Panama City, FL-- Simply put basketball coaches don't get any better than Roonie Scovel.
For 16 seasons, she guided the Gulf Coast women's basketball program, and for 16 seasons, that program was a model of success in every way.
Saturday at the Billy Harrison Field House, Gulf Coast honoring coach Scovel, who at the end of this past season, decided it was time to walk away from coaching.
School president Dr. Jim Kerley, A.D. Gregg Wolfe, many players past and present, and many of the boosters and fans who supported the Lady Commodores those 16 seasons on hand to remember the tough times, the good times, the losses, which frankly, were few and far between. And the many, many wins and titles.
It was announced an endowed scholarship in Scovel's name has been established.
Among those recounting stories, Scovel's first recruit Taneshia Moore,
Tashia Moorehead and others representing the undefeated, and first national championship team of 2003.
From the class of 2010, twins Andrea and Andrell Smith, now at the University of South Florida. And Tamara Taylor spoke representing her final team.
Her mentor, then longtime assistant coach and friend Grover Hicks talked about hiring her back in the Paxton days.
And then former player and her successor, Vernette Skeete took the mike to say "thank you" for molding her and so many others!
After that, it was time to show coach just how much Gulf Coast cares for her and for what's she done, the unveiling that shows the court at the Field House will forever bear her name!
"Roonie Scovel Court" now adorns one side of the basketball court.
After seeing that, coach Scovel took to the mike to say how wonderful it was to see so many of the girls she recruited come back as women, as mothers, as professionals. And how they taught her as much, they gave her as much as she taught and gave to them. She then talked with me about what having the court named after her means!
"You know it's pretty amazing," says Scovel "it's such a compliment, but I put it in perspective. It's kind of like these banners, they represent so much, and even that name, even though it's mine, it represents so much more than an individual. And so much more, the Gulf Coast family might be a more appropriate name. I just think of all the times, and all the people that made that possible."
Coach Scovel, who won 461 games, 13 conference, 8 state and 3 national championships, will remain with the college as a student counselor.