Joyce Wilcox - coach

    Joyce Wilcox, a teacher and a coach at Taylorville High School for twenty-six years will be honored and inducted into the Taylorville High School Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet this Saturday April 21, 2001.

    Wilcox began teaching during the 1967-68 at Taylorville High School as a part time Physical Education Teacher. She shared her teaching duties that first year with fellow hall of fame inductee, Jackie Barnes. Barnes taught in the mornings and Wilcox in the afternoons. There were no girls' interscholastic sports in the last sixties, so Wilcox and Barnes worked together sponsoring the GAA program at the high school, a position Wilcox continued until her retirement in 1993.

    In 1974 Wilcox and Barnes started a girls' tennis team and a girls' track team through the GAA program in hopeful preparation for developing interscholastic teams. They fielded their first Tornadoes Track teams in 1976. Seventeen years later Joyce Wilcox would coach her last track team. She coached her first state qualifier in 1980, as freshman Kim Paisley competed in her first of two appearances as a high jumper. She then coached Chris Aldridge in 1982 and Stephanie Ryan in 1989 to state track meet appearances in the 200 meters and the long jump respectively.

    While track was her favorite sport to coach, Wilcox also began coaching the girls' tennis team in 1979 when the IHSA moved both tennis and volleyball into the fall. For twelve years she guided the tennis team. She developed the first Tornado tennis players to represent Taylorville at the State Tennis meet. Katherine Wright in singles and Kathy DeValle and Kelly Smith, in doubles, were the first girls to earn their way into the state tournament in 1980. In 1987, Amy Strawn and Jane Goeckner competed in the state meet and they we followed two years later by Tina White and Jennifer Coady. Mrs. Wilcox also served on the IHSA Tennis Advisory Board for four years.

    With tennis taking here time in the fall and track her time in the spring, Mrs. Wilcox chose to coach the bowling team in the winter. Again her coaching of the bowling team began with the GAA program and Mrs. Wilcox guided the girls into interscholastic competition in 1978. The Tornadoes still field one of the only girls' bowling teams not located in metropolitan area.When not coaching, Mrs. Wilcox served as an official for both volleyball and track Mrs. Joyce Wilcox, with her teaching and coaching partner Jackie Barnes were not only pioneers in the development of girls' interscholastic athletics at Taylorville High School, they were the only coaches, sharing in the introduction of hundred's of girls to competitive track and field, bowling, tennis, volleyball and basketball as well as a variety of other activities through the GAA program. For twenty-five years, Joyce Wilcox dedicated her time and her talent to the female athletes of Taylorville High School.