Brian Calloway, Lasning State Journal
When Pasca Myers started her college running career at Rend Lake College, Denny Myers became one of the most instrumental people in her life.
He made a huge impact in her development as a standout distance runner.
And he was also critical in her succeeding outside of running -- pushing her academically and helping her to complete her junior college degree in 1 1/2 years.
"He believed in me," Pasca Myers said. "He always believed in his athletes and pushed them to do their best."
That approach was the key factor in Denny Myers' decorated career of developing cross country and track and field athletes and also guiding programs to championships. And the late Myers will be recognized for those accomplishments when he is inducted into the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday.
"It is an honor for him to be inducted," said Pasca Myers, who was married to Denny for just over five years. "He would be really happy about that. It means a lot for the family, and I wish he would be there himself to see and celebrate it with his family."
Denny Myers, a Grand Ledge graduate, was a key figure in the development of the road racing circuit in the Lansing region. He also was an elite coach at Lansing Community College where he guided the men's and women's cross country programs to a combined 10 National Junior College Athletic Association national championships from 1979 to 2000.
That success, and the mentoring of runners, continued for Myers as he also excelled in coaching stops at New York Plattsburgh, Vincennes University, Rend Lake and Iowa Central Community College.
Pasca Myers said Denny had a great passion for coaching and "loved his job like nothing else." He also was very passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of his athletes.
"He took care of (his athletes) like his own kids," Pasca said. "He made sure they were eating well. If they had problems or injuries, he was supportive and he would talk to them one by one. If anyone was in trouble or got into any means of trouble, he would sit down with each athlete and communicate and put them in the right directions.
"He's the reason I am where I am right now. He was a great coach with guiding me to my future and being supportive of me when I was an athlete."