Most students breathe a sigh of relief when they finish their physical education requirements in high school and think they’ll never take another course again. But some find themselves needing a P.E. course as a degree requirement, or taking it as an elective, while others have an interest in pursuing careers in physical education themselves. Peggy Tuter has been guiding MCC students through what she hopes will be life changing courses for 26 years. A graduate of Blue Springs High School, Tuter holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical education from Central Missouri State University.
“Back then, as a woman, you could be a nurse, you could be a secretary, or you could teach. Women’s sports were not popular,” she said. She and her twin sister still played every sport they could in college, though the pair focused on softball and field hockey.
In 1985, Tuter became the volleyball coach at Longview, and, in 1987, she began teaching her first class, bowling, at Blue River. “I still have a soft spot for that class, since it was my first one,” Tuter said. She coached at Longview for 15 years before becoming the women’s varsity volleyball coach at Park University and, more recently, Wellington High School. However, she still teaches bowling at Blue River and has gone on to instruct a variety of other courses, including physical education, first aid, bodybuilding, golf, and tennis. She also serves as the Physical Education Department Coordinator at Blue River.
Tuter says that her primary job through the course of her career has been coaching, though she views teaching and coaching as being very similar.
“They’re a lot alike. You’ve got to teach kids how before you can coach them through,” she said. Tuter also enjoys the break in monotony and student diversity that teaching allows her from coaching. “In coaching, you take high school players or a college recruiting class through all four years. When you’re teaching college, the class changes every sixteen weeks. You wind up learning a lot about students and diversity when you get a lot of different types of students, not just athletes.”
Tuter has kept her passion for both coaching and teaching because of the long term influence she has over her students lives. “You try to teach them something – a life-long skill that maybe turns into a regular hobby, or maybe something else about fitness, get them into shape, help them eat better, be healthier.”
In her long career, Tuter has garnered much recognition for her accomplishments. Her professional memberships include the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the United States Volleyball Association (USA-VB). Several of her players have been named Academic All-Americans, and in 2004, she was awarded MCAC Coach of the Year by the other conference coaches. This is now her 25th season coaching volleyball, and she is closing in on 600 career wins. Tuter continues to impact her students and players for the better, and her experience and insight make her one of MCC’s greatest assests.