MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Joining other local sports legends, Ken Hagan and Ronnie Ross were added to the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony at the Paradise Point Officers’ Club aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 26.
Hagan, a Marine Corps veteran, has served the Onslow County athletic community for more than 40 years.
“You don’t know how something is going to turn out when you do it,” Hagan said. “I got my first job in Jacksonville, because I coached when I was in the Marine Corps. For some reason, I impressed people. They were the ones who saw something in me and gave me opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have had.”
Hagan went on to broadcast minor league baseball games in Kinston, N.C., on the radio.
“At first they weren’t interested,” said Hagan. “But I kept on knocking on the door and one day someone opened. I heard someone broadcasting a game on the radio, and it was horrible. So I went to the station and got myself the job I wanted.”
Hagan took an active role in promoting youth athletics in the community, serving with the Recreation and Parks Scholarship Foundation for more than 30 years, many as the group’s chairman.
Ross started his journey in 1963 as a teacher and basketball and football coach at Swansboro High School. He went on to become the co-founder of the Swansboro High School Century Club, where he has been a member since 1981.
“My dad has always been one of the biggest inspirations in my life,” said Rusty Ross, Ronnie’s son. “I look forward to following in his footsteps and making him proud.”
The Hall of Famer thanked his coworkers and athletes throughout the years for their support.
“I’ve really been blessed to be around a lot of great athletes and the dedicated staff who have made me who I am today,” said Ronnie.
He has also been honored with numerous awards to include, Athletic Director of the Year, Girls Basketball Coach of the Year and Football Coach of the Year. Ross is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
“It takes something amazing to be nominated for the Hall of Fame,” said Ashleigh Bachert, the executive director of the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission. “These gentlemen have served the community for years and they deserve it.”
The Sports Commission also recognized 13 local high school students for exemplifying hard work and dedication while serving their community by volunteering, participating in a high school sport and maintaining at least a “B” grade point average.
The Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission aims to foster the development of sports within the community. To be inducted in the Hall of Fame, one must be nominated by peers for their service to the Onslow County community.
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