Ilion's Last Athletic Director -Robert 'Bob' McCann



Ilion High School - Robert 'Bob' McCann - 1974

The Central Valley Central School District, with regret, accepted the retirement notice of Robert McCann from the position of Physical Education Teacher, effective July 2013.

Thus, ends the era of Ilion’s last Athletic Director, long time Ilion resident, IHS graduate, IHS teacher and coach, Bob McCann.

Coach McCann grew up in Ilion, graduated from Annunciation Grammar School, and graduated from Ilion High School with the Class of 1974. Bob’s leadership abilities were evident early when he was chosen Class President of his IHS Freshman Class. His high school classmates also honored him by selecting him as the Class of 1974’s Homecoming King. He was co-captain, with Jim Gydeson, of the 1973 Varsity Football team. He also continued to serve his former classmates by participating on the Class of 1974’s 20th Year Reunion Committee.

Ilion High School - Robert 'Bob' McCann 1973
Bob McCann 1973 Co-Captain Football Team


Bob attended St. Lawrence University and pursued a degree in Physical Education. While attending St. Lawrence University, he was a standout running back on the football team. He was a member of the St. Lawrence football team that reached the NCAA semifinals in 1976. As a member of that winning team, St. Lawrence University inducted Bob to their Athletic Hall of Fame. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1978.

He furthered his education and earned, in 1980, a Master Degree in Educational Administration from Norwich University.

Bob began his Physical Education teaching career at Bassett High School in Virginia. He also taught at Indian River, near Watertown, N.Y.


Ilion High School - Robert 'Bob' McCann

1984 Atletic Dept. Nick Pannes, Bob Turley, and Bob McCann

His tenure at Ilion High School started in 1982, under Athletic Director, Nick Pannes. Mr. Pannes retired in the summer of 1999. The Board of Education appointed Bob Turley, IHS ’67, to fill the position of Athletic Director in 1999. Upon Mr. Turley’s retirement, the Board of Education appointed Bob as Athletic Director.


1991 Ilion High School Athletic Department - Robert 'Bob' McCann

1991 Atletic Dept. - Bob Turley, Mary Byrne, Nick Pannes, Linda Knight and Bob McCann

Throughout Bob’s 32-year tenure, as both Teacher and Athletic Director, he served as head coach of multiple sports teams including Varsity Football, Varsity Baseball, Girls Varsity Basketball, Boys Varsity Basketball, and Boys Varsity Track. Additionally, he coached several teams at the modified and junior varsity levels. As a coach, he was part of five sectional title-winning teams including three titles in football and two titles in boys track. As Varsity Basketball Coach, Bob notched up his 100th win on December 18, 1998, when the team beat Sauquoit Valley 57-29. This was Bob's seventh year as the coach for the team. At that time, Mr. McCann was 100-31 for his career. The team celebrated by consuming cupcakes prepared by the Peter Donahue ('66) family.

2002 Ilion High School Athletic Department - Robert 'Bob' McCann

2002 Atletic Dept. - Garrett Olds, Jane Cring, Bob Turley, Tara Raux and Bob McCann

During Bob’s teaching career, he worked with over 50 athletes who eventually went onto play sports at the collegiate level. More than 10 of his former football players received all state recognition honors. He also coached several state qualifying athletes in track.

Over the years, Coach McCann served as a steady figure in the community. He spent many of his summer seasons working with student athletes. He donated countless hours running open gym sessions, weight training programs, and football passing leagues. As a teacher, Coach McCann had a unique ability to connect with students. He had a knack of bringing out their best and getting the most out of each individual.

2001 Ilion High School - Robert 'Bob' McCann

Bob’s favorite phrase of “Meet me halfway” is one that those who know him understand well. He has always been a fierce advocate for his students and the Ilion community as a whole. He is a person who prides himself on loyalty, dedication, and respect; all values that he passed on to his students. As a community, we have all greatly benefited from his years of dedication and service. He has helped positively shape the lives of thousands of our youths.

Bob raised his three sons, Matthew, Luke and Kyle McCann in his hometown, Ilion. All his sons are also graduates of Ilion High School.

Coach McCann, thank you for all you have done for our Golden Bombers.

Enjoy your retirement!

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Published October 2, 2013
Modified June 17, 2018
Digital Image Copyright & Copyright © 1997 - 2018 Aileen Carney Sweeney