Joy Scruggs became the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Emory & Henry in 1981 and over the next 28 seasons, led the program to a total of 384 wins, 19 winning seasons and an ODAC Championship in 1988. Scruggs led the Wasps to 22 ODAC Tournament wins, and five appearances in the ODAC finals. For her success, she was selected as ODAC Coach of the Year three times–in 1984, 2002 and 2003.
Nine of her players have been inducted into the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame, fifteen were named All-ODAC First Team and three were seleced as ODAC Players of the Year.
Scruggs is also known for her own collegiate playing career at the University of Tennessee. A 5’3″ guard, she played for the Lady Vols in the first year that the legendary Pat Summit coached the team. Upon her graduation from UT, she coached and taught at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga before joining the E&H coaching staff in 1981. She helped transition the E&H women’s program to Division III and to the ODAC in 1982, only one year after NCAA began sponsoring women’s athletics.
Since retiring from coaching in 2014, Scruggs continues to teach as a respected faculty member in the Health and Human Performance department and is widely known for her service in the community, particularly in her work with Abingdon Rotary Club and in her church. Rotary International honored her as a Paul Harris Fellow for her commitment to the organization and to serving the community. She won the 2016 Exemplary Teaching Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. The women’s basketball program has established the Joy Scruggs Leadership Award, which is awarded annually to the player who best embodies servant leadership. Scruggs was the recipient of the Fanelli Award from the Department of Athletics in 2014 and she received the Hope Award from E&H in 2007. She was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Joy is married to Dennis Sutherland.