Dr. John Gerdy is an educational activist, speaker and author. He is a professional musician and non-profit entrepreneur who was once an All American athlete.

John lives in Lancaster, PA

Dr. John R. Gerdy serves as founder and executive director of Music For Everyone a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the power of music as an educational and community building tool in Lancaster County. Since 2006, MFE has invested over $1.6 million in school and community arts organizations and initiatives to enhance music programs in Lancaster County, PA. He has authored five books, among them, Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment (2014), Sports: The All-American Addiction (2002) and Air Ball: American Education’s Failed Experiment with Elite Athletics (2006). He has also been extensive published in journals and periodicals such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sporting News, Black Issues in Higher Education, NCAA News and College Board Review.

John’s background and experience have afforded him a unique perspective. He grew up in Little Falls, NJ, the son of a high school football coach, who also was the school’s physics teacher. John was an all-state basketball player at Passaic Valley HS where his jersey number is retired. A 1979 graduate of Davidson College, he received all-American honors and graduated as the career-leading scorer in school history, a record that stood for 30 years. Davidson retired his jersey in 1979 and inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1994. Davidson also awarded him the John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service in 2014. He was drafted by the NJ Nets and played professionally in the Continental Basketball Association for one season.

John served as the youth sports program director at the Johnston YMCA in Charlotte NC for two years before enrolling in Ohio University where he earned his MA in sports administration (1983) and Ph.D. in Higher Education (1986). From 1986-89, Gerdy worked at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a legislative assistant before serving six years at the Southeastern Conference as Associate Commissioner for Compliance and Academic Affairs.

With the birth of their first child, John left the SEC to be a stay-at-home Dad. During this time, he began teaching as a Visiting Professor in Sports Administration at Ohio University and began writing in earnest. In 2007, he was chosen one of America’s Most Influential Sports Educators by the Institute of International Sport.

A life long musician, he has served as an “artist in residence” at the New School of Lancaster, teaching the Blues to children from first to fifth grades, conducted summer music camps and performs in public regularly under the stage name of Willie Marble.

John is the father of two children and resides is Lancaster, PA.



Lancaster, PA


An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
- Victor Hugo

Gerdy By The Numbers

45 - Years playing the guitar

30 - Years held Davidson College's all time scoring record until broken by Steph Curry in 2009.

Favorite Album

Allman Brothers Band Live at the Fillmore East

I was blind and this album helped me to see.

Favorite Athlete

Muhammad Ali

He exemplified profound courage in using his platform as an athlete to stand up for social justice. He sacrificed it all.