College court named for John Speasl
COOS BAY, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) Athletic Director and Volleyball Coach John Speasl coached his last match Wednesday and will retire from all duties at the end of the school year. On Saturday, November 6, during his second to last home game, Speasl was given a surprise retirement gift when the college honored him by naming the court he had coached volleyball on for 32 years Speasl Court.
Speasl was speechless and moved by the unexpected gesture. Immediately following the quick proceedings, the SWOCC versus Linn-Benton volleyball match became the first official event on Speasl Court. A reception for all in attendance was held after the match where those in attendance were entertained with a slideshow and video. Former volleyball players traveled from areas all over the country to be a part of the event.
The volleyball coach since 1979, Speasl also coached wrestling from 1973-77 and 1979-87. The only other volleyball coach in Laker history is Cheri Robinson, who coached from 1977-1978.
Speasl started at SWOCC 38 years ago as a Health and Physical Education Instructor. In 1986 he became the Athletic Director and will serve in that position through June. Speasl has coached numerous All-Conference and All-American athletes and was named OCCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1981, NJCCAA Jr. Pan American Coach 1984, and NWAACC Regional Coach of the year in 1985, 1990, and 2005.
He has been as an Athletic Commissioner in the NWAACC for 25 years, serving two terms each as the Regional Chair and on the Executive Board. Speasl has also been a member of the Golf, Volleyball, and Soccer Sports Committees. He was named to the Northwest Champions in 1994 and presented with the Dutch Triebwasser Award, given to the NWAACC’s most outstanding administrator, in 1995. Of all of his accomplishments, Speasl, who received his Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree from Southern Oregon University, is most proud of being voted by the SWOCC student body as the life sciences professor of the year in 1984, 1985, and, 1986.