PRESCOTT VALLEY- Former Yavapai College Athletic Director Lynn Merritt was inducted into the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Hall of Fame in January of 2017 and was honored by the college during halftime of the soccer game, Saturday, September 30th.
“This is a real big honor because the ACCAC is a really strong conference and they have some outstanding people,” Merritt said. “To be in that group really means quite a bit.”
It was only fitting for Merritt to be honored during the soccer game as she hired Michael Pantalione, who was at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at the time, to build and coach a soccer program at the school in 1989.
“She’s a quality person, to say the least,” Pantalione said. “She took a chance on a young coach way back in the 80's and I’m forever grateful to work under her tutelage.”
The Roughriders soccer program has continued to blossom under the direction of Pantalione as the program has won seven national championships to go along with an outstanding record of 604-55-29.
“Its (the soccer program) has really produced a lot for Yavapai College but also the whole conference,” Merritt said. “It has brought the level of soccer up tremendously (in the conference and Arizona) so I give Mike a lot of credit for putting together good teams.”
Along with bringing the soccer program to Yavapai College, Merritt was the only woman athletic director for all sports at the college from 1983 until 1994 and the Roughriders won four national championships under her direction with baseball and women’s cross country each earning one and soccer winning two.
Merritt also served as the NJCAA Region Director for two years and retired in 1994, earning Emeritus Faculty status at Yavapai College in April of 2011.