Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport of women's basketball and fosters and promotes the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls.
It's unlikely the WBCA would exist today if not for a group of women's coaches who met at the 1981 Olympic Festival in Syracuse, N.Y., to discuss the formation of a coaches association. Among those attending that meeting were Illinois State head coach Jill Hutchison, who was elected the first president of the then-nameless organization; 1984 Olympic coach Pat Summitt of Tennessee; 1988 Olympic coach Kay Yow of North Carolina State; 1992 Olympic coach Theresa Grentz of Illinois, Rutgers and St. Josephs; C. Vivian Stringer of Cheyney State, Iowa and Rutgers; and Colleen Matsuhara of Nebraska and UC-Irvine.
The group met again on Sept. 1 in Wayne, Pa., and named James Madison head coach Betty Jaynes as interim executive director. Jaynes officially resigned her position as James Madison head coach following the 1981-82 season and operated the WBCA office with an intern in Wayne, Pa. Bill Orr of Tel-Ra Productions provided the office facilities rent free.
Jaynes hired Regina Sullivan as the organization's first assistant executive director in 1985 and subsequently moved the WBCA office to Atlanta.
Jaynes retired as chief executive officer in 2001. Beth Bass was named Jaynes' successor as CEO on Nov. 1, 2001.
Bass was only the second individual to assume the position of CEO in the 30-year history of the WBCA. Bass assumed the role of CEO of the organization as originally stipulated during her hire by the WBCA Board of Directors in late 1996. She originally joined the WBCA in January 1997 as Executive Director.
The WBCA Board of Directors hired Bass after a highly successful tenure in the sports and fitness industry with experience as a women's basketball and women's sports marketing executive at Converse Inc. and NIKE, Inc.
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