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  • Writer's picturePana Sports Foundation

Mary Stupek Cothern - 2022 Hall of Fame Inductee

Mary Stupek-Cothern

(Graduated from Pana High School -1974)


Mary was a senior in high school when girls athletics started at PHS. Mary is one of the early trailblazers for girls sports in Pana. She was an all-around athlete and would never shy away from any competition. In fact, the better the competition, the more intent in succeeding she became. She was the top female athlete in tennis and competed in the state tennis tournament playing doubles with Polly Sallee Hammond (a Pana graduate). Mary was undefeated in singles and doubles play. She also went to state in track & field and bowling. Mary helped lead the charge for the orange and blue as a varsity cheerleader her junior and senior year.


Mary was a singles badminton state champion at Eastern Illinois University as a sophomore and a senior. She was also a doubles state champion in badminton with Kay Metzger Groll (a Pana graduate).


Mary went on to coach basketball, track & field and volleyball at Pana posting a record of 289 – 71. (803 winning percentage) over her 10-year head coaching stint in volleyball. She remains very active in Pana’s volleyball program today as a volunteer volleyball coach. Mary was a fierce competitor. There was not a sport that Mary could not play and play it well.


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