Gary Blair’s impact felt on and off the court
Gary Blair court will be unveiled tonight against South Carolina
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Gary Blair will retire after this season, his 50th as a coach, and leave a mark on women’s basketball the size of Texas.
Blair will coach the Texas A&M women’s team for the final time at home on Thursday night, where the university will put his name on the court, an honor that will last forever.
“It’s a great honor, a lasting honor,” said Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Coach, Gary Blair. “I am humbled, very much. Now can I live my life going forward for my family and this university for that court to always be honored.”
Blair’s legacy in Aggieland surpasses the near 450 wins, the 15 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and even goes beyond the national title in 2011.
Blair built a family. That family includes former players, Aqua Franklin and Danielle Grant.
“When you look at A&M’s women’s basketball, you think of Gary Blair,” said Franklin, Lamar University Head Coach and former A&M point guard.
“Everybody loves Coach Blair. He was so welcoming to everyone who actually attended,” said former player, Gant. “He did everything he needed to do to build the fan base since I was there and I know since before me.”
The mark that the 76-year-old has made on players, coaches and the community of Bryan-College Station over the last two decades will live on forever on and off the court. From throwing candy into the stands before every game to leaving a lasting impact on every player he has coached, Gary Blair will always be an integral figure in women’s basketball.
“He did everything right, the way he recruited, the way he treated us as student-athletes, the way he treated his assistants, the way he treated his staff,” said Franklin. “He has always done it the right way.”
Until the last whistle Gary Blair will do it the right way.
“Whatever the emotions are when the ball is tossed up, I’ll be Gary Blair. Coaching ‘til the last whistle or the last call that is made,” said Blair.
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