Ron Killmon dies; was Onancock native, semipro football player, state title-winning coach

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Ron Killmon

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —

Ron Killmon, the Onancock High School graduate and celebrated multi-sport athlete who played semipro football in Norfolk before coaching state championship high school football and baseball teams in Hampton Roads, died Sunday, Jan. 7, after a brief illness. 

He was 83 and lived in Norfolk but owned homes on the Eastern Shore. His last high school coaching assignment was as an assistant for Broadwater Academy’s football team.

A fitness enthusiast who dedicated his adult life to coaching and motivating young people, his last coaching role was leading his grandson’s Pop Warner youth football team.

“His passion was molding young men — and them being stronger and pushing themselves further than they thought they could,” said Sean Killmon, one of his three children.

“It was 100% about the kids.”

Ben Willis, a former Broadwater football coach whom Killmon helped for two seasons, said Killmon was generous with this time and knowledge. 

“I was the young guy with the head coach title,” Willis said, “but he was the experienced one who coached me and coached the team.”

Killmon, raised on the Eastern Shore, was named most popular, most independent, and most athletic in Onancock High’s class of 1958.

He later played football and baseball at the College of William & Mary and baseball at Old Dominion University.

He earned a level of fame as a member of the semi-pro Norfolk Neptunes from 1965 to 1969. The team drew large crowds to Norfolk’s Foreman Field for games against clubs from Philadelphia, Toronto, and others.

Killmon was a defensive back and kick returner on a Neptunes team that included quarterback Dan Henning, later a National Football League head coach. 

The popular team’s roster also included a number of former NFL players. Even one of the Neptunes’ cheerleaders, Deborah Shelton, was later named Miss U.S.A.

Killmon coached football at Norfolk’s Granby High School before moving to Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, where he coached the baseball team to two state titles and the football team to a state championship.

Killmon also was football coach at Windsor High School and Catholic High School in Virginia Beach.

“Coaching was in his blood,” said Sean Killmon. “It was his passion, for sure.”

Said Willis of Ron Killmon, “He falls into that Eastern Shore legend category.”

A graveside service and interment will be held Saturday, Jan. 20, at noon, at Mt. Holly Cemetery, Onancock.

A funeral service also will be held on Friday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m., at the Church of the Ascension, Norfolk. 

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