A 1961 York High graduate was recently inducted into the Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame.
Longtime West Chester University head diving coach Ronn Jenkins was inducted into the elite group during the PIAA Class AA Boys' Swimming and Diving Finals in the Kinney Natatorium at Bucknell University.
Jenkins, who has been a volunteer diving coach at West Chester University for the past 40 years, was inducted into the hall of fame with the rest of the Class of 2014, which consisted of Jamy Pfister and Richard Hunkler.
"I am humbled ...," Jenkins said. "While the list of former inductees reads like a Who's Who of some of the most influential individuals in aquatics, this selection has an even more special meaning to me because my former teachers and coaches (Charles Boekel, John deBarbadillo, Henry W. Goodwin, Bill Schmidt, and Edward T. Twardowski) are all members of the hall of fame. In addition to giving me an outstanding basis for teaching and coaching, these individuals also provided me with examples of role-modeling, caring, understanding individual differences and developing a passion for whatever one endeavors.
"The list also contains a myriad of former classmates, teammates, former competitors, coaches, colleagues and other individuals for whom I have had the utmost respect and pleasure knowing. My being included has given me an even greater impetus to become worthy among these giants."
Jenkins has tutored countless All-Americans and conference champions in his four decades of service to West Chester University. Before coaching at West Chester, Jenkins was the diving coach (while in graduate school) at Bucknell University. His very first coaching experiences began at the York YMCA and the York Suburban High School. In February 2009, West Chester University honored Jenkins by inducting him into the school's athletics hall of fame.
After a standout career at York High, Jenkins won a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference individual diving title while also capturing a Mid-Atlantic Conference diving championship during his college career at WCU. He was named the Mid-Atlantic Conference's most outstanding athlete in 1964. Jenkins also captured two Junior Olympic titles during his diving days in the early 1960s.
Jenkins was appointed the coordinator of diving officials at the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Ga. He served in the same capacity for the World Games one year earlier in Atlanta. Jenkins has also served as chairperson on the U.S. Diving Committee on Diversity from 1991-94 and was a member of the NCAA Swimming & Diving Committee from 1995-99. In 1995, Jenkins was named the national diving coach of the year.
Jenkins taught at the York Suburban and coached diving before getting a graduate fellowship to attend Bucknell University. He then worked as a professor at West Chester University, eventually becoming chairman of the department of educational services, before his retirement from the university in 2005. In addition to earning his master's degree from Bucknell University, Jenkins also earned a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, Jenkins was presented with the Martin Luther King "Drum Major for Justice" award because of his dedication and service to West Chester University.