Southmoreland plans symbolic hiring of late football coach Ron Frederick

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | 10:32 AM

Ron Frederick couldn’t wait to begin his dream job as the head football coach at Southmoreland.

The school district will make sure the late coach’s job becomes official.

Southmoreland will follow through with Frederick’s posthumous hiring at Thursday’s meeting, which comes one week after the 40-year-old died unexpectedly.

Frederick was the recommended candidate to replace Dave Keefer after he served on Keefer’s staff as an offensive line coach for four years. Frederick learned last Wednesday the job was going to be his. He died the next morning after telling friends he wasn’t feeling well.

The board will vote unanimously to symbolically name Frederick, a 1999 Southmoreland alum who went in to play football at Tulsa, as its head coach.

“The administration and the district are in agreement that this is the best thing to do for him,” Southmoreland athletic director Dan Boring said. “He was going to be out next guy. Hopefully this helps with the healing process — his family and the players.”

Boring said counselors have been on school grounds to help players cope with the loss of their coach.

“Coach Keefer also is here to talk with them,” Boring said.

Keefer said the football team attended Frederick’s viewing and funeral.

“They all wore red, unity in numbers,” Keefer said. “Officially hiring Ron is a great idea. It’s well-deserved, and it leaves his legacy and memory for his family.”

The ceremonious gesture aside, Southmoreland still needs a head coach. So, where does the football program go from here?

The position will be reopened and candidates can begin to apply Thursday, Boring said. The board will look to hire a coach at its March voting meeting.

Keefer said the idea of returning to coach has crossed his mind, but he is not interested at this time.

“I put a lot of thought into (resigning) and I can’t just jump back in. We do need to get a coach in place soon, for the kids and the program to keep moving forward.”

Keefer said Zach Cavalier will continue to work with players in the weight room. Tim Bukowski, another assistant, also is keeping up with the team.

Frederick was active in offseason workouts when he was an assistant and planned to dedicate more time as head coach. He was known for hyping the team on social media, including weekly uniform reveals.

Keefer joked that he was the king of propaganda.

“You miss seeing him around,” Keefer said. “He was 6-6. You knew when he walked into the room. He was a fun guy to be around and he knew the game.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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