Going Out a Winner
By Jeffery Morris
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PEGGY 'S OFFICE IN THE MULTI REFLECTS THE DETRITUS OF A 33-YEAR CAREER SPENT BESTING THE COMPETITION AND TRAINING STUDENT ATHLETES. The office is smaller than one might expect of a coach who has won an amazing 1,035 matches, but then again, her work is done in a larger arena. Countless practices in the Morrow-Garrison complex, a head-spinning number of competitions in venues across the country and thousands of highway miles to find the next Jennies volleyball star.
Faded newspaper articles, photos and other memorabilia in 's office serve as quiet testimony to the breadth and depth of her career. Every season a new volleyball program is printed, featuring a UCM star athlete on the cover. That these programs are all displayed in her office speaks volumes about how much she cares for her students.
When you meet Peggy in person, it's evident to most casual observers that her competitive fires still burn intensely. Her body language and serious demeanor convey the attitude of a person in command and still at the peak of her game. As she enters the final campaign in her career, has the same level of passion she brought to the job when starting in 1975. There was no way of knowing back then that she would notch the most wins of any women's volleyball coach in NCAA Division II history. Unless, of course, you knew Peggy .
"In my career, I knew there would come a time that it would be the finale, the end. All my mentors told me that you would know the time has come, but that's just not been true for me," says. "I think I could go on coaching for the rest of my life, and if I continued to coach until the passion goes away, I would be 90-something. I think right now is a good time to make the change. Thirty-three years of doing something that you love is a long time, and though I don't feel old, I think that it is time for me to say, I did the best I could do and go on with my life."
Today, it seems matter of course that 's teams would win at least 25 matches for 30 straight seasons. She's that good. The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association began sponsoring women's volleyball in 1982. All did was win outright or shared league titles for 19 of those 26 years. She's even better than "that good."
Her teams have made 25 NCAATournament appearances in a row, the most in Division IIhistory, and have reached the "Elite Eight" six times, highlighted by a runner-up national showing in 1987. All of which begs the question, how does a career such as Peggy 's come to an end?