ATLANTA (Feb. 27, 2020) — Villanova University head coach Harry Perretta is the recipient of the 2020 Carol Eckman Integrity in Coaching Award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today.
The Carol Eckman Integrity in Coaching Award is named in honor of the late Carol Eckman, the former West Chester State College coach, who is considered the “Mother of the Women’s Collegiate Basketball Championship.” Eckman organized the first women’s basketball championship in 1969 at West Chester. She continued to garner recognition and support for the women’s game until her death from cancer in 1985.
The WBCA presents the award annually to an active member coach who exemplifies Eckman’s spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose.
“The name of the late Carol Eckman is synonymous with the positive values the WBCA membership strives to uphold each day. I can think of no one more deserving of receiving the award named in her honor than Harry Perretta,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle M. Donehew. “Harry is a talented teacher and brilliant strategist. He is deeply respected for his ethical leadership and steadfast management of his program. While Harry is one of the winningest and longest tenured coaches in the game, his most powerful legacy is the success of his student-athletes as leaders in every segment of our society. Harry has also been a great supporter of his peers, always willing to teach and share strategies with his fellow coaches. Day in and day out, Harry has given his best. The WBCA community of coaches and our game celebrates Harry’s meaningful career.”
Perretta, who will retire as at the conclusion of the current season, has created a winning culture in his 42 seasons at Villanova. He is known not only for teaching the game of basketball, but also preparing his players for life. Perretta has prepared 99 percent of them to graduate college at the end of their playing career. His philosophy has driven the team to be aggressive and disciplined in their ability to succeed.
Perretta was 22 years old when he took over the program in 1978, making him the first and youngest coach in school history. As of this release he has recorded 781 career wins which is 13th best among coaches in any division in NCAA women’s basketball.
Perretta has coached the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament 11 times. The furthest the team has gone in the tournament was in 2003 when they clinched a spot in the Elite Eight. Perretta has also guided Villanova to win the Big East tournament championship in 1986, 1987 and 2003. In addition, he has also finished 20 seasons with 20 or more victories.
The Carol Eckman Award was first presented in 1985. Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/ 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 www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.