WGEL’s long-serving Sports Director Kent Kesner sadly passed away Wednesday, December 2. Following the news, WGEL’s Jeff Leidel penned the following tribute to Kent.
Continue to the bottom of this story to hear additional tributes from WGEL staff and community members.
We at WGEL are all shocked and saddened by the passing of Kent Kesner.
Kent served as WGEL’s sports director for over 30 years and was the familiar voice of the Saturday morning Sports Shop.
He was the man who brought you the play by play accounts of high school football, basketball and baseball.
If you listened to sports coverage on WGEL, you were listening to Kent Kesner.
Over the years, he proudly announced the names of high school athletes performing on the court or the playing field.
Many of you had the thrill and pleasure of hearing Kent say your name, your son’s or daughter’s name or your grandson’s or granddaughter’s name over the airwaves.
Kent loved sports and he loved telling you about local teams. That combination provided joy to WGEL listeners.
He had called games for so long that he did it with ease. Doing play-by-play is not easy. He made it sound like it. That’s the mark of a true professional . . . one who makes it look like anyone can do it.
Kent Kesner was a professional in his craft of bringing sports to WGEL listeners.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Kent on his last broadcast at Mulberry Grove. He announced another win for a local team. I saw him at work at his craft, coolly describing the action, doing what he had done night after night at local gyms and fields.
Kent and his family had a long history with students in Bond County. His father, Jim, was a principal and teacher at Pocahontas and eventually became the assistant superintendent for Unit 2. His sister, Kim Lugge, has taught music to young students in the county for many years and is the “princess” at Greenville Elementary School.
His mother, Lovell, recently passed away and was supportive of the school system. She was very proud of Kent.
Kent was a 1976 graduate of Greenville High School and was a regular bus driver in Unit 2 for 26 years, transporting hundreds of students to and from school.
But, most of you will always remember Kent Kesner as the sports voice of WGEL.
Those of you who knew Kent, know of the joy he had following sports and talking about them.
For those who only knew Kent by listening to him on WGEL, you will always have the memories of following local sports through his eyes and voice.
We mourn the loss of Kent Kesner and will remember him as a friend to school children, his community, and WGEL Radio.
Click below to hear Jeff share the tribute in his own words:
WGEL General Manager Tom Kennedy worked with Kent in various capacities for much of his life. Click below to hear Tom share his tribute:
John Goldsmith worked at WGEL alongside Kent for many years. He shared the following thoughts:
Max Aten served as Transportation Director of the Bond County Unit 2 school system for many years. He worked alongside Kent Kesner in his role as a bus driver. Max also had ties to Kent’s family. Click below to hear him talk with Jeff Leidel about Kent:
Click HERE for remembrances of Kent from the local sports community.
Click HERE to read obituary information for Kent Kesner.