Jim “Coach” Scanlan, age 82, passed away Thursday, March 29, 2018, after battling multiple ailments for the past 10 years.
Coach Scanlan was born January 4, 1936, at Firmin Desloge Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of the late Harry James Scanlan and Margaret “Hazel” (nee Burns). He grew up in the city of St. Louis, was baptized at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, made his First Communion and was confirmed at St. Henry’s Church. He graduated from St. Henry’s Grade School and McKinley High School where he participated in track and football.
After graduating from high school, Coach Scanlan attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, Missouri. His freshman year he had a scholarship in track where he threw the javelin and shot put. During his next three years, his scholarship also included playing guard and tackle on the Bulldog football team. He graduated with a major in education and a minor in industrial arts. Coach remained at Northeast the next two years working as a graduate assistant in football, track, and physical education; serving as Dorm Daddy at the Bulldog Kennels; and completing his master degrees in physical education and administration. Coach Scanlan dearly loved Northeast and credited his education there as the foundation of his successful career in education, coaching, and administration. He continued his education throughout his career by taking additional classes and attending workshops, conventions, and conferences. In 1988, he was in the first class of athletic administrators in the state of Missouri to pass the CAA exam and be designated a Certified Athletic Administrator.
Coach’s first year of teaching and coaching was at New Cambria High School in New Cambria, Missouri. The next year he taught and coached at Brookfield High School in Brookfield, Missouri.
In 1963, Coach Scanlan was hired by the Washington School District. During the next 35 years, he served the district in various capacities: teaching elementary physical education during the summer, driving a school bus for the summer school students, working as a custodian during the summer, and teaching industrial arts, physical education, weight training, and drivers’ education at the secondary level. He coached freshman and junior varsity boys’ basketball, was the head cross country and track coach, and began the football program in 1965. As an active member of the Community Teachers’ Association, he served several years as president and as a member of the salary committee. After retiring, he also taught drivers’ education for several summers.
Coach Scanlan taught classes at WHS from 1963-1986, coached various sports from 1963-1987, coached football from 1965-1987, served as Athletic Administrator from 1976-1986, served in a dual position as Athletic Administrator and Director of Student Activities/Assistant Principal from 1986-1996, and served as Assistant Principal form 1996-1998.
Coach Scanlan was an active member of teacher, football, coaching, and athletic administration associations at the conference, district, state, and national levels. Because of his dedication and service to these organizations, always striving to improve the fields of coaching and athletics, Coach received many awards and honors. Being inducted into the Truman State Athletic Hall of Fame, being named to the Wings Hall of Honor, and having the new Washington Athletic Complex named Jim Scanlan Stadium were especially pleasing and rewarding.
Coach Scanlan was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather whose family adored him. He taught his wife, daughters, and grandchildren how to fish and the family had great vacations at the Lake of the Ozarks fishing, swimming, playing cards, eating, and drinking. They watched countless hours of sports in person and on TV, went on some great trips, and thoroughly enjoyed being together. Coach had a green thumb and relished growing vegetables and flowers in his large garden. He loved playing video poker and an annual trip to Las Vegas rejuvenated him.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Bonnie Kay (nee Westermeyer); three daughters: Julie Ann (Brian) Weindel, Jayne Maureen (Wendy) Markum-Scanlan, and Janel Mary (Scott) Brown; four grandchildren: James Weindel, Harrison Weindel, Madeleine Brown, and Jameson Brown; one sister and brother-in-law: Pat (Jack) Russell; one borther-in-law: Albert Shields; one sister-in-law: Mary (Roland) Kopp; one brother-in-law: Richard (Phyllis) Westermeyer; and nieces and nephews. Other survivors include his college buddies, Bulldog teammates, and long-time loyal friends Coach John Carter and Coach Ray Eickmeyer, other relatives, many friends and colleagues in the field of athletics and education, many former students and athletes on whom he had a profound influence.
He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Hazel Scanlan; a sister Dorothy Sheilds; and his close high school, college, and life-long friend Clint Lessor.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at 10:00 am at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church.
The family is grateful for the caring employees of Grandview Healthcare. They offer a special thanks to Stephanie Davis who loved Coach dearly. Above all, they are extremely grateful for Gary Hansel who cared for Coach for almost six years with exceptional dedication and love.
Memorials to Loving Hearts Outreach, School Backpack Program which feeds needy students over the weekends and summers would be deeply appreciated. The address is 1902 West Main Street, Washington, Missouri 63090.