Former IU Southeast volleyball coach Lesley Drury-Prather died in a car accident outside of St. Louis on Friday morning.
The 40-year-old Drury-Prather, her 12-year-old daughter, Rhyan, and two others — Carrie McCaw, 44, and Kacey McCaw, 12 — were killed in a crash on their way to a youth volleyball tournament in Kansas City. Rhyan Prather and Kacey McCaw were members of a KIVA (Kentucky Indiana Volleyball Academy) team.
"All of us in the IU Southeast athletic department are heartbroken by this horrific and senseless tragedy," IU Southeast athletic director Joe Glover said in a press release. "Lesley was a passionate coach, wonderful leader and an amazing mother. She inspired so many student-athletes during her time at IU Southeast. Our thoughts and prayers are with Justin, their children, family, friends and former Grenadier volleyball student-athletes."
"Lesley was a fierce competitor and a joy to be around. She’s one of the people who encouraged me to apply for the job at IUS," current IUS coach Eric Brian tweeted Friday. "I am only one of the many lives she changed for the better. Today is a sad day. Please keep her friends and family in your prayers."
Drury-Prather was the seventh IUS coach in program history. From 2009-12 she guided the Grenadiers to four straight winning seasons and an 81-63 record. IUS made four consecutive trips to the conference tournament semifinals under Drury-Prather and had seven all-conference selections.
A native of Louisville, Drury-Prather attended Pleasure Ridge Park High School, where she lettered in three sports. She went on to play college volleyball at the University of Louisville.
"We are heartbroken for those lost in the tragic auto accident [Friday] traveling to a volleyball tournament. It directly impacted our volleyball community in many ways to include Sarah Petkovic, our Director of Operations for Volleyball. She lost her sister and former Cardinal Lesley Prather, and niece, Rhyan, in the accident. Prayers to the Prather and McCaw families, their extended families, the KIVA Volleyball family, the Louisville Fire Department as well as the Louisville Athletics family. They will be missed but remembered," UofL athletic director Vince Tyra said in a press release.
After resigning from IUS in 2012, Prather joined the Louisville Fire Department.
"My heart is breaking at the loss of four Louisvillians, including a Louisville firefighter, killed in a tragic accident today in Missouri," Louisville mayor Greg Fischer said in a tweet Friday. "I ask that you join me in keeping their families, friends and co-workers in your hearts and prayers."