Special to the Journal
Fran Garmon, the former head women’s basketball coach at Delta State University and Texas Christian University, will receive the 2018 Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her lifelong commitment of service to women’s basketball, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced.
Garmon began her career at Temple Junior College in Texas where she won the first ever National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) women’s basketball championship in 1975. She finished her career at Temple Junior College with a 383-157 record over 16 seasons. She then moved to Delta State from 1979 to 1983 and Texas Christian University from 1983-1993.
Garmon was a pioneer in the game of women’s basketball. She was a founding member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors. She has served as the president of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors and the WBCA. She was also inducted to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. The former WBCA president also served as the head coach for U.S. teams at the 1979 World University Games and the 1983 Pan American Games, winning gold medals in both. Her international experience also includes stints as an assistant with the USA Select Team in 1978, manager for the 1981 USA Junior National Team, head coach of the 1982 USA National Team and assistant coach for the 1983 World Championship team. Garmon ended her 31-year collegiate coaching career by retiring in 1993.
Garmon will be formally honored during the 2018 WBCA Convention that will be held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio.
“This award honors legends who have invested their lives to impact the student-athlete and ultimately elevate the game of women’s basketball,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “There is no better example of a giant in the game of women’s basketball than WBCA past president Fran Garmon. Fran raised the standard of excellence as a coach and pioneer, all the while representing our sport with respect and honor. Fran has demonstrated a profound dedication to the coaching profession and is well deserving of the WBCA’s most prominent career award, the Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award.”
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 pleased to partner with the WBCA to provide such a prestigious award to a very deserving recipient,” said Chris Poitras, Jostens Vice President and COO, College, Sports, Specialty. “Ms. Garmon’s service to women’s basketball and the WBCA has been remarkable, and we are honored to recognize her for this incredible achievement.”