Longtime athletics administrator, coach Dr. M. Dianne Murphy to receive Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award

ATLANTA (March 4, 2020) – Longtime athletics administrator and women’s basketball coach M. Dianne Murphy will receive the 2020 Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her lifelong commitment of service to the sport, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today.

Murphy, currently a senior partner at intercollegiate athletics consulting firm The PICTOR Group, served as the director of athletics at Columbia University from 2004 to 2015. In 2011, Murphy in partnership with WBCA, co-founded The Center for Coaching Excellence, an elite leadership training program for college women’s basketball coaches, which continued through 2016. While at Columbia, Murphy also served for five years on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.

Before Columbia, Murphy served as athletics director at the University of Denver for six years. She also served as an associate athletics director at Cornell University, and assistant athletics director at The University of Iowa and Kentucky State University. In 2017, Murphy was inducted into the NACDA Hall of Fame. She was also named the recipient of the Collegiate Women Leaders Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Prior to becoming an athletics administrator, Murphy spent 13 seasons in the coaching profession. She was hired as head women’s basketball coach at Shorter University in 1973 and later went on to serve as head coach at Florida State University and Eastern Kentucky University.

Murphy earned a doctorate degree in administration and curriculum from Florida State in 1980. She earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Tennessee Technological University.

“I am honored to announce M. Dianne Murphy as the recipient of the 2020 Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle M. Donehew. “Dianne is a highly gifted national leader in collegiate athletics and a force for women’s basketball. Her lifelong commitment to the sport began as a dedicated coach who became a respected leader as an athletics director and she served at the highest levels of national prominence.  

“Dianne is an incredible mentor and friend to coaches at all stages of their coaching journey. While athletics director at Columbia University she partnered with the WBCA to develop the Center for Coaching Excellence, an investment in the professional development of WBCA member coaches. Dianne facilitated that program for six years. She continues to facilitate the WBCA’s “So You Want To Be A Coach” program for former student-athletes who wish to pursue coaching as a career. She has used her vast experience and wisdom to better the sport and all those lucky to be around her. The WBCA salutes Dianne for her many contributions and is profoundly grateful for her continued commitment and service to the coaching community.”

Murphy will be formally honored on Friday, April 3, during the opening general session of the 2020 WBCA Convention that will be held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“Being selected by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to receive the prestigious Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award is overwhelming and humbling,” said Murphy.  “I am deeply honored to be recognized along with the past award recipients. I am most fortunate that I had the opportunity to serve the game of basketball that I love so much.”     

The Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the late Senda Berenson, who in her role as a physical education instructor at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, introduced “basketball” to her female gym students in 1892. Her actions marked the birth of the women’s game, occurring the year following basketball’s invention by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The award has been presented annually since 1984 and is sponsored by Jostens, a longtime corporate partner of and the official commemorative awards provider for the WBCA. Until 2006, it was called the Jostens-Berenson Service Award.

“Jostens is proud to be a longtime partner of the WBCA on such a prestigious award,” said Chris Poitras, Jostens General Manager and Vice President of College and Pro Sports.  “Dianne Murphy’s service to women’s basketball and the WBCA has been remarkable, and we are honored to recognize her as a very deserving recipient for this incredible achievement.”

Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/ to see a list of past recipients.

About Jostens 
Jostens is a trusted partner in the academic and achievement channel, providing products, programs and services that help its customers celebrate moments that matter. The company's products include yearbooks, publications, jewelry and consumer goods that serve the K-12 educational, college and professional sports segments. Founded in 1897 and based in Minneapolis, Minn., Jostens is owned by Platinum Equity and can be found online at www.jostens.com.

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 www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.