Joan Boand: A pioneer in GVSU athletics

Posted at 11:30 PM, Sep 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-23 23:30:24-04

ALLENDALE, Mich -- Joan Boand can be seen hosting the staff and media at Grand Valley State home football games, but her contributions to GVSU go far beyond her current duties..

Shortly after arriving as a faculty member in the mid 1960's, she helped start the first women's sports at Grand Valley.

"The students came to me and said, I have a friend that goes to Grand Rapids Junior College and they have a softball team. Do you suppose we could get a softball team? I said yeah sure" Boand said.   "Find enough and I said you can coach, oh no you can coach softball, so I did and it was fun."

She also helped add volleyball, women's basketball and women's track and field.

"When I met Joan I recognized really early on that she was a person responsible for me being able to have opportunities" GVSU volleyball coach Deanne Scanlon said.   "People like her that started athletic programs here at Grand Valley if there were a group of women that wants to play, Joan was the person stepping up to the plate and getting it organized and getting it done and she would fight some pretty tough battles back then."

It was volleyball that Joan stuck with as a coach, staying on in that role until 1994 leading the program to 557 wins and 6 GLIAC titles.

"We had another women in here that was very good at basketball and I liked softball the best but it is so damn cold out here and wet in the spring" Boand added.  "I said I will stay with volleyball and she took the basketball and the softball and I stayed with volleyball where its not cold and wet.'

Deanne Scanlon replaces her following the '94 season and is the schools current coach.  In more than 50 years of volleyball, the Lakers have had only two coaches.

"I just think there is so much that she has done for me to be here" Scanlon added.  "Hopefully that is the path that I am laying for whoever is next after me."

Joan said that all she wanted to do since the age of six was teach physical education, turns out she did that and a whole lot more.

"You enjoy memories and you enjoy the things that happened and everything but you can`t sit and dwell on it because you might be sorry" Boand said.  "Those were the good ole days, so what!"