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Dover coaching legend Bob Von Kaenel retiring

| June 18, 2024

DOVER (June 18, 2024) (WJER) – Dover High School will be looking for a new boys basketball coach for the first time in 33 years.

Bob Von Kaenel is retiring. Dover Schools Superintendent Karie McCrate announced the news in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

He is the fourth winningest coach in Ohio high school basketball history with 741 wins; 599 of those in Dover. Von Kaenel is in the Ohio Basketball Hall Of Fame, the Ohio Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, and the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame.


[June 18, 2024] – Hall of Fame Coach Bob Von Kaenel is retiring as the Crimson Tornadoes’ Boys Head Basketball Coach after a successful career. During his 44-year tenure, he amassed a record of 741-270, making him the 4th winningest coach in Ohio high school basketball history.

Von Kaenel’s career includes a 599-167 record (78% winning percentage) during his 33 years at Dover High School. He coached 11 years at Tuscarawas Valley HS prior to coming to Dover.

Coach Von Kaenel said, “I appreciate everything Dover City Schools has done for me over the years. More than anything else, I just want to say thank you to all the former players, parents and assistant coaches for all of their dedication and commitment. The positive relationships I’ve made through the years have been immeasurable, and what we’ve been able to accomplish together is beyond gratifying.”

Von Kaenel’s tournament runs include two State Runner-Up teams and a Final Four appearance in 1998. His teams recorded 22 Sectional and 9 District titles, and 3 Regional championships. Since coming to Dover in the early 1990s, his teams recorded 33 consecutive winning seasons with 12 of those seasons tallying more than 20 victories each. He was Ohio’s AP Coach of the Year in 1988, 1995, and 1997, and was the District 5 “Coach of the Year” 12 times. He coached 57 All-Ohioans, none of whom were recruited to play Division I college basketball.

DHS Athletic Director Tim McCrate shared, “It has been a pleasure to work with Coach Von Kaenel all these years. Bob and Beth Von Kaenel are a team that’s easy to cheer for because of their commitment to Dover Schools. He is simply cut from a different cloth. His whole family’s investment, his dedication both in and out of season, and his meticulous attention to detail, are on a completely different level.” McCrate continued, “You cannot just ‘replace’ a Bob Von Kaenel; but we will continue to build upon the legacy and foundation he has laid for Dover basketball.”

Von Kaenel is a member of the Ohio Basketball Hall Of Fame, the Ohio Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, and the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame. Locally, he is a HOF member of District 5 Basketball and Tuscarawas County Football Officials Hall of Fame. He was also a football official, officiating 9 State Championship Football games and 14 Final Four games. Von Kaenel was named the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award Winner in 2005 and earned the coveted Paul Walker Award in 2006, given for service and leadership to the Ohio Basketball Coaches Association. He is a past president of the OHSBCA (1998-2000) and is presently the group’s secretary.

Coach Von Kaenel’s family includes his wife Beth of 47 years and sons Matthew (Lia) and Marcus (Cami). His four grandchildren, Cohen, Elle, Collin and Carter, complete the family. He is a 1977 graduate of Alderson-Broaddus University and a 1973 graduate of Strasburg-Franklin High School.

Coach Von Kaenel has been a long-time health and physical education teacher at Dover Schools.

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