Courtesy of Jan Janes, Gavilan College:
Ron Hannon, Dean of Kinesiology & Athletics, has been selected Athletics Director of the Year by the California Community College Athletic Directors Association (CCCADA).
“I had an evening phone call with Dan Clauss, president of CCCADA,” said Hannon. “We talked about other issues, then he said, oh by the way we want to recognize you.” Hannon was not aware it was AD of the year.
Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President of Gavilan College, received a copy of the letter announcing the award. She called Hannon up and read it to him.
“I am delighted that Ron is receiving this recognition for his dedication to his profession and his love of athletics,” said Dr. Rose.
Hannon has managed Gavilan’s kinesiology and athletics programs for the past 18 years. The department offices are filled with awards and trophies Gavilan athletics teams have won during his tenure.
Nikki Dequin, department chair, heard the announcement at a board meeting and immediately sent an email blast to the entire department. “Ron is very humble,” said Dequin. “He may not have known the magnitude of the award he was receiving.” She told him her broadcast announcement was exactly what he would have done if a department member or student athlete had received an award.
Personal accolades reflect a bigger picture
Hannon, a Gavilan alumnus, continued his education at San Jose State University and was working there when the athletics director position opened up 18 years ago.
“It was evident the Board of Trustees viewed the athletic programs as a priority to the institution,” said Hannon. Singling out Dr. John Baker, then VP of Student Services to thank, he said, “I lucked out and was in the right place at the right time.”
He also thanked Dr. Rose for her support, while as a prior vice president and now, reflecting genuine commitment. “It is well beyond what most presidents provide,” he said.
Hannon, in accepting the award, insists the college deserves the recognition because of the entire team of people. He views his role as a facilitator who sets boundaries, buffers and offers vision.
Noting that many of the past honorees were from larger colleges, he said, “We’re a small institution where we roll up our sleeves, get dirty, and that’s what makes our students successful.”
Competing in athletics as a youth, Hannon cited three values that were instilled early by his coaches: teamwork, quality people and relationships.
Teamwork, quality people, freedom to excel
“It takes a team,” he said. “You can’t do this by yourself without having a good team around you.” After receiving the letter, he turned to Division Assistant Diane Stone. “You know, this makes you division assistant of the year.”
The department boasts a strong alumni presence, as a third of the staff has returned to work with Gavilan students. The tenure of coaches ranges 6-20 years.
“If you surround yourself with quality people,” he said, “Everything else will take care of itself.”
During 18 years, Hannon has built relationships across campus and within the department. Students experience the consistency across programs supporting their success.
“Hire quality people,” Hannon said. ”Then get out of their way and let them do what they do best.”
Kevin Kramer, head coach for both indoor and beach volleyball as well as softball, reflected on Hannon’s contributions. “Ron has been a great ambassador for Gavilan College on a state level,” he said. “He is one of the more outspoken athletic directors in the state when it comes to improving the experience of California community college student athletes.” Kramer has coached award winning Gavilan teams and has held statewide leadership positions in community college athletics organizations.
Across nearly two decades of Hannon’s tenure, the department has weathered budget crises, dips in enrollment and student challenges. He cited staff members with high integrity and solid convictions rallying around one another as the force creating positive solutions.
“Ron personifies leadership through the development of meaningful relationships with coaches, staff, and especially student athletes, said Dr. Rose. “And that has been the secret to the successful program for years at Gavilan.”
The state association will honor him at a luncheon March 28 at the Hilton Concord.