TriCounty Lorene Ramsey wins her second consecutive Coach of the Year award and third overall, her Illinois Central College women's basketball team repeating as National Junior College Division II national champions.
One of the nation's most respected coaches, Ramsey has coached the ICC basketball and softball Cougars to over 500 wins in each sport, her basketball teams appearing in 14 national tournaments and winning 30 or more games in eight of the last 12 seasons.
A member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame after ending a brilliant pitching career with the Pekin Lettes, Ramsey has also led ICC to a National softball crown and two runner-up finishes. A recipient of many honors in her long coaching and playing career, she was also selected National Junior College Division II Basketball Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993.
Lorene Ramsey wins her second consecutive Coach of the Year award and third overall, her Illinois Central College women's basketball team repeating as National Junior College Division II national champions.
As a man devoted to sports, Mick Donahue contributed an essential (and sometimes underappreciated) service to organized sports in Peoria for decades. His passion for athletics began as a youth as a participant in the Salvation Army Junior League Tournament and Proctor Center Basketball League. At Peoria Manual High School in the early 50’s, he played on the baseball team. After graduating from Manual, he was a player/manager on the LeTourneau-Westinghouse team in the old Industrial League, which was one of the nation’s top amateur sports organizations at the time.
Mick spent much of his life coaching, organizing and officiating youth sports in the area, especially baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball. He volunteered as a coach from 1957-72 for the St. Boniface Mustangs. Additionally he coached numerous Little League and Pony League teams.
Over the next several decades, he volunteered thousands of hours organizing and administering officials for various league play in the community. Beginning in 1972, he supervised adult softball and basketball leagues for the Peoria Park District. He also scheduled officials/umpires for the area’s catholic grade schools as well as many basketball, baseball, and softball games for the Peoria Public Schools. In his over 30 years with the Peoria Park District, Mick trained, assigned, and supervised officials for adult softball games for leagues at Peoria Stadium and Sterling school. He organized a force of volunteer basketball officials for the Prairie State Games.
Even after his passing in 2011, his legacy in sports continued to have a positive impact for a charitable cause. As a tribute and acknowledgement of his decades of dedication to local softball leagues, a Mick Donahue Memorial Tournament was held in August of 2013, on the park district diamonds near Peoria Stadium. Many teams participated and many others, including umpires, volunteered their services. Proceeds from the successful event were donated to the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation, a disease being fought by his granddaughter. Concurrent with the tournament, a park bench was dedicated near the large diamond near Peoria Stadium. The small plaque affixed to the bench, reads, “In Memory of Mick Donahue for his dedication to softball and the Peoria Park District.”