The 2024 Lancaster Lebanon League Hall of Fame Inductions will take place on Friday, February 16th at halftime of the League Boys Basketball Tournament Finals hosted by Manheim Township. This year’s class:
Jane Hoover, coach.
She was the doyenne of “Hooverisms.”
“Play as a winner and you will be one.”
“Play to win but play fair.”
“Sometimes you have to take a step back to get ahead.”
Once upon a time, the late Elizabethtown field hockey coach Jane Hoover was one to inspire fear in her players. She also was able to flat- out inspire them.
A physical education teacher in the Elizabethtown district from 1949-87, Hoover coached the field hockey team to 299 wins. Her teams racked up 16 section titles, seven county championships, a district crown and the 1974 state championship. She also served as tennis coach, and her teams
won 196 matches and collected 11 county championships.
Hoover, who died on February 8, 2012, at the age of 84, in 1988 became the first woman to earn the prestigious George W. Kirchner Memorial Award. And in September 2001, Elizabethtown and its Big E Booster Club dedicated the school’s hockey field in her name.
At a 2011 gathering attended by more than 100 of her former players, Hoover was remembered for her cackling laugh, and her penchant for having players run laps. Ultimately, in her own remarks that day, she credited her players for their own success: “Without you I would be nothing,” she told them. “It was you who did the winning. I was just the backseat coach.”
Phil Kauffman, Coach
Around Cocalico High School, “Coach K” was Phil Kauffman, former history teacher, football coach and purveyor of the Eagles’ vaunted Veer.
During a head coaching tenure that lasted from 1975 through 2003, Kauffman’s football teams compiled a record of 184 wins against 112 losses over 28 seasons, including a stretch of 33 straight league wins in 1994- 97. Kauffman — himself a 1965 Cocalico grad and varsity football, basketball and baseball player — guided the Eagles to 11 L-L section championships, nine District Three playoff bids and two district titles. He was voted L-L League Coach of the Year seven times.
Along the way, he notes he was lucky to have a large cast of hardworking, talented assistant coaches and players who made everything go.
“High school football, to me, is where the game is pure.” he told LNP in 2009, after he’d moved on to what became a 14-year stint as a color commentator for Blue Ridge Cable 11.
“College and pro football, you have got to win. High school sports are not all about wins. It should be about discipline and trying to teach the kids. Your goal as a coach is to make your kids better, so when bad things happen in life they can overcome them.”
Kauffman also credits Cindy, his wife of 53 years, and their sons, Chad and Sean, for their support and sacrifice during his overall 36 years of coaching.
Melvin Newcomer, Official
As a practicing attorney in Lancaster County for the last 45 years, McCaskey graduate Mel Newcomer likely knows a thing or six about maintaining order and resolving conflicts.
In other words, he has been particularly well- suited for his subsidiary career: PIAA official.
Newcomer began officiating at soccer and baseball games in 1976, while he was still in law school at the University of Pennsylvania, and quickly branched out into basketball. That latter sport definitely stuck. He’s been calling games — including L-L, District Three and PIAA finals — for 48 years, and plans to retire at the end of this season.
A married father of two and grandfather of six, Newcomer also served as the L-L Basketball Officials Chapter rules interpreter for 29 years.
Douglas Bohannon, AD & Coach
Doug Bohannon’s CV is, in a word, jammed. District Three chairman. PIAA Board of Directors member. Lancaster-Lebanon League president. Elco athletic director. Assistant coach in football, basketball
and track. Thirty-two years as a teacher. Certifications, honors and memberships in athletic organizations aplenty. But when he stepped away in 2022, he was able to sum things up quite succinctly.
“I guess I did a lot of stuff,’’ he told LNP at the time.
In his 25 years as the Raiders’ AD, Bohannon, also an Elco graduate, handled the grind with aplomb, overseeing the administration of up to 49 teams across 13 sports in the course of a school year.
“His organizational skills are unmatched,’’ former L-L executive director Ron Kennedy said of the man many know simply as “Bo.” “His work ethic is unmatched. He was never afraid to speak his mind, but he knew the right time to do it.’’