Sheahan steps down at Mount Women's basketball coach is slowed by diabetes

September 11, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

For 17 years, Bill Sheahan seemed unstoppable while recording a 372-104 mark as coach of Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team.

But a 15-year battle with insulin-dependant diabetes eventually slowed him down, forcing him to retire yesterday.

Sheahan, 60, who announced his decision at an afternoon newsconference, coached the Mount to 20 wins in 13 of his seasons there. His best season was a 25-4 campaign in 1993-94 that resulted in a NCAA tournament appearance.

But Sheahan said that road trips made it difficult to eat healthy food on a regular schedule, an important factor for people with diabetes. Also complicating factors were back problems that ailed his wife, Pat.

He said his doctors told him to quit coaching three years ago and only did so after recent discussions with his family.

"I've spent my entire adult life coaching basketball and it's obviously a very difficult decision to make," Sheahan said. "I came to the conclusion that it's time to make decisions with my head instead of my heart."

Sheahan, who said he made the decision in his head several months ago, said that school president Dr. Harold P. Menninger had wanted him to stay on through the upcoming season, but "the worst thing that could happen is if I get sick and have to step down, then the team is in disarray."

Sheahan, who came to the Mount after a successful career in insurance and coaching high school basketball at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, will continue working for the college in a fund-raising and community-relations function. He will also continue to run the Mason-Dixon Basketball Camp for Girls held at the college.

Menninger, who described the occasion as "a sad happy day," announced former Mount player and assistant Vanessa Blair as the new head coach.

Morgan volleyball ends hex

Befuddled by Towson's unorthodox offense, the Morgan State women's volleyball team seemed doomed once again Wednesday night until the Bears gathered strength and emerged with their first triumph over Towson in more than two decades.

Dorothy Buford led Morgan State (2-3) with 15 kills. The 15-13, 10-15, 5-15, 15-10, 15-9 victory was the first in 23 meetings with Towson since 1976. Coach Ramona Riley-Bozier's 11-year tenure includes an NCAA tournament appearance.

Hopkins soccer rolling

After losing forward Eric West and midfielder Peter Quinn, Johns Hopkins men's soccer coach Matt Smith didn't know how he would follow up a 1997 in which his veteran-dominated team won 21 straight games.

So far, he's kept pace by relying on talented freshmen. The Blue Jays, ranked No. 17 in the latest Division III poll, won the Nike/TSI Men's Soccer Classic last weekend at the Homewood campus, and are 3-0 as they head into this weekend's JHU Alumni Tournament.

Leading the newcomers is midfielder Aerik Williams, from Columbus, Ohio. Though Atholton-product and junior Teddy +V Zingman is the team's leading scorer with three goals in three games, Williams was named the tournament's offensive MVP after scoring two goals in games against Denison and SUNY-New Paltz.

Midfielders Ryan Kitzen, Nick Frazier and Joey Bonomolo and defender Matt Doran are also freshmen who are filling in gaps thought to exist after last season.

Yanero earns NCAA honor

The College of Notre Dame's Emily Yanero, Atlantic Women's Colleges Conference's most outstanding player in 1997, was named the NCAA's Woman of the Year for Maryland last week.

This is the second time that the Homeland school has supplied the Maryland nominee for the national award, to be announced next month. Last year, lacrosse and field hockey player Rachel Barnes was nominated.

Pub Date: 9/11/98

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