ATLANTA - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has named Marsha Sharp as the winner of the 2010 Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing Sharp's lifelong commitment of service to the game of women's basketball.
"On behalf of the WBCA and its members, I am happy to present the Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award to Marsha Sharp," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "It is always a pleasure to present this award because of what it represents. Marsha Sharp is yet another example of someone who has dedicated her life to the service of the game of women's basketball."
In 2009, Sharp was announced as the first executive director of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. As a coach, Sharp spent 24 years at the helm of the Texas Tech women's basketball program, creating a dynasty throughout West Texas and the entire country. She led her teams to remarkable success during her time with the Lady Raiders, including the 1993 National Championship. Sharp has been recognized for her accomplishments by being inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1999, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
She was named the RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year in 1994 and SWC/Big 12 Coach of the Year seven times. She served on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Board of Directors and was its president from 2001-03.
She has served on the Women's Protective Services board and co-sponsored the Alzheimer's Association Memory Gala. She also has served as president of the YWCA Board of Directors, has served on the Carillon Senior LifeCare Community Board of Directors, and the LISD School for Young Women Leaders Advisory Council. She has also been a TV color analyst for the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA and director of a groundbreaking camp called Hoops and Leaders for elementary age boys and girls. Sharp also founded the United Future Leaders Program through Texas Tech University which promotes civility, ethics, leadership, and service qualities among West Texas youth.
"It is a great honor to recognize Sharp with the Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award. We are thankful for her support and contributions to women's athletics and know that her story will continue to be an inspiration to all of us for years to come," said McKenzie Kelly, Jostens Championship Marketing Specialist.
Sharp will be formally recognized at the WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens at Noon CT on Tuesday, April 6, at the Marriott River Center Grand Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four® in San Antonio, Texas.
The award, sponsored by Jostens, is named in honor of the late Senda Berenson, who in her role as a physical education instructor at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., introduced "basketball" to her female gym students in 1892. This introduction marked the birth of the women's game, which occurred the year following basketball's invention by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Mass.
Sharp joins a distinguished group of recipients which includes: the late Kay Yow, N.C. State University (2009); Cherri Mankenberg (2008); Brenda Byrd (2007); the late Sue Gunter, Louisiana State University (2006); Charles Heatly, Lindsay High School (2005); Louise O'Neal, Wellesley College (2004); Dr. Charlotte West, Southern Illinois University (2003); Dr. Jill Hutchison, Illinois State University (2002); Bob Spencer, Fresno State (2001); the late Dr. Brenda Reilly, Central Connecticut State University (2000); Betty Wiseman, Belmont University (1999); Dr. Rose Marie Battaglia (1998); Lea Plarski, Saint Louis Community College (1997); Carole Baumgarten (1996); Billie Moore, California State - Fullerton (1995); Marcy Weston, Central Michigan University (1994); Patsy Neal (1993); Harley Redin, Wayland Baptist University (1992); Alberta Lee Cox (1991); Bertha Frank Teague (1990); Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee (1989); Hunter Low, Eastman Kodak Company (1988); Cathy Rush, Immaculata College (1987); Mildred Barnes, Central Missouri State University (1986); the late Carol Eckman, Lock Haven University (1985); and the late Margaret Wade, Delta State University (1984).
Minneapolis-based Jostens is a provider of products, programs and services that help people tell their stories, celebrate important traditions and recognize achievements. The Company's products include school yearbooks and other memory book products, scholastic products such as class rings and graduation products, and products for athletic champions and their fans. Jostens is a subsidiary of Visant Corporation, a marketing and publishing services enterprise servicing the school affinity, direct marketing, fragrance and cosmetics sampling and educational and trade publishing segments.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For additional information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.