Distinguished Alumni 2008

Joseph L. Eason

Joe Easton graduated from Winthrop University with a B.S. in physical education with a concentration in teacher certification in 1985. While at Winthrop he was active in Sigma Gamma Nu and served as a student senator during his junior year.

Although he never used his teacher certification, he has provided leadership through his work in public and private recreation. He began his career in 1986 as youth sport director at the Rock Hill YMCA moving to fitness Director in 1988. He remained with the YMCA in Rock Hill until 1990, when he joined the City of Rock Hill Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department. From 1990 until 1995, he served as athletics supervisor and in 1995 moved to park supervisor for Cherry Park. In this role he directed athletic programs at the Park and supervised operations and marketed the facility on the state, regional, and national levels. In 1998 he moved to Florence County Parks and Recreation as director.

Joe Eason is known not only for his leadership in public recreation, but for his civic involvement. He has served as a S.C. Rural Recreation Mentor, completed a term as President of the S.C. Parks and Recreation Association (2002), and served as a board member for Florence County Disabilities Foundation and S.C. Parks and Recreation Association. He is active in the Young Life of Florence Association, South Carolina Football Officials' Association, and coaches youth softball.

The South Carolina Special Olympics honored Mr. Eason in 1994 as the Outstanding Volunteer Coach. In 2003, he developed and implemented South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association Leadership Enhancement and Development Institute. The program has mentored in excess of 30 graduates, who will serve as future leaders in the Association. In 2006, Joe Eason was named S.C. Recreation and Parks Association Professional of the Year in recognition of his years of service and leadership to the profession.

On a personal note, Joe is married to Annette and has three daughters. Morgan is 15 and Hannah and Emma are 10. I am sure we are saving a place for all three girls at Winthrop!