Bobby Von Kaenel is the son of Bob and Madge Von Kaenel who were instrumental in his interest in becoming a coach. At the age of 10, Bobby was introduced to the State Basketball Tournament. His parents took his brother Paul and him to the tournament EVERY year where his love for basketball began. Coach Von Kaenel is a 1973 graduate of Strasburg High School and was a 4-sport athlete lettering in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Alderson-Broaddus College in 1977 and currently serves as Health, Physical Education, and Careers Teacher at Dover High School. Bobby and his wife of 38 years, Beth, are the parents of two children.
Matthew is a Dover Middle School teacher, who is the head freshman football coach and assistant varsity basketball coach at Dover as well. Matt and his wife, Lia, an accountant at Rea & Associates, have two children, 5 year old son Cohen and 2 year old daughter Elle. Bobby’s younger son, Marcus, is the Director of Sales for Almost Family Inc., and his wife, Cami, is a teacher in the Southwestern City School District. They have an 8 year old son, Collin, and another child on the way. They reside in Grove City, Ohio. Bobby and his wife are members of First Christian Church and are involved in a special prayer group along with other activities . In addition to his basketball coaching success, Coach Von Kaenel is also a registered OHSAA Football Official and has worked 9 State Championships and 14 state semi-final games. In 2009, Bobby was announced as the Alumni Achievement Award Winner at Alderson-Broaddus University for all of his coaching accomplishments.
Bobby began his career at Strasburg in 1978 when he coached the Girls reserve team and the Boys 7th grade team in the same year. He was then hired at Tuscarawas Valley where he served 11 years as the head basketball coach, 10 years as head girls track coach, and 4 years as assistant football coach. During his tenure, he led his basketball team to a pair of Senate League Titles and a Division III State Runner-Up finish in 1988. His girls track teams claimed 7 District Titles while he was at the helm.
Coach Von Kaenel began his 36th season as a head basketball coach this past November. It is his 25th year at Dover where he has compiled a record of 438-120 going into this season. Since coaching at Dover, the Tornadoes have been East Central Ohio League Champions 12 times and Sectional Champions in 14 seasons. In 1998, he directed the Tornadoes to a 24-3 season and a Division II State Runner-Up campaign. In 2004, the (22-4) Tornadoes returned to the FINAL FOUR, losing to eventual state champion, Ottawa-Glandorf in the semi-finals. His teams also claimed District Titles in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2014 and 2015. His Dover teams have amassed 24 consecutive winning seasons, and 11 seasons of more than 20 victories. His overall coaching record approaching the 2015-16 year was 580-223, and his total victories make him the all-time winningest coach in the history of Tuscarawas County Basketball. His teams are recognized as always being extremely detailed, fundamentally sound, and very stingy defensively. Since 1995, the Tornadoes have allowed less than 48 points a game every season, with a record low of 38.1 points per game in 2008.
Bobby was honored as the AP Coach of the Year in Ohio in 1988, 1995, and 1997. At the local level, Coach was selected as Conference Coach of the Year 14 times, and District 5 Coach of the Year 12 times. He has coached in the District 5 East-West All-Star Games, Ohio North-South All-Star Game, Ohio-West Virginia Classic, Wendy’s 4-State Classic, and the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game. In 2005, he was honored as OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award Winner for Boys Basketball in the State of Ohio. In that same year, he was also selected by the National Federation Coaches Association as the 2005 Ohio Coach of the Year and Mideast Region Coach of the year, which encompasses 10 states. In 2006, Bobby was named as the recipient of the coveted Paul Walker Award for outstanding coaching and service to the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association. Coach Von Kaenel currently serves as the Secretary of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association; prior to that he was president from 1998-2000. He is also a member of the Ohio Basketball HOF Museum Board of Trustees