Susie Harrison has won an amazing 1,124 games in 35 years coaching volleyball and softball.
On the volleyball side, she has a sparkling 598-232 record (.720 winning percentage) with one state runner-up and three regional runner-up finishes, along with numerous district, sectional and league titles.
She retired from Granville in 2011 after 18 years, following 17 years at Sheridan. The Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association gave her the ultimate honor this past weekend when it inducted her into its Hall of Fame at the state all-star match in Wooster.
“I’m very humbled and honored; you have to get two-thirds of the trustees’ vote to be inducted and it’s not easy to get in,” said Harrison, this year’s only inductee.
The state runner-up finish and three regional runners-up came while at Sheridan. Her 1993 team made it all the way to the state finals before losing to perennial powerhouse St. Ursula.
She quickly rattled off the names of some of those players: Dawn Axline, Shannon Green, Angie Knisley, Michelle Wilson, Molly Ridenour and Shavon Green.
“Dawn and Shannon’s dads always went to the state tournament, and when those girls were freshmen, Shannon’s dad brought back a program and put a star on the map where Thornville was and said, ‘You guys are going to get there.’ And we did.
“From the start of the season, those girls worked hard and gelled,” Harrison said. “They were on a mission to play in the state tournament.”
She also won a district title in the rugged Central District in 1999 with Granville, with Angie Curl, Julia Winkfield, Janna Gosnell, Renee Severyn, Emily Dixon and Ali Englefield. Curl and Winkfield were the team’s “twin towers.”
“Those were the two tallest hitters I’ve ever had, and it was fun to work with them,” Harrison said. “It was a hard-working, determined team, and they were ready to take the next step.
“I was fortunate enough to have good programs at both schools. But that Central District, it sure was tough.”
Granville won eight consecutive Mid-State League-Cardinal Division titles before moving into the MSL-Ohio, where the Blue Aces won their first title in 2011 after years of domination by Newark Catholic.
Harrison was an eight-time district coach of the year, coached the district all-stars six times, won the OHSVCA Coaches Achievement Award twice, and coached in the state all-star match.
She also won 526 games coaching softball at Sheridan and Granville, and was inducted into the Ohio High School Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
“The hardest part of coaching both sports, was doing all the stuff with the kids in the off-season,” Harrison said.
“I enjoyed working with the athletes, all the time spent with them, and the competition. It was fun to work with them, from the beginning of the season to the end, pushing them in the right direction and then seeing them become betterplayers.”