When Lori Hanaway won a state championship while starring for the 1983-84 William Chrisman High School volleyball team, she thought she’d reached the pinnacle of her sport.
Today, Hanaway is the second-winningest prep volleyball coach in the history of Missouri and Sunday she will become a Hall of Famer.
Hanaway will join fellow area prep legends Jim Aziere (Raytown swimming) and Bob Glasgow and his historic Oak Grove wrestling program that won 12 of its state record 17 state titles under his leadership in Missouri Sports Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies Sunday at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center (18011 Bass Pro Drive) in Independence. For tickets, call 417-889-3100.
Through the 2017 season, Hanaway had totaled 749 victories in 27 seasons. Her first season, she was a 22-year-old kid who went on to claim seven state championships at O’Hara (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010). She also guided St. Teresa's Academy to a 2006 state title.
Hanaway also took Lee’s Summit West to two state runner-up finishes in her five seasons there and, after briefly stepping away from the sport in 2016, the Chrisman grad returned to coaching this season at Lee’s Summit High School.
“Starting out as a coach so young, you really have to put all your energy into it,” Hanaway said. “I just fell in love with it and never looked back.”
She is excited about Sunday’s enshrinement – not so much for the personal glory of receiving your sport’s highest honor – no, because she can share the moment with her personal family and the girls and coaches who have been part of her volleyball family over the years.
“I am so excited, because all my immediate family is going to be at the induction,” she said by phone after the Lee’s Summit volleyball banquet, “and so many of my former players and coaches are coming.
“I really think with coaching high school girls – and teaching – you start with personal relationships. You have to let kids know they are important as a player and as a person. When I was younger, I thought, ‘What an awesome responsibility this is.’ Then when I had my own kids, I realized it even more.”
One of her mentors was Billie Wilson, the Chrisman volleyball coach who won that state championship along with Hanaway back in 1983.
“Coach Wilson just did things the right way,” Hanaway said. “You wanted to be part of the volleyball team.”