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.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tribute to Betty Jaynes Part 4: More Madison College Memories

By Mel Greenberg

The tributes keep coming in for the late Betty Jaynes, the former head of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, who passed away a week ago Monday after a brief illness.

Here’s a former trainer who was with Betty’s at James Madison back in the day, along with more tributes from such notables as Judie Holland, the retired UCLA senior women’s administrator, who was the second chair of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament committee, as well as Yale coach Chris Gobrecht, who spoke to your Guru when the Bulldogs were in town this weekend, and also a note from Cathy Andruzzi, who played at Queens College in New York and went on to coach at East Carolina and Fordham, become a TV analyst, and also was the head of the Philadelphia local committee the year the city hosted the Women’s Final Four in 2000.

Sherry Summers, former trainer for team coached by Betty Jaynes :

Basketball in the 70's at then Madison College with Coach Betty Jaynes: Working as her student athletic trainer & eventually as an assistant athletic trainer: playing an opponent who wore tunics rather than basketball uniforms, traveling by university vans & having to drive one of the vans myself, rather than motor coaches or plane, playing both JV & Varsity games, staying in dorm-rooms at the opponent's school, eating in their dining room, & then having orange slices or cookies & punch after the game with your opponent.

The most exciting time was when we hosted the AIAW National Tournament at Madison College in 1976, & watching Marianne Stanley play, & the nuns of Immaculata bringing their metal garbage can lids to bang on to a sold-out crowd.

On one of our road trips, we went down to Atlanta & the team stayed in a guest house (a converted stud barn) on the farm of one of Betty Jaynes' friends, but she had the house stocked with goodies & food galore for the team, but then it snowed & one of the vans broke down on the interstate & the team had to walk to the next exit to a gas station since we had no way to contact Coach Jaynes who was riding with her sister, Peggy, & their friend.

Before conferences or scholarships, the women played State Championships. This one particular year, the tournament was being held at ODU. One of the games had to be stopped because the sun was shining through some windows in their old fieldhouse right at the rim on one end of the court & the players couldn't see the basket, so they had to wait for the sun to set a bit before resuming the game.

Coach Jaynes was a very energetic, up-beat coach who was fun to be around & to work for.

She really cared about her players & tried to provide them with great opportunities to play against some great programs such as Kentucky, EKU, Air Force Academy, Colorado, and Illinois to name a few.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to be with Betty to celebrate her induction into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, since I could not make it to her induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

I am very proud of Betty's accomplishments with the WBCA & women's basketball in general. I feel like I have witnessed an amazing growth in women's basketball first-handed since I continued to work with the Women's Basketball program at James Madison University for approximately 35 years: meeting some of the best coaches in the nation & watching some of the best players as well, but then to see these women go into coaching at various levels or occupations that support women's basketball such as commentating, or playing professionally.

Betty was a very special person in my life, & I am honored to be able to call her a mentor & friend.

Cathy Andruzzi:

My memories of Betty go back to when she was the coach at JMU and I was at ECU!

Those were the AIAW days! Great days! Great camaraderie. Betty smile and southern hospitality would light up the room then as she did throughout her life!

She will be missed!

Judie Holland, former NCAA WBB Committee Chair and SWA at UCLA:

I have very fond memories of Betty Jaynes. As Chair of the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee I had many opportunities to interact with Betty. She always had a great sense of humor and was absolutely fun to work with.

Through her efforts the WBCA grew to be a tremendous influence in the basketball world. In the last few years I worked with Betty on the awards nominations for The Collegiate Women's Sports Awards.

As always she was gracious, funny and a joy to talk with. Betty will be greatly missed but her legacy will continue through her contributions to collegiate women's basketball.

Yale coach Chris Gobrecht:

Betty had a gift. She made everybody feel special. That’s what made her such a good coach and you wanted to do what Betty asked you to do. Because she had such an endearing way about her – she was just so passionate about the game and that you felt that you owed it only to women’s basketball you owed it to Betty Jaynes.

I was a very young coach when I first met her and she was so way ahead of the rest of us – the game owes her a great deal. She had a vision when the rest of us were just having fun. She saw bigger things.

More to come.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Post a Comment

<< Home