Blair to be honored as SEC Legend at 2023 SEC Tournament
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Former Texas A&M women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair is set to be recognized as an SEC Legend at the 2023 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, the league announced Wednesday.
Blair, along with the rest of the legends, will be honored from March 1-5 in Greenville, South Carolina. Each legend will be recognized at halftime of their respective team’s first games.
Blair holds the 12th-most wins in Division I history, having won 852 games throughout his 37 years as a collegiate head coach. The Dallas native registered 35 winning seasons and 30 20-win seasons. He is one of three coaches to have taken two-or-more schools to the Final Four (Arkansas, Texas A&M). The SEC legend won 158 SEC games between his time at Arkansas and Texas A&M, the fourth most all-time. He also won the 2013 SEC Tournament Championship and 2020-21 SEC regular season title. Blair is also the namesake for the court at Reed Arena. He is one of only six women’s basketball coaches to have ever had a Division I court named in their honor (Pat Summitt – Tennessee, Kay Yow – NC State, Doug Bruno – DePaul, Joe Foley – Little Rock, C. Vivian Stringer – Rutgers). He won 444 games, five conference titles and guided the Aggies to 16 NCAA Tournaments in his 19 seasons leading the Maroon & White.
He took the Aggies to the pinnacle of the sport in 2011 when A&M defeated Notre Dame, 76-70. Blair is one of 16 coaches in women’s basketball history to have a national title on their resume. During the Aggies’ NCAA championship run, Blair defeated four Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees (C. Vivian Stringer, Kim Mulkey, Tara VanDerveer, Muffet McGraw).
The Dallas native’s coaching tree spans the high school and collegiate ranks as nearly 60 former players, assistants and support staff members have gone on to success after their time with Blair, including eight current Division I head coaches (Kim Mulkey – LSU, Vic Schaefer – Texas, Mike Neighbors – Arkansas, Johnnie Harris – Auburn, Nell Fortner – Georgia Tech, A’Quonesia Franklin – Lamar, Kelly Bond-White – Southern Illinois, Sytia Messer – UCF, Vernette Skeete – Texas Southern). Blair coached 16 Aggies that were selected in the WNBA Draft, and nearly 30 former players have enjoyed successful professional careers overseas.
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