After 25 years at Genesee Community College, Peg Sisson has decided to retire. Sisson, who began her career at GCC in 1987 as an adjunct professor and assistant women’s basketball coach, spent the last five years serving as the Athletic Director.
“It was a lot of hard work. There was a lot of heavy lifting, but the last five years were very satisfying,” Sisson said. “Athletics is in great shape now and it’s time for someone else to take it forward.”
Named Athletic Director in 2007, Sisson restored the program with a dedication to ethical behavior, a point that was very important to her.
“We had a lot of change, a lot of turnover and turnaround, but we’re in good shape now. We have a lot of good coaches and personnel in the right positions to attract future athletes and coaches to continue the success of the program,” said Sisson. “It was a challenge, the last five years, but the accomplishments of the program were the best payoff.”
In her time as Athletic Director, Sisson saw the program tally 18 conference championships, ten regional titles, three district championships and 27 NJCAA National Tournament appearances. There were also 20 student-athletes honored as NJCAA All-Americans during her tenure.
“A lot of good things have happened in the last few years. The program is like a gold mine and it’s ready to erupt. The person coming in as the next Athletic Director can be very successful because the cupboard is full,” Sisson said.
A 2010 inductee into the Genesee Athletic Hall of Fame, Sisson will also retire as the most successful women’s basketball coach in school history. Head coach from 1988 until 2004; Sisson compiled a record of 297 wins to 66 losses. She was Region III Coach of the Year six times and District C National Coach of the Year five times. She led the Lady Cougars to six NJCAA National Tournament appearances, coached five All-Americans, 90 All-Region players, 101 All-Conference players and nine Players of the Year.
Recently, Sisson was honored by the Western New York Athletic Conference as the 2012 recipient of the Distinguished Person Award. The award is given to an individual who has outstanding accomplishments or made significant contributions to a sport or athletics at the WNYAC level.
Although she won’t officially end her career until just before the start of the fall semester in August, Sisson will take time off before then and has already started to look ahead at life after work.
“I plan on relaxing. I will spend time at my house on the lake and travel a bit to visit family and go to sporting events. I have nieces and nephews that are athletes and growing up and I plan on watching them.”
While she plans to take some time off, Sisson hinted at a possible return to educating.
“I would like to take culinary classes. I have a real interest in that and I would like to develop a children’s cooking program to teach kids how to make healthy choices while cooking,” Sisson said.
The beginning of the fall sports season will mark the first time in 25 years that Sisson isn’t involved in Genesee athletics.
“I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss watching the athletes and watching them compete. I take pride in knowing every athlete that competed for Genesee on an interpersonal level and I’m going to miss that,” said Sisson.
Asked what advice she has for her replacement, Sisson said, “Enjoy every day and each season. Don’t get too high with the highs and don’t get too low with the lows. Every day is a new challenge and you don’t know what you’ll face, so enjoy each day. I loved every moment during the last five years.”