Learning About the Kanes’ Athletic Relationship

In his younger years, Ronald Kane ’83 P’20 epitomized the term student-athlete as he was equally involved in three different sports at Franklin & Marshall College: football and basketball for two years and baseball for four years.

In his younger years, Ronald Kane ’83 P’20 epitomized the term student-athlete as he was equally involved in three different sports at Franklin & Marshall College: football and basketball for two years and baseball for four years. The decision to drop football and basketball after sophomore year forced him to come to the tough realization that sports demand sacrifices. His college athletic career was a successful one, and he reflects most fondly on the variety of relationships that he fostered with his teammates, some of whom he still connects with today. Now, Ronald Kane is an English Master who is also the head coach for the Boys Varsity Basketball team and the Girls Varsity Golf team.

Ronald Kane’s athletic career took a big step forward at Lawrenceville, and in the fall of 1989, he decided to return to his alma mater to teach and coach. Over the past three decades, he has grown to be a campus legend as the Boys Varsity Basketball head coach in addition to being one of the longest-tenured teachers at the school. He has also coached football, baseball, and golf while at Lawrenceville. After decades of coaching, Ronald Kane has developed his own unique coaching style and philosophy: “I view myself as a facilitator as opposed to a didactic coach. Young coaches sometimes attempt to micromanage and think there are buttons to push at every moment of every game. As a veteran coach, I feel a little more guided by flow and reading the rhythm of a game,” he said. One of his mantras is “there is a difference between winning and succeeding; the goal is always to become the best team possible.” He is a firm believer that there are no shortcuts for success in sports. It takes “time, effort, process, and sacrifice.” He has certainly experienced many different situations during his career, however, this year he has the unique opportunity of coaching his son, Aidan Kane ’20, on the basketball team. “I’m enjoying spending another two hours of the day with my son, playing a sport we are both passionate about. It’s not easy, with coaching your son comes challenges, I guess I’m blessed that he is earnest, enthusiastic, hard-working, and a team-player who accepts his role,” Ronald Kane said.

Aidan Kane is also a tri-varsity athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. Growing up, Aidan Kane would always play catch and other sports-related games with his dad in the backyard. A big part of Aidan Kane’s childhood was playing sports in the Lavino Field House, watching all of his dad’s games and practices, and always being surrounded by athletics. Although Ronald Kane encouraged Aidan Kane to play lots of sports growing up, he “never coached any of the teams [Aidan Kane] played on. He was always the parent that supported me from the sidelines, and he coached me individually in his free time,” Aidan Kane noted. Now that his father is his coach for the basketball season, Aidan Kane said it was a weird transition to make because he doesn’t want to be the coach’s kid who gets too much advice or attention. Initially, Aidan Kane said, “I would shy away from my dad’s advice, but, in the end, I understood that my dad can help me become a better competitor and athlete.”

When Aidan Kane arrived at Lawrenceville, he had a history of playing soccer and lacrosse. “I knew my dad played football growing up, so when I came to Lawrenceville my freshman fall and wanted to try something new, I knew I had a path I could follow with football.” Despite playing the same sports his father lettered in every season at Lawrenceville, Aidan Kane feels as though he is leaving his own distinct legacy and has not felt shadowed under his dad’s past accomplishments. On the court, Aidan Kane and Ronald Kane have a definite connection,. In the games and practices, Aidan Kane said, “the way my dad coaches is often very similar to the way I would coach the team. Because I grew up with my dad, we have very similar mentalities and approaches to sports.”