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.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guru Report: Marianne Stanley In Praise Of Former ODU Coach Wendy Larry

(Guru's note: A blog above this one covers WNBA Washington Mystics media day. On to the Liberty event in Newark, N.J., on Thursday and back to the Conn. Sun for the exhibition with China.)

By Mel Greenberg

WASHINGTON --
A day after longtime Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry stepped down, a tribute was paid to her here by WNBA Washington Mystics assistant coach Marianne Stanley,who preceded Larry at the Norfolk, Va., school, and who just returned from helping to coach overseas in Russia.

The remarks came during sessions with reporters during the annual media day at the Verizon Center.

Stanley did not want to comment on the actual move at ODU, saying she wanted to talk to Larry and having had been overseas was unfamiliar with the recent controversy when first-year athletic director Wood Selig refused to pursue a contract extension to Larry’s deal, which expires next season.

It was Stanley, a member of the Immaculata AIAW national champions from suburban Philadelphia in the early 1970s, who brought Larry, a former ODU player, into the fold on the staff when Stanley was coaching the Lady Monarchs in their heyday of three national titles – including 1985 in the NCAA.

“Wendy has demonstrated a tremendous love for Old Dominion University first and foremost for all the student athletes that have come through the university,” Stanley said. “She’s also shown her tremendous experience and capability as a coach. No one is more loyal to ODU than Wendy Larry.

“Of course, I join all her colleagues and friends in wishing her well in her next endeavor. It’s nice to know she will still be a careful steward of Old Dominion basketball in her new role in the university,” Stanley added.

“I don’t know if anyone else has the record than Wendy in terms of conference championships (17 straight CAA and several others in the Sun Belt) throughout her career. She’s demonstrated over and over again at being successful while making sure the student athletes still get a great experience.

“She was invaluable as an assistant when I was there and no one could have been a better steward of the program throughout the years that she was there. I wish her all the best.”

Larry succeeded Stanley in 1987 after Stanley returned home to Philadelphia and begin a brief stint coaching Penn before moving to coach Southern Cal, where she recruited future WNBA great Lisa Leslie.

-- Mel

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