Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

ESPN Promotes Carol Stiff

By Mel Greenberg

The ESPN release announcing the promotion of Carol Stiff has undoubtedly read elsewhere by now -- the Guru had been a little tied up on some matters but would like to post it here in that he has ties to her all the way back to the days of her arrival at the sports network.

Over the years she and several others at ESPN have been helpful to the Guru and Wendy Parker in hosting the annual women's division breakfast of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) at the NCAA Women's Final Four.

Here's the release:

ESPN’s Carol Stiff Promoted to Vice President, Programming
Carol Stiff has been promoted from senior director to vice president, programming & acquisitions, in ESPN’s programming department. Stiff joined ESPN in 1990.

Stiff’s responsibilities include the programming acquisition and scheduling for a variety of sports on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, including women’s NCAA basketball, NCAA championships (the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, Frozen Four, College World Series and Women’s College World Series), WNBA, professional softball and more.

“Carol is a passionate and creative champion for women’s sports in general and women’s basketball in particular,” said Burke Magnus, senior vice president, college sports programming, ESPN. “We are fortunate to have her leading ESPN’s efforts in these areas.”

As a member of ESPN’s employee committee in support of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, Stiff has been a passionate leader on behalf of ESPN’s efforts to benefit The Foundation. She was instrumental in the development of Jimmy V Week and in raising awareness for the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund in partnership with The V Foundation.

Stiff has been a vital contributor to The Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund via the programming initiative “February Frenzy” on ESPN networks, among other efforts. February Frenzy makes for two of the biggest days of basketball in the women’s college basketball season on ESPN while helping to raise money for and promote awareness of women’s cancer research.

Stiff began her career with ESPN as a program planner in 1990. She received a promotion in 1997 to program planner II, and, in 2000, to senior program planner. Before joining ESPN, she gained experience in the college coaching profession.

In 1988-89, Stiff was the first assistant women’s basketball coach and recruiter at Brown University after serving as head women’s basketball coach and physical education instructor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., from 1985-88.

Stiff began her coaching career at Western Connecticut State University, where she served as head field hockey coach and assistant women’s basketball coach (1983-85). She also worked as a part-time elementary school physical education teacher.

Stiff was inducted into the Connecticut Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2005; was named the Top Advocate for Women’s Basketball by the Tampa Tribune in 2008; and in 2009, Sports Business Journal recognized her as one of the most influential executives leading the way in women’s sports.

Stiff graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. While in school, she competed in both basketball and field hockey. In 1989, Stiff received her master’s degree in human performance/physical education from SCSU. She is a native of Bernardsville, N.J.

-- Mel

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