Ron Duncan

Ron Duncan (’61)

Ron Duncan was named the Most Notable Male Athlete in the first 50 years of Glen Rock High School. He helped lead Glen Rock’s football, basketball and track & field teams to some of the school’s greatest successes, while receiving First Team, All-League honors in each of those sports.

While Ron Duncan only spent 18 months at Glen Rock High School, his athletic accomplishments – and the success of the teams that he helped lead – earned him the title of Glen Rock’s Most Notable Male Athlete.

On the football field, Ron and Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Percival led the 1960 Football Team to an undefeated championship season that put Glen Rock High School on the map in New Jersey interscholastic sports. The team had a 9-0 record, scoring 262 points, nearly 30 points per game, and giving up only 26 points, less than 3 points per game. In addition to being North Jersey Conference Champions, the team was selected by The Bergen Record as mythical County Co-Champions with Pascack Valley, the only other undefeated and untied team in Bergen County.

At 6’4” and (at least) 225 pounds, Ron was nearly impossible to stop on running plays and was a fearsome blocker for his backfield teammates. At a time when most high school athletes played both offense and defense, Ron was also a leader on the team’s nearly impregnable defense. After the season, he was named to the First Team, All-NJC and to the Second Team, All-Suburban (by The Ridgewood News), and was awarded Honorable Mention, All-County (by The Bergen Record).

After the historical success of the football team, Ron led Glen Rock’s basketball team to almost equal historical success. During the regular season, the team only lost one game and easily captured the NJC Championship. As a result, they advanced into the State Championship playoffs with great optimism. Unfortunately, in the Group 2, Sectional Championship final, while Ron scored 30 points, two of the team’s starters left the game early (one due to an injury and the other having committed five fouls); as a result, they were upset 62-61 by Dumont. They ended their season with a 23-2 record. Despite that loss, The Bergen Record named them mythical County Champions (ahead of one loss Ridgewood).

Ron led the team in scoring with a then-school record 563 points in 25 games (an average of 22.5 points per game). He was named to the First Team, Group 2, All-State (and Third Team, All Groups, All-State), the First Team, All-Passaic-Bergen (by the NY Daily News), the Second Team, All-County (by The Bergen Record), the First Team, All-NJC and the First Team, All-Suburban (by The Ridgewood News).

Finally, Ron’s combination of physical dominance and gifted athleticism was further displayed with his accomplishments for Glen Rock’s track & field team.

As a junior, he led Glen Rock to an undefeated dual meet season and then a dominating team victory at the NJC Championship. In addition, at the All-School, Bergen County Championship, he won the gold medal in the discus throw and tied for fourth in the high jump. He was the only Glen Rock athlete to win an All-Group, Bergen County Championship until the 1990s. At the Group 2, State Championship, he tied for second in the discus and finished third in the high jump and shot put, helping Glen Rock finish third in that competition. During that season, Ron set the school record in the discus with a throw of 154’ 9-1/4” – a record that he held until it was broken in 2017.

As a senior, Ron missed most of the season (including the Bergen County Championship) as a result of suffering a ruptured blood vessel in his right leg. However, in late May, he returned to help lead Glen Rock to a repeat NJC Championship. At the subsequent Group 2, State Championship, Ron finished fourth in the high jump and fifth in the shot put. During that abbreviated season, Ron set the school record in the shot put with a throw of 55’ 1-1/2” (a record that lasted until the current record holder, Hall of Fame Inductee Bill DeBoer, broke it with a throw of 57’ 1-1/2” in 1968) and in the high jump with a jump of 6’ 1-1/4” (a record that outlasted four decades of advanced techniques before it was broken in 2004).

Ron went on to play football at Wittenburg University(where he helped his school win the 1964 NCAA College Division National Championship and was subsequently inducted into the school’s Hall of Honor) and then in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns, before retiring as a result of a knee injury.