Athletics have been a significant part of Nancy Beatty’s life since she was a young girl, but the Providence Day athletics director has been shaped by something greater than sports.
Beatty grew up on a farm in a small country town in Ohio. She is the youngest of the late Laurence and Charlotte Beatty’s four children. Her father, who was known by most as L.L., farmed 1,000 acres. She grew up with cows, sheep, pigs, goats and ponies.
Beatty’s dad was a hard-working man. He never took a vacation. He never used an alarm clock and would wake up the same time every morning before daylight, cook breakfast and get after the many tasks at hand no matter how late he was up the night before.
Her father worked from morning to night. Beatty would help him as much as he let her when it came to unloading hay, feeding animals and occasionally running the tractor.
Beatty was the only one of the children in her family who has been in athletics for an entire career.
She played softball, basketball and volleyball. Beatty put together a makeshift rim hoop to shoot baskets on. It included a ring from a barrel nailed to the side of the barn. Beatty said she was there by herself and had to find something to do.
Beatty played college basketball and softball and club volleyball at Kent State University, where earned a degree in science. She became a biology and earth science teacher.
She coached at St. Vincent-St. Mary School in Akron, Ohio, where basketball star LeBron James started to get national attention. Beatty, who was there from 1991 to 1998, arrived at the school fresh out of college, working as a science teacher, basketball coach, volleyball coach and assistant athletics director.
Beatty led St. Vincent-St. Mary School’s girls’ basketball team in 1995. She lost her mother in 1996 and her father in 1997.
She left St. Vincent-St. Mary School to try her hand at the collegiate coaching ranks at the University of Akron as an assistant coach with its women’s basketball program. However, Beatty had enough after four years, and decided to take her talents south.
She went to Pinewood Prep in Summerville, S.C. She took the school’s head-coaching for girls’ basketball and guided the Panthers to four state championships on the hardwood.
Beatty, who was head of the P.E. department, also coached softball during part of her 11-year tenure with the school and served as athletics director her final three years in the Palmetto State before taking the same role minus the coaching responsibilities at Providence Day four years ago.
She stepped in as an assistant coach for the Chargers’ middle school softball team out of necessity this spring.
There were many enticing components that drew Beatty to Providence Day, including the location and school environment.
“My goal was always to help students grow,” Beatty said. “If that’s being able to plant the seed now when they’re in high school and it can grow now or if it grows later, that’s still a win situation. My experiences with student-athletes, I feel like I can mentor other coaches to be a better coach or a better person or have a different insight to motivating students.”