Ron Plano '60
New Castle's Ron Plano played a pivotal role in the rebirth of
football and the return of intercollegiate baseball at Grove City College during
his career as a multiple-sport athlete from 1956 to 1960.
The versatile Plano started at both halfback and defensive back for the Grove City football team in all four seasons while also serving as the team's kicker and punter under head coach Jack Behringer.
In 1957, he led the team in scoring as Grove City posted one of the nation's top turnarounds by going from 0-8 to 5-3. As a junior, Plano averaged 38.8 yards per punt, which led the district. For his career, he averaged 38 yards per punt.
Plano capped his football career in 1959 by leading Grove City in receiving. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry during his career. Plano kicked 30 extra points, including three game-winning conversions.
After declining an invitation to rookie spring training from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1957, Plano helped aid the return of baseball at the College two years later. A 1958 meeting with College President J. Stanley Harker set the foundation for baseball's return to varsity status.
With Plano pitching and patrolling the outfield, Grove City resumed intercollegiate play in 1959. Plano led the 1959 team in pitching wins, strikeouts and earned run average. As a senior in 1960, Plano led Grove City in hitting, home runs, runs batted in and earned run average. He earned All-West Penn honors following the season.
Plano graduated with a business administration degree in 1960 and then added a master of arts in guidance and counseling from Westminster in 1973. He spent 35 years as a teacher and coach in his native Lawrence County.