02-09-2007, 04:12 AM
just for the roys'


Raytown basketball coach Mark Scanlon is a laid-back guy about everything, and that drives his wife nuts.

Scanlon’s not much for remembering the little things, like locking up at night. Jane Scanlon can’t go to sleep until she checks the front door. She knows Mark typically forgets to do so.

“He’s very laid-back, which sometimes can be very aggravating when you’re married to someone like that,” said Jane, who also revealed that her notoriously late husband runs on ‘Scanlon Time.’ “He thinks why do people make such big deals about such trivial things.”

And Scanlon is wondering why people are making a deal out of his 300th career win at Raytown. Somewhere in that alternative universe where ‘Scanlon Time’ rules the day, the coach believes his achievement isn’t a big deal, but some well-intended Raytown folks disagree.

The high school will honor Scanlon before the Blue Jays’ early Saturday evening game against Park Hill South. Although Scanlon has more than 460 career wins, he’s won the majority at Raytown during his 19 years as boys basketball coach and all-round likable character.

“It’s Court Warming, that’s our most important part,” said Scanlon, downplaying the significance of his ceremony. “It’s not going to be a big deal I don’t think.”

Scanlon was told by a local newspaper reporter, after Raytown defeated Fort Osage on Jan. 5, that he had just posted his 300th win. That night, players happened to hear rumors about the significant victory from someone in the stands and Jane didn’t know until the next morning when she read the paper. That’s typical Scanlon.

“Eh, nobody pays attention to any of that, it doesn’t really mean anything,” Jane remembers Mark telling her about the achievement. “He’s not after any glory. It’s really all about the kids. He absolutely loves what he does.”

When Scanlon started his career, he toured small-town Missouri high schools. He was single then and coached year-round.

“I coached everything from boys and girls basketball and boys and girls track,” Scanlon said of his days at Bunceton and Bucklin, Mo. “I didn’t have anything else to do.”

After several stops, Mark and Jane married in August 1987 just before he began coaching at Raytown. The Blue Jays had struggled as the second team in town for many years before Scanlon’s arrival, and he needed a few tries before the team’s first 20-win season (1993) in decades.

In 1995, Raytown’s most exciting team — featuring Tyronn Lue, who currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks, Brandon Weis, Cortez Groves and Terry Nooner — advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals. Although the Jays lost that game, a double-overtime classic against Central, Scanlon still reflects on that moment and season with pride. Weis, now an assistant at Liberty, remembers how those years with Scanlon helped mold him into a coach.

“A lot of my coaching extends from my experiences I’ve had in my past, and coach Scanlon was one of the coaches who really gave me a lot of confidence,” Weis said. “I remember all the positive things he did for me when I was playing and those are the types of things I want to pass on to my players.”

Weis isn’t the only member of the Mark Scanlon fan club. The coach, who also leads Raytown’s varsity softball team, has a following like a teenybopper idol, which influenced one young fan to create a Facebook page in his honor. “Scanlon! Scanlon! Scanlon!” has nearly 150 members who leave outrageously loving messages. One even compares Scanlon to Jesus. Scanlon may be too laid-back to harp on his influence, but clearly, many others will.

“He cares about his kids, and they know it. Kids can see through insincerity, and he’s so sincere,” assistant Raytown coach Kenny Vance said. “It’s not about him. It’s always been about the kids. That’s why he’s been so successful. It’s more than just coaching, that’s the way he’s lived his life.”

02-09-2007, 05:38 AM
the Scanlon threads are getting old bud

02-09-2007, 07:19 AM
the Scanlon threads are getting old bud


02-09-2007, 08:47 AM