American Athletic Conference’s Barbara Jacobs honored as 2020 WBCA Administrator of the Year

ATLANTA (Feb. 26, 2020) — Barbara Jacobs, associate commissioner for women’s basketball at the American Athletic Conference, is the 2020 WBCA Administrator of the Year, announced today by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. 

"Respected nationally and committed to coaches and student-athletes alike, Barbara Jacobs has been on the front lines of growing women’s basketball her entire career and the game is better for it,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle M. Donehew. “Barbara has guarded the game through her lifetime service as a player, coach, official and administrator.  She is a championship coach and a talented administrator.  She has always been a coach at heart — a WBCA member since the beginning and a wise friend to coaches. She is committed to strengthening the coaching profession.  As an administrator, she has served many decorated coaches in the sport and positioned them and their programs for growth and success. I am pleased to announce Barbara Jacobs as the 2020 WBCA Administrator of the Year.”The WBCA Administrator of the Year award is presented annually to an administrator, athletic director, associate or assistant athletic director, or senior woman administrator who has excelled at encouraging the growth and quality of women’s basketball programs and women’s athletic programs overall. The candidate also must have served as a professional role model for student-athletes.

Jacobs joined the conference office (formerly the Big East Conference) in 1995 as Assistant Commissioner and was promoted to her current position at the American Athletic Conference in July of 2014.  She will retire following 25 years at the end of the current season. In addition to her work at the American, Jacobs also served on numerous committees including the CCA coordinators of officials (1997-01) and served as the Secretary Rules Editor for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee (1998-06). She is currently a member of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Competition Committee.

Before joining the American, Jacobs spent 23 seasons as a college coach. She began her tenure at Hartwick College in 1971 before accepting the head coaching position at Syracuse University in 1978. Jacobs guided the Orange to win the 1985 Big East Championship earning the program’s first ever trip to the NCAA tournament. She would later be named Coach of the Year by the conference in 1988. The same year Syracuse returned to the NCAA tournament. In 1993, she was hired as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University where she remained until 1995. 

The WBCA Administrator of the Year award was first presented in 1985. Visit to see a list of past recipients.

About the WBCA 
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit for more details about the Association.