Banquet held Friday to honor the coaches who've won state titles, authored books and fought for equality in the sport for girls.
The Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association (WSGBCA) hosted its second annual banquet Friday where it inducted five local legends into its Hall of Fame. The honorees brought the total number of members in the hall to 12.
The WSGBCA acknowledged it’s far behind the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA), which is holding its 42nd annual ceremony in July. There are more than 140 members in the WIBCA Hall of Fame.
White River girls basketball coach Chris Gibson, who’s also the athletic director at the school, headlined the Class of 2017. He collected his 500th win in December and recently won the 2A South Puget Sound League’s Mountain division.
Also a coach at Franklin Pierce, Gibson has won 16 league championships and coached 10 undefeated seasons in league play overall. He’s made 19 state tournament appearances in his coaching career.
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Joining Gibson is Pomeroy volleyball coach Jim Greene, whose girls basketball teams were just as successful. During a 12-year stint at Reardan from 1979-1991, he guided the school to 11 state basketball tournaments and won the Class 1B championship three times.
Another inductee was Marda McClenny, a former point guard at Washington State University (1970-74). She coached her native Walla Walla girls basketball team to three state tournaments. The Blue Devils won the Class 3A state title in 1979 and 1984.
Jim Stinson, an author of three books on basketball, is also included in the class. The former coach at Davenport was 111-9 from 1992-95 and played in three straight Class 1B state tournaments. The Gorillas won the title in 1992 and 1993.
A pioneer in the sport, Charlotte Wirth rounded out the five inductees. She coached Walla Walla prior to Title IX, girls not adopting the five-player lineup until 1969. The Blue Devils were 120-16 during Wirth’s time at the school from 1963-1978. She also fought with administration to get equal practice time and equipment for the developing girls sports programs at the school.