Ancilla says goodbye to a big part of athletics team
PLYMOUTH — When Dave Liverance leaves Ancilla College later this month, his legacy will be one that he can be proud of.
“I really have to say that it’s the relationships I’ve been able to develop with my players, other coaches and the people here at the college that I’m most proud of,” said Liverance of his time at Ancilla. “It means a lot more than any other accomplishments that I could have had that I’ve been able to help these young people be successful in their life.”
Liverance came to Ancilla 11 years ago as Women’s Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletics Director at a time when the program – indeed athletics as a whole – was in its infancy at the college. He leaves it – over 100 wins later - on solid footing as one of the up and coming programs in one of the nation’s top junior college athletic conferences, the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.
His contributions to the creation of facilities for all sports at Ancilla has put the college in the enviable position of having the top outdoor facilities for softball, soccer and baseball in the MCCAA and likely some of the top junior college facilities in the entire Midwest.
“I remember my first day – I didn’t really quite know what to expect because of that clause in the job description that says ‘and other duties as assigned,’” he said with a laugh. “The first thing I had to do was get the softball diamond ready for a tryout that (Ancilla softball coach) Scott (Reese) was having that day. The grass was taller than I am. The infield was completely grown over. It was a long day but we had it ready.”
Liverance had coaching stints as an assistant boys coach at Argos, head boys coach at Fort Wayne Christian, and Athletics Director at Oregon-Davis before coming to Ancilla in 2000.
“It’s going to be incredibly difficult to replace somebody like Dave,” said Ancilla Athletics Director Gene Reese. “He had both coaching and adminstrative experience when he came here and right away it was very easy to go to Dave and say ‘Is this something we should be doing?’ He’s never been a clock watcher. He always spends more than 40 hours a week and there is no question that because of Dave, Ancilla has the best athletic complex in the MCCAA.”
“We’ve had a great relationship from the beginning – it’s a little like a marriage,” said Liverance of working with Reese. “You get to know what the other is thinking and you understand what needs to be done. I’m going to miss every aspect of this job and all the people I’ve been fortunate enough to work with around the Plymouth area.”
Liverance leaves to pursue business opportunities in his home town of Waterloo, Iowa. He’s also looking forward to pursuing some other relationships.
“I made it to two of my son’s (Jordan) basketball games this year,” he said. “I only get one chance with him, and you know he may decide he never wants to play basketball again, but that doesn’t matter. I still want to be there with him as he goes through the rest of his life, I want to spend time with my wife.
“That’s the one thing that people don’t really understand is the amount of time you spend on the road. We don’t go from Plymouth to Warsaw to play a game, we go from Plymouth to Detroit. The season is five or six months long and that doesn’t count all the time in the summer to recruit. It’s going to be nice to spend time with my family.”
It will also be nice to be “home” again.
“You know home is a lot different place than it was when I left,” said Liverance of his return to Iowa. “I’ve been here since I came to Warsaw to go to school (Grace College) in 1989. It will be nice to be back again though.”
Meanwhile Ancilla will begin the search to find a replacement for Liverance. The college is searching for an applicant that has a masters degree for teaching transfer level coursework in physical education, sports management, kinesiology, or computer science. Other fields of study will be considered. One year full time teaching or the equivalent part time teaching is required. Applicants can contact the Deans Office at Ancilla for a complete job description or check the website at www.ancilla.edu.