Newman Athletics Director Joanna Pryor was inducted into the Cowley College Hall of Fame Jan. 18, 2020.
Pryor spent two seasons on the Cowley Tiger’s volleyball team and holds an excellent record as the volleyball head coach from 2001-2008.
Pryor got the call that she would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the early fall but underestimated how exciting the day would truly be.
“It really is a prestigious honor,” she said. “I guess I just tried to not make a big deal about it. And then when Saturday hit and all my players were there and my family and friends, that’s when I thought, ‘OK, yeah, this is a big deal.'”
Pryor was excited but a little caught off guard when she originally heard the news of her induction, she said, because being inducted into a hall of fame is not something coaches or teams tend to work toward.
“When you’re in the moment and you’re coaching and you’re doing those things, the furthest thing from your mind is that you want to be in a hall of fame. It’s not something you think about while you’re doing something,” said Pryor.
During her time as a player, Pryor led her team to a 77-46 record. She was named an All-Conference and All-Region VI player during both her seasons at Cowley. She also earned Cowley’s first Student-Athlete of the Month award after its implementation.
Pryor finished her coaching career at Cowley with a 218-93-3 record in eight seasons. She led her team to three conference championships in 2005, 2006 and 2008. She also led the team to four straight district championships from 2005-2008, seasons in which Pryor was also named District Coach of the Year.
During her eight years as the Tigers’ head coach, Pryor coached eight NJCAA All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans, 19 All-Region/All-District players and 28 All-Conference players.
Pryor said she always enjoys her visits back to Cowley College, located in Arkansas City, Kansas.
“It’s a small town so there are a lot of people that I’ve known for a long time or haven’t seen for a long time.”
Pryor’s favorite part of the Hall of Fame induction event was seeing former coaches, friends and especially her former players. In total, 15 of her former players were able to attend. The two who announced Pryor traveled from Texas together with their infants in tow; a sacrifice, said Pryor.
“I really haven’t found the words and it’s like I keep trying to find these (profound) words to tell all of the girls that came what it means and I just don’t have it. … It was just amazing,” said Pryor.