MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Kenny Stone '14 has come a long way since his high school days in Philadelphia more than a decade ago.
Though uncertainty featured prominently in both his decision to attend college and his eventual career path, an insistence on hard work, a commitment to preparation and an ability to make the most of his opportunities have proven most influential in getting him to where he is today; namely, the early stages of a budding coaching career.
The former Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball standout described himself as a "late bloomer" during his career playing for well-known head coach Randy Taylor at the Scotland School for Veterans Children. Following high school graduation, Stone performed well for two seasons under former Harrisburg head coach Mike Gaffey, one of which resulted in a trip to the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship Game. Finally, as a senior, his determination was rewarded when he was named team captain by Blue & White head coach Don Friday for the program's first year of Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) play; a campaign that included the Lions' first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked opponent.
With diploma in hand, however, Stone realized he wasn't ready to be done with the game. Upon graduation in 2014, he took an assistant position on the staff of legendary Elizabethtown head coach Bob Schlosser, father of current Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball assistant Sam Schlosser, until the longtime Blue Jays front man retired from coaching in 2017. Unsure about his next step, a familiar face played a vital role in continuing Stone's young career when David Archer, one of the men most responsible for Stone's decision to attend and play basketball at Penn State Harrisburg, asked him to join his staff at Central Penn last winter.
Then, just four short years removed from his collegiate playing days, Stone accepted his first head coaching position at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology at the ripe old age of 28.
The winding road that led him to the helm of a program that Stone described as a "hidden gem" was recently chronicled by the man himself. He spoke of the promise coaches including Friday, Schlosser, Archer and Gaffey saw in him and the wisdom each of them bestowed during his formative years. He recalled the memories that comprised some of the most successful seasons in program history. He reminisced about his former teammates, what it meant to lay the groundwork in the program's early days and just how close he came to quitting coaching just a few years back.
Luckily for the young men at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, a detour or two weren't enough to deter him on the road to his first head coaching opportunity. As Stone put it himself, "everything happens for a reason."