie is a member of the District 4, PIAA and National Wrestling halls of fame and was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in State College in 2004.

Three of his former wrestlers went on to win four NCAA titles. They were Brett Stamm, brother to Brian, in 1980 and 1982, at Illinois' Wheaton College, Jim Martin in 1988 at Penn State, and Aaron Fitt at Lycoming in 1997.

Brett Stamm and Aaron Fitt were both named outstanding wrestlers at the NCAA championships.

One member of the school board remembers his own experience with Kanaskie.

"He was probably the best coach I ever had," said board vice president David Weader, who wrestled for Danville High School from 1986 to 1988. "I was not a good wrestler … Ron was great at building character and spending time with a wrestler like myself -- who wasn't going to be winning any medals at the state tournament -- as he was with anybody else. He had a very big impact on me as a student and an athlete."

High school principal Lee Gump joined the district four years ago, and said he had heard of Kanaskie's "stellar reputation" prior to joining. This was only confirmed in his dealings with him, Gump said.

"I have the utmost respect for Ron. I'm happy he's ready for this next step in his life and appreciate everything he's done. Through all these years, he's put students first," he said.

The school board postponed a vote to continue Kanaskie's contract as athletic director for three years, through June 2017, at a cost of $20,000 per year.

Schappert said the postponement came because the board had not yet had time to discuss the matter and wanted time to reflect and talk with Kanaskie.

"We're kind of stunned by his decision and want some time to talk to Ron a little bit," he said. "We want to find out what his true desires are and go from there."

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