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NCAA inclusion office to recognize current and former basketball coaches

Former Purdue University women’s basketball head coach Carolyn Peck and the 1966 Texas Western College men’s basketball team highlight the list of honorees the NCAA inclusion office will celebrate in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Final Four weekends. The inclusion office is recognizing individuals for their career accomplishments and their commitment and contributions to foster a more inclusive and diverse culture in the sport of basketball.  

In addition to Peck, the NCAA inclusion office will honor Shaw University women’s basketball coach Jacques Curtis and former Rust College women’s basketball coach A.J. Stovall in Indianapolis. In Houston, the inclusion office will honor Jack Yates High School boys basketball coach Greg Wise and Sam Houston High School boys basketball coach Ralph Barreras, along with the 1966 team from Texas Western, which is now known as the University of Texas at El Paso. 

“As we celebrate the student-athletes and schools who have earned their way to this year’s NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, we also want to recognize some individuals who have been trailblazers and pioneers in breaking down barriers for people of color in the sport of basketball,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement/chief inclusion officer. 

“Diversity is a core value of the NCAA, so we’re taking this opportunity to honor current and former coaches in our membership and coaches in the local circles of our Final Four cities, Houston and Indianapolis. All of the honorees have been successful and deserve a spotlight for their outstanding accomplishments,” Franklin said.

The NCAA Men’s Final Four will take place Saturday and Monday in Houston, while the NCAA Women’s Final Four will take place Sunday and April 5 in Indianapolis. The inclusion office has recognized NCAA champion coaches Tubby Smith, formerly at the University of Kentucky, and now at Texas Tech University; and Nolan Richardson, formerly at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in years past.

2016 Women’s Basketball Honorees

Carolyn Peck: Former Purdue women’s basketball head coach who led her team to the 1999 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. She is the only African American head coach to win an NCAA Division I women’s basketball title.

Jacques Curtis: Head coach of the Shaw women’s basketball team who led the school to its first NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship in 2012. Curtis has a 100 percent graduation rate for Lady Bears who have completed four years of eligibility at Shaw.

A.J. Stovall: Former head coach at Rust and winner of the 1984 Division III Women’s Basketball Championship. Stovall is one of two African American male head coaches to have won a Division III national championship.

2016 Men’s Basketball Honorees

The 1966 Texas Western basketball team: This iconic team made history by winning the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship in 1966, becoming the first team with an all-black starting lineup to capture the NCAA basketball title. Their story inspired the book and film “Glory Road.”

Ralph Barreras: Barreras is the Sam Houston High School boys basketball head coach in Houston. Barreras has ignited the Sam Houston program to multiple postseason appearances and has notched more than 300 wins in his 19 years as a high school basketball coach.

Greg Wise: Wise is the Jack Yates High School boys basketball head coach in Houston. He built one of the top programs in high school basketball and led his team to back-to-back Texas University Interscholastic League Class 4A State Championships in 2008-09 and 2009-10. His 2009-10 team earned a perfect 34-0 record and ended the season averaging 116.2 points per game, breaking the national record set 40 years earlier.

The NCAA office of inclusion strives to ensure diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and admini