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Deasy Does It

Notre Dame College women’s coach notches milestone wins in 2007

When the Notre Dame Falcons defeated the Houghton Highlanders in women’s basketball on January 17, 2007, by a score of 69-58, Notre Dame Head Coach Dick Deasy earned his 500th career win in combined levels of high school and collegiate coaching. The Avon Lake native completed his sixth year as the bench boss for the Falcons in 2006 – 2007.

Deasy’s 500 wins span a career of coaching boy’s basketball at the high school level as well as coaching men’s and women’s teams at the collegiate level. And Notre Dame Director of Athletics, Sue Hlavacek, is glad that career includes a stop at Murphy Gymnasium on the campus of South Euclid’s Notre Dame College.

“Dick Deasy is a remarkable man, and the College is very proud of his accomplishments,” said Hlavacek.

“Because of his efforts, the program moved from a bottom-of-the-league ranking to winning our league and capturing a berth in the national tournament. His ability to translate knowledge of the game to winning strategies for student-athletes is artful. His patient manner and quick wit are appreciated by fellow coaches and make him an excellent role model for young coaches and student-athletes.”

Those efforts also earned Deasy another milestone win this past season – his 100th win at Notre Dame College (earned February 1 with an 87-68 win in a backyard rivalry game over Ursuline College). For Deasy, the focus is on the floor and on the players he can impact. “Numbers don’t mean much to me,” said Deasy, on reaching the 500 and 100-win marks.

“The most enjoyable part of what I do is being involved with the kids,” said the Falcons’ “dean of coaches,” who guided last year’s women’s team to it’s first-ever appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.

For Deasy, the numbers do add up to a lot of players coached since he took the helm of the Avon Lake High School freshman boys’ basketball team in 1961. Deasy’s Avon Lake coaching roots include coaching boys’ teams until 1965 and then a return stint in 1983, which began a 14-year run in which the varsity Shoremen won five conference championships under the man who is still their program’s all-time winningest coach with 188 victories.

In between, Deasy’s career included collegiate stops at Wisconsin State University and Milton College (WI), coaching men’s basketball from 1968 – 1975. His multi-faceted career also includes coaching international high school all-star teams to an undefeated 17-0 record in 1975 – 76.

After his successful Avon Lake days in the eighties and nineties, Deasy’s career brought him to Rocky River’s Magnificat High School, where his girls’ teams went 70-29 over four seasons, including a 22-3 mark in his final season, 2000.

Leaving Magnificat for Notre Dame, Deasy stuck with the women’s game, this time in a return to the collegiate level. The transition has gone well, as Deasy has built a program that has found itself ranked in the top-15 nationally over the past two seasons. The Falcons have now won 96 games in five-and-a-half seasons under Deasy, becoming yet another program to enjoy its best days under his tutelage. Deasy’s Notre Dame College record includes a couple years of building the program up to its current level of success. Beginning with the 2001 – 2002 season, Deasy has shepherded the program to win totals of six, 10, 17, 26, and 25, respectively.

Dick Deasy’s coaching career is dotted with accolades above and beyond totals in the win column. At both the high school and college levels, Deasy has won nine coach-of-the-year awards and has earned three hall of fame inductions. His teams have garnered 10 conference championships. This season, the Falcons are 12-5 and aiming for a return engagement to both conference and, possibly, national tournament games. And that’s where the focus lies for a coach who values team accomplishments first and foremost.

“That’s what I’m here for,” said Deasy. “These numbers are just that, numbers. They signal how old I am.”

Skip Snow is the sports information director at Notre Dame College.