MERIDEN — Maloney Athletic Director Bob McKee collected a big honor on Monday night at the CIAC’s 18th Annual Unified Sports Banquet at the Aqua Turf.
McKee was named Athletic Director of the Year for Connecticut Unified Sports.
McKee has been on staff at Maloney for the past 22 years. He’s been the school’s AD since the 2016-17 school year.
“When Howie Hewitt left those were big shoes to fill in or AD position,” Maloney principal Jennifer Straub said. “I turned to Bobby. It was a big commitment for him with a young family, but I was thrilled it took it on.”
In his first year as AD, McKee started Unified Sports at Maloney. Keith Lombardo and Kevin Frederick helped him get the program off the ground. Sandra Darrah is the current Unified coach at Maloney.
“A lot of people helped build this program with a lot of passion,” McKee said Tuesday. “This award is for all of those involved. I’ve always had a passion for Unified Sports and it makes it easier when you have people around you with the same passion.”
Maloney participates in soccer, basketball and track and field in Unified Sports, which pairs people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.
Straub said McKee has shown nothing but exceptional professionalism at his job and is well respected throughout the state.
“He’s a man of outstanding character,” Straub said. “Honesty and integrity are also ways to describe Bob. He’s fair and impartial. He goes out of his way to make sure all of the team have the resources they need. He’s just exceptional at it.”
Straub added that McKee has been great during challenging times over the last few years with COVID prevention.
“He cares so deeply about the kids,” Straub said.
McKee is a Southington High grad. He was a standout baseball player at the the school and a member of the 1994 state championship team. McKee was inducted into the Southington High Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
He did his undergrad work at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he played on the Warriors' 1998 Division III national championship baseball team.
He completed his Master's degree in physical education at Central Connecticut State University in 2007 and earned his 092 certification from the University of Bridgeport in 2015.
The CIAC was celebrating 30 year of UnifiedSports in Connecticut on Monday night. Also honored from Meriden were T.J. Graves and Caleb Annino. They received the Beau Doherty/Mike Savage Teammate Award.
“The school district and administration really backs Unified,” McKee said. “Everyone see the benefits in it.”