Bohannon (FILE PHOTO)
Bo knows sports. Bo knows busy.

Bo knows Eastern Lebanon County.

Now, Pennsylvania knows Bo.

Elco athletic director Doug Bohannon has been named the 2013 Pennsylvania State Athletic Director of the Year, according to an announcement made Sunday.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association will honor Bohannon, - or "Bo" - at the organization's 46th annual banquet in Hershey on March 14.

"It's that sort of award; it's nice - but there are a lot people well deserving in the league, district and state," Bohannon humbly said. "I'm lucky I got chosen."

Born and bred in Myerstown, the 46-year-old has served as the district's AD for the past 16 years. His resume already includes AD of the Year awards from the Lancaster-Lebanon League, District Three and Pennsylvania's Region IV.

"There are so many people to thank," he added. "Vicki Carpenter (athletic secretary) and Adam Zurich (athletic trainer) do an awful lot for me. I teach special education half of the day. There's no way I could get it all together without them."

Additionally, he cited the family support received from his parents, Marlin and Catherine, and wife, Stephanie.

"She's very supportive; she loves coming to the games. That's helped out a lot," explained Bohannon, a visible presence in the community and at most Raider home events.

Celebrating a 20th wedding anniversary in May, the couple resides in Myerstown with their two sons, Brett and Braden.


"When we were younger it was a little difficult on her, but now the boys are at an age that they really enjoy the games and the students," he said. "I always tell the athletes, 'They are role models whether they like it or not. There are always little eyes watching.'"

Growing up, Bohannon played a smorgasbord of sports for the Raiders while his father earned a living as an electrician at Hershey Foods. He shined brightest while quarterbacking the football team his senior season.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do. College was not on my mind back then," he said. "I worked at a steel foundry for a year and figured that wasn't for me, then I took my college boards."

Bohannon enrolled at California University (Pa.), extending his gridiron career by walking-on for the Division-II Vulcans. He also spent two Western Pennsylvania autumns as a coach for Ringgold High School under Paul Zolak, father of former NFL quarterback Scott Zolak (Miami, New England, University of Maryland).

"(Paul) was just an awesome guy. We still talk periodically," Bohannon said. "He gave me the idea to be an AD. I had aspirations to be a head football or basketball coach."

Upon returning to Myerstown, Bohannon filled an opening at Elco, becoming a fixture in the classroom and athletic program.

"I'm four miles from the school. I can go back and forth 4-or-5 times a day in the summer," he said. "I get home and eat every night with my family. That's a priority every night. Sometimes it might be my office, but that's important."

Bohannon took over the AD role in 1997, crediting retired superintendent Dr. Harry Zechman and former principal Dr. Steve George, for teaching him the ropes. George, also a longtime AD at Governor Mifflin, was recently elected as the president of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

"I couldn't have worked for two better people at that time," he said.

"They are the best in what they do. They held the bar high; they demanded a lot and got a lot back. I respect them for that."

During his first months as AD in 1997, the girls' basketball team reached the PIAA finals.

"I was thrown to the wolves pretty fast. It wasn't even a full year and we were at the state championships," he joked.

Since then, he has witnessed several Raider programs earn Keystone State accolades.

Bo knows he will likely see more student-athletes find success in Myerstown.

"I've been asked many times to apply at other schools," he said. "My kids go here. This is what I like. This is where I want to be. I have no aspirations to go to another school. I bleed blue and gold."

Notes: Bohannon is currently the vice president of the L-L League and an active member of the Board of Control. He is also a former chairman for track and field and was named the league's AD of the Year in 2005 and 2011. ... On the district level, he is a committee member and acts as the tennis chairman and bowling co-chairman. ... His national recognition includes the 2008 NIAAA Field Renovation Award and the 2010 NIAAA State Merit Award. Bohannon, a former PIAA Board of Control representative from 2009-2011, earned his CMAA Master Athletic Administrator in 2009.