Ron Kennedy - Spotlight

Ron Kennedy, Donegal's athletic director and the Lancaster-Lebanon League executive president, poses for a photo on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019.

Longtime Donegal athletic director Ron Kennedy recently began his new job as executive director of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

He took over for Richard Balderston, who retired in June after 25 years leading the league.

Kennedy is wearing two hats this year as he works one final year at Donegal.

“The league is in great shape,” Kennedy said. “We have some really good athletic directors, and that has made the transition easier.

“Philosophically, I think my position this year is to watch, listen and take a lot of notes. I can’t come in and start making changes. That’s not good for anybody,” he said. “I need to take everything in, and then, moving forward, we’ll see what needs to change. But right now, we're in terrific shape.”

Family: Kennedy and his wife of 30 years, Denise, reside in Manheim.

Education: Kennedy is a 1982 Donegal grad, and he earned a marketing degree from Susquehanna University, a master’s degree from Millersville University and a doctorate degree from Drexel University.

Career facts: Kennedy took a job teaching social studies at Donegal in 1994, and he took over as athletic director in 1996. He recently stepped down as the PIAA District Three chairman, and he’ll serve one more school year on the PIAA committee, representing District Three. Kennedy also previously served as an assistant football coach at Donegal.

Fun college story: “I served dinner to Billy Idol. I worked in the cafeteria in college, and he was playing a concert at Susquehanna, and I took his dinner down to him. That was pretty crazy.”

Most memorable moment as Donegal’s athletic director: Kennedy recalled a Jan. 27, 2012, basketball game between Manheim Central and Donegal that was played one week after a Donegal student was killed in a car crash. The accident occurred almost a year to the day that four Manheim Central students died in a car crash.

“We had a basketball game against Central here at home, and we had our kids sit with their kids. All the kids came down on the court prior to the game and got together. I still get emotional about it. It was the most incredible moment in my career.”

You can listen to one CD the rest of your life: “Either a Peter Gabriel best hits CD, or just some sort of nature sounds CD. I’m not much of a music guy.”

Favorite food: “That’s an easy one: Jif peanut butter. I could live on peanut butter, easily.”

What Donegal means to you: “I’ve been here my whole life. I love it. If you cut me open, its coming out green and white.”