Marsha Sharp Announces Resignation
Feb. 24, 2006
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech's Marsha Sharp has announced her resignation as head coach of the women's basketball program at the end of the 2005-06 season. Sharp has been at the helm of the Lady Raider basketball program for the last 24 years.
Sharp resigns as the longest tenure coach at Texas Tech. A West Texas favorite, Sharp has not only made an impact at Texas Tech, but also in the community. She has become one of the most respected coaches in the country as well.
A National Championship, eight conference championships, two National Coach of the Year honors, a National Player of the Year and several All-Americans - these are just a few accomplishments Hall of Fame member Sharp has achieved in her 24 years at the helm of the Lady Raider basketball program.
For 24 years as head coach at Texas Tech, Sharp has been the reckoning force behind all the success the women's basketball program has had. With a career record of 570-187, Sharp has seen the Lady Raider program climb to new heights and continue the successful reputation it has.
Sharp and the Lady Raiders accomplished what no other team at Tech has done - win a national championship. Sharp guided the Lady Raiders to the 1993 national championship, while Sheryl Swoopes was named the National Player of the Year. Sharp has taken the Texas Tech program to the next level and it continues to rank among the top teams in the country year in and year out.
Inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, Sharp not only has had success on the court but also in the classroom. Academics are a priority to Sharp and her staff and the results are there to prove it. Her program has a 97 percent graduation rate for student-athletes who have exhausted their four-year eligibility at Texas Tech. Sharp's players have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, teachers, coaches and professional athletes, just to name a few. Thanks to her envision, persistence, and her $100,000 gift, the Marsha Sharp Center for Student-Athletes opened in January 2004. The center provides student-athletes with the most up-to-date academic services facilities in the nation. Sharp is always putting her student-athletes first and strives for nothing but the best for them on and off the court.
In 2005, Sharp and the Lady Raiders earned their 18th appearance in the NCAA Championship - their 16th straight, and advanced to their 11th NCAA Sweet 16. Sharp was once again a finalist for Naismith Coach of the Year as she has been several times in the past.
The 2003-04 season saw the Lady Raiders get their first-ever regular season No. 1 ranking in the country after starting off 15-0, the best start in school history. Tech also upset No. 1 Texas in front of a sold-out crowd at the United Spirit Arena on a nationally televised game on ESPN2. It marked the first time the Lady Raiders had beaten a team ranked No. 1 in the country during the regular season.
Tech took its fourth trip to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2003, while Sharp reached a plateau that had only been done by 21 other NCAA Division I coaches, as she claimed her 500th-career victory on Feb. 19, 2003 in a 59-48 win over Oklahoma. Sharp has not only collected wins for Texas Tech but also for USA Basketball. In the summer of the 2002, Sharp coached the USA World Championship For Young Women's Qualifying team to the gold medal in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. The performance qualified the United States for the 2003 FIBA World Championship For Young Women in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Whether it is on foreign soil or in the Big 12 Conference, Sharp knows what it takes to win championships. The Lady Raiders claimed three-straight Big 12 Conference regular-season titles in 1998, 1999 and 2000, while winning two Big 12 Tournament crowns in 1998 and 1999. Sharp reaped Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and 1999. During the 1999-2000 season, Tech made another trip to the NCAA Elite Eight. Career win No. 400 came at the hands of Colorado on Feb. 24, 1999. Another milestone was set in 1995 as Sharp surpassed the 300 victory mark, a deed that only eight female coaches had accomplished at a younger age. In 1991-92 she joined an elite group of 64 coaches who have coached at the same school for 10 years or longer. She also became one of only two coaches in the Southwest Conference to have 200 career wins and 100 SWC wins at the same school.
Before the three Big 12 Conference titles, Sharp and the Lady Raiders claimed five consecutive Southwest Conference crowns and three tournament titles. They are one of only six teams in the nation to have appeared in the Sweet 16 each year from 1991-96. Along with the SWC titles, Sharp also garnered SWC Coach of the Year honors five of the last seven years of the conference. National recognition came in 1993 as she was named National Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball News Service and the Columbus Touchdown Club in Ohio, and then again in 1994 by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Success is a word that is often used to describe the Lady Raider program and Sharp, and it is no wonder why. During Sharp's tenure her teams have made 20 postseason tournament appearances - 18 NCAA and two WNIT, have had 20 20-win seasons and three 30-win seasons. And during the 1990's, the Lady Raiders accumulated a record of 268-56, a .827 winning percentage which ranks among the top five in the nation among Division I schools.
But success did not start at Texas Tech for Sharp, it just continued from where she left off.
Before becoming the head coach of the Lady Raiders, Sharp was an assistant coach for the 1981-82 season. Prior to her arrival at Tech, Sharp spent six years as the head coach at Lockney High School. While coaching the Lady Longhorns, Sharp was 126-63 with three district titles (1976, 77, 79). She also served as the head track coach at Lockney.
Sharp got her start in coaching while attending Wayland Baptist University. The Flying Queens were known across the country as the best women's basketball program from the 1940's to the early 1980's. Sharp was a member of the Queen Bees for two years before she started coaching. She directed the freshman team during her junior and senior years. She also served as a graduate assistant coach for the 1974-75 season. Sharp earned her bachelor's degree from Wayland in 1974 and received her master's degree from West Texas State in 1976.
Sharp was born in Washington, where her father was stationed in the U.S. Navy, but grew up in Tulia, Texas, and played guard in the days of three-on-three girls' basketball.
Along with her head coaching duties with the 2003 USA Basketball World Championship For Young Women Qualifying Team, Sharp also coached in the Olympic Festival Trials in both 1987 and 1990. In 1994, she served as head coach for the West team, which advanced to the gold medal game in the St. Louis Olympic Festival. During the summers of the 1996 and 2000, she watched former Lady Raider Sheryl Swoopes and the USA Olympic women's basketball team win gold medals in Atlanta and Sydney.
Off the court, Sharp is very active in the community on local, state and national levels. In the fall of 2004 she added author to her list of accomplishments as her book titled Tall Enough to Coach hit the bookstores. Sharp is also in demand as a guest speaker at a variety of events each year. She has served on the WBCA Board of Directors and served as president of the WBCA from 2001-03. She has served on the board of the Women's Protective Services and was on the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee. Sharp has been the national chairperson for the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer advisory board. She also has been on the Converse Coach of the Year Committee, Kodak All-American Selection Committee, NCAA Regional Selection Committee, SWC Tournament Committee and Texas Girls Basketball Association Committee. She has served as the director for the Lady Raider Basketball Camps. Along with her Women's Basketball Hall of Fame induction in 2003, Sharp was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
Whether it was winning championships, receiving national honors or making sure her student-athletes achieved at the highest level on and off the court, Sharp has given it her all at everything she has done, and she is why success is a word that will always be associated with Texas Tech.
Sharp will continue to work at Texas Tech as an Associate Athletics Director for Special Projects.
Highlights and Accomplishments
570-187 career record, 159-50 Southwest Conference record, 117-41 Big 12 Conference record
Inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003
Inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2000
Inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1999
1993 National Championship
18 NCAA Championship appearances
Four NCAA Elite Eight appearances
11 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances
Two WNIT appearances
Two years named National Coach of the Year
Five Southwest Conference Championships (1992-96)
Three Southwest Conference Tournament titles
Three Big 12 Conference Championships (1998-00)
Two Big 12 Conference Tournament titles
Five times Southwest Conference Coach of the Year
Two times Big 12 Coach of the Year
First-ever No. 1 regular-season ranking in 2003-04
Became just the 22nd coach in Division I to reach the 500-win plateau
Coached A National Player of the Year (Sheryl Swoopes, 1993)
Coached two Kodak All-Americans (Sheryl Swoopes twice and Alicia Thompson once)
Coached nine All-Americans (first team, second team, third team, honorable mention) by various organizations
Two student-athletes named Academic All-America (Karen Farst once and Jennifer Buck twice)
11 SWC first team selections and 10 SWC second team selections
Four SWC Player of the Year winners, three SWC Newcomers of the Year, one SWC Defensive Player of the Year and one SWC Freshman of the Year
Seven first team All-Big 12 selections, eight second team All-Big 12 selections, two third team All-Big 12 honorees and eight honorable mention All-Big 12
Four SWC Tournament MVPs, 12 SWC All-Tournament team selections
Two Big 12 Tournament MVPs, five Big 12 All-Tournament team selections
Two Big 12 Player of the Year winners, two Big 12 Freshman of the Year recipients
27 first team Academic All-Big 12 winners, five second team and three honorable mention
Coached USA Basketball to the gold medal at the 2002 World Championship For Young Women's Qualifying team
Coached twice at the Olympic Festival Trials
Graduated 97 percent of her student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility at Texas Tech
Past president of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)
Served on the WBCA Board of Directors
Served on the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee
Is the national chairperson for the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer advisory board
Served on the Converse Coach of the Year Committee, Kodak All-American Selection Committee, NCAA Regional Selection Committee, SWC Tournament Committee and Texas Girls Basketball Association Committee
Author of Tall Enough to Coach
Gave a $100,000 gift for the Marsha Sharp Center for Student-Athletes
Official Gear of the