Scanlon inducted into Eastern Kentucky Hall of Fame

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter
Deanne Scanlon

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter Deanne Scanlon

Greg Monahan

Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball coach Deanne Scanlon has made a name for herself during the past 16 seasons as one of the top Division II coaches in the nation. However, this past weekend it was Scanlon’s success as a student-athlete that earned her recognition as she was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Scanlon, a 1983 graduate of Eastern Kentucky, was inducted as a member of the Colonel’s fifth Hall of Fame class for her four-year career as a volleyball player at the school. An All-American and four-year starter, Scanlon still holds a place in the Colonel’s record books for block solos, block assists and hitting percentage.

Almost three decades removed from her playing days, Scanlon said her tenure at Eastern Kentucky was special not only because of her success but simply because of the chance to compete.

“My choice to go to Eastern Kentucky put me on the path for where I am today,” she said. “I’m just very, very grateful for the honor and also most importantly for them giving me the opportunity to be a college athlete at Eastern because there really were not a whole lot of opportunities for females to go on and play and earn scholarships past a high school level back in those days.”

Since her playing career at Eastern Kentucky, Scanlon has built up a prodigious volleyball resume. She won the Female Athlete of the Year award at Eastern Kentucky in 1983, competed for the U.S. National Team and coached the Lakers to a national championship in 2005. She has also been inducted to her high school’s hall of fame and has never had a losing record as a coach at GVSU.

Though her impressive coaching career has been Scanlon’s focus for almost two decades, her playing days still hold a very close place to her heart, she said.

“I just loved to play,” she said. “When game days came around it was like Christmas. I just love to compete, I love to play, I loved wearing the uniform and being out there, everything about the sport of volleyball I’ve always loved.”

Since Scanlon is in the middle of the volleyball season at GVSU, she was unable to make her induction. She instead sent in a DVD accepting the award and was one of 13 former Eastern Kentucky athletes inducted at last Friday’s ceremony.

Director of Eastern Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame Karl Park, who was the school’s sports information director during Scanlon’s time as a Colonel, said the school is proud of Scanlon’s accomplishments both as a player at Eastern Kentucky and as coach at GVSU.

“I cant speak enough about her record both here and (at GVSU) and her national championship,” he said. “She’s a force in her conference every year. We’re awfully proud of her, and I’m so glad she was able to get inducted. Her DVD was great and we all enjoyed watching it.”

Scanlon said she is happy with where she is now, but the memories of her time at Eastern Kentucky will always stay with her.

“My time there was so much fun,” she said. “It was a time where I really grew as a person, got away from home a bit, and was surrounded by really good people, good teammates, good coaches – it was just a great experience for me.”

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