Dick Van Scyoc ended a 45-year high school basketball career on the highest note possible. His 45th and final year of coaching and his 28th at Peoria Manual brought him both his first state championship and left him as the winningest coach in Illinois prep circles with an 826-400 record.
During his long coaching career, Van Scyoc was 27-24 in two seasons at Armington, 256-120 in 15 seasons at Washington and 543-246 in 28 years at Manual.
A graduate of Eureka High School (where he pitched a no-hit game) and Illinois Wesleyan University, Van Scyoc took Manual teams into the final four at Champaign five times.
He was fourth in 1972 when his team finished 25-8, third in 1986 with a 31-2 record, third again in 1988 at 29-5, second in 1991 with a 31-3 mark, and then won it all last season when his Rams, playing perhaps the most difficult schedule in the school's history, finished 27-6.
In addition to his success in the state finals, his teams have won eight titles at the Pontiac Holiday tournament, one while he was at Washington and seven, including five in succession, while at Manual.
Van Scyoc, who left the bench at 70, retired from basketball to enter private business. "If I hadn't gotten into business for myself," he explained, "I'd have coached another year."
Van Scyoc is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and a member of the Order of Titans at Illinois Wesleyan. He was one of four finalists for the National Coach of the Year Award for 1994. He was named TriCounty Sports Figure of the year for 1991 by the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.