Patience, Persistence, Perseverance Paid Off For Heisey
Heisey is the newest member of the Trevecca Nazarene Hall of Fame.
Heisey is the newest member of the Trevecca Nazarene Hall of Fame.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

SEATTLE – They were short on some things during that inaugural season – including wins.
But when Julie Heisey restarted the Trevecca Nazarene women's basketball program 18 years ago, she and her Lady Trojans were very long on patience, persistence, and perseverance.
On Saturday night, Heisey will be recognized for her share of that patience, persistence, and perseverance – and for the eventual sustained success spawned by those intangible qualities – when she is inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.
Heisey will be joined by two other inductees, after which she'll be one of the 63 members in the school's shrine.
"To have kids who took a chance on me and took a chance on a new program and believed and built something … they came and wanted to do something great," said Heisey, who now is starting her 10th season as Seattle Pacific's head coach. "That was a really special time."
Of the 357 wins on Heisey's resume', nearly half of those came during her nine seasons at Trevecca, where she built a 162-119 record.
Only four of those victories came during the inaugural 1996-97 season, along with 24 defeats. But by the end of the following year, the Lady Trojans finished above .500 at 15-14. Two seasons after that, they were 24-9 and playing at a national-caliber level.
"We lost four games in eight days by 138 points," Heisey, known then as Julie van Beek, recalled of some of those first-year struggles. "By the fourth year, we went to the national tournament and beat a very good Oklahoma Baptist team to get to the Sweet 16."
That Sweet 16 finish to cap the 1999-2000 campaign became the launch point to continued success in Nashville. From that season and through the five that followed it, the Trojans went 130-62, advancing to the NAIA tournament each year. That included a 64-21 conference mark.
In 2004-05, her final season at Trevecca before leaving to accept the Seattle Pacific job, Heisey's team reached the NAIA Elite Eight. Among the teams the Trojans beat in the tournament to reach that point was defending champion Southern Nazarene, 80-64.

Her legacy in Nashville includes five NAIA All-American players, all of whom already are in the school's Hall of Fame, seven national scholar-athletes, and 19 selections (spread among a dozen players) to the TransSouth All-Conference team.
"I know I'm going to have about 20 of my players there, and my assistant coaches. It'll be fun that they get to come out with me" she said. "It's not my honor. It's a team honor and a program honor, so it will be really great."
What began for Heisey in the Mid-South has continued in the Pacific Northwest. She is on the brink of logging her 200th victory with the Falcons, as she'll bring a 195-64 SPU record into next week's official season and home opener againsst Fresno Pacific in the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic.

"Just like here, you're only successful when you have great people around you," she said.