Impacting Young Women

May 14, 2024

“There is nothing more exciting than coaching and seeing kids develop from no experience to winning championships,” says Lynn Greenlee, Garden Spot Village resident since September 2007.

A remarkable teacher and coach, Lynn was honored for her work to support and mentor girls and women in Coatesville. She was inducted into the Chester County Sports Hall of Fame as a Historic Member on Thursday, April 18, 2024.

Lynn was previously recognized by the Coatesville High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 for her work in requesting equal pay for women coaches under Title IX at Coatesville High School. She and other women coaches filed a lawsuit against the district, which resulted in fair pay.

A commitment to women’s athletics

In 1959, when Lynn graduated from Slippery Rock University with a degree in Physical Education, opportunities for women to compete in sports were few and far between.

She enjoyed sports and participated in intramural teams in high school and college. She also played on several club hockey teams in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Her favorite sport was softball.

Lynn’s first teaching job was in New Castle, Pennsylvania. She also taught at North Eastern Junior High in York, and at Oxford and Upper Merion. She found her fit when she arrived at Scott High School in Coatesville in 1964.

Soon she found herself coaching field hockey at Scott High, and then swimming and diving when she moved over to the new Coatesville Area Senior High. She soon began a synchronized swimming club, which put on several shows. She was also the first 9th grade softball coach.

With the help of Bill Renfrew, Lynn started the girl’s cross country team. A summer program called “Camp Huff N Puff” helped prepare her girls and develop a strong team that eventually claimed several Ches-Mont League Championships.

“We were blessed with athletic young women in Coatesville. They were thrilled to have the opportunity to compete against other athletes from other districts,” Lynn says.

Lynn also helped to establish a girls track and field team, with the help of assistant coach Jean Burns. It was a hard sport to begin, but male coaches from the strong boys’ team helped us learn the many areas of competition. Lynn and Jean’s teams continued to win, with multiple Ches-Mont League Track and Field Championships.

She served as a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association board member and established the first PIAA State Girls Cross Country competition.

Lynn spent a sabbatical year taking Bible classes at Lancaster Bible College. She served as the college’s women’s field hockey coach during her year at there. The classes equipped her for further ministry after retirement.

Impacts off the field

Lynn made an impact in the lives of young women off the playing field as well. She co-sponsored a Bible Club which included yearly swim-gyms for high school students in the 9th through 12th grades, with special music and speakers.

She served with the Presbyterian Church’s Evangelism Visitation on Thursday evenings for 15 years. She also sang with the Bible Choraleers who accompanied the Bible Evangelism Crusades for 10 years.

After 30 years of teaching, which included 28 years of coaching, Lynn retired in 1990. She became a missionary with Bible Centered Ministries and REST Ministries, serving abused, addicted and hurting women and visiting women in the Chester County Prison. She also hosted Bible studies in the underprivileged Coatesville Project.

For eight years, she served in Church of the Open Door in York with H.O.P.E. Ministries (Help Overcoming Painful Experiences), giving help and hope to hurting women.

Finding her strength

Lynn credits her faith for her success saying, “The Lord helped me at every turn. I enjoyed working with all my hard-working athletes and it was heartwarming to watch their efforts and improvements through the years.”

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