ATLANTA (February 25, 2016) – Lin Dunn, who spent 44 years in professional and collegiate basketball including six seasons as head coach of the Indiana Fever, is the winner of the 2016 Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her lifelong commitment of service to women’s basketball, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today.
“This award honors legends who have invested their lives to impact the student-athlete and ultimately elevate the game of women’s basketball. There is no better example of someone who raised the standard of excellence for the game of women’s basketball as a player, coach, mentor and teacher all the while representing our sport with respect and honor than Lin Dunn,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew.
“Lin 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.”
“We are thrilled to recognize Lin’s commitment of service to women’s basketball through the Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award. Her support and contributions to women’s athletics are an inspiration to all of us,” said Chris Poitras, vice president, Jostens.
During Dunn’s 11 seasons as a professional head coach she compiled a record of 181-160. Following stops with the American Basketball League’s Portland Power and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, Dunn was hired as an assistant coach for the Indiana Fever in 2004 and became the fourth head coach in Fever history in 2008. Under Dunn’s guidance the Fever reached the conference finals five times, made two appearances in the WNBA Finals and, in 2012, won the WNBA Championship.
During her 25 years of coaching at the collegiate level, Dunn compiled a 447-257 record. Her teams earned berths in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship seven times, including four Sweet Sixteen appearances. Dunn received her start as a head coach in 1970 at Austin Peay State University, coaching the Governors for six seasons. In 1977, Dunn took the head coaching position at the University of Mississippi and landed the head coaching position at the University of Miami (Florida) in 1978. She coached the Hurricanes for nine seasons. In 1987, Dunn became head coach at Purdue University. During her nine-year tenure with the Boilermakers, Dunn led them to three Big Ten Conference titles and an NCAA Women’s Final Four appearance in 1994. While at Purdue, Dunn coached three Kodak All-Americans (now called the WBCA Coaches’ All-America), three Big Ten Players of the Year and two Big Ten Athletes of the Year.
In addition to coaching on the collegiate and professional level, Dunn coached the USA National women’s basketball team to a gold medal finish at the Goodwill Games in 1990. That same year, she won gold at the FIBA World Championship. In 1992, Dunn was an assistant coach for the USA National team that captured the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. She also was head coach of the 1995 R. Williams Jones Cup team that captured bronze in Taipei, Taiwan.
Dunn announced her retirement from coaching at the conclusion of the Indiana Fever’s 2014 season.
Dunn’s awards and honors are many. She was named Big Ten Coach of the Year twice. She was the recipient of the 1998 American Basketball League (ABL) Coach of the Year and was runner-up for the 2009 WNBA Coach of the Year. She has been inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame, University of Tennessee-Martin Hall of Fame, Austin Peay Athletic Hall of Fame and the University of Miami Athletic Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2014.
Dunn served as the WBCA President from 1984-85. She also spent eight years on the USA Basketball Team Selection Committee.
Dunn earned a Bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and English from the University of Tennessee-Martin. A year later, she received a Master’s degree in physical education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Dunn will be formally recognized during the WBCA Convention that is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Indianapolis.
The award, sponsored by Jostens, is named in honor of the late Senda Berenson, who in her role as a physical education instructor at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., introduced “basketball” to her female gym students in 1892. This introduction marked the birth of the women’s game, which occurred the year following basketball’s invention by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Mass.
Dunn joins a distinguished group of recipients which includes: Nancy Winstel, Northern Kentucky University (2015); Betty Jaynes, WBCA (2014); June Corteau, game official (2013); Kay James, University of Southern Mississippi (2012); Donna Wise, Campbellsville University (2011); Marsha Sharp, Texas Tech (2010); the late Kay Yow, North Carolina State (2009); Cherri Mankenberg, University of Nebraska at Omaha (2008); Brenda Byrd, Darlington County Public Schools and Darlington Recreation Center (2007); the late Sue Gunter, Louisiana State University (2006); Charles Heatly, Lindsay High School (2005); Louise O’Neal, Wellesley College (2004); Dr. Charlotte West, Southern Illinois University (2003); Dr. Jill Hutchison, Illinois State University (2002); Bob Spencer, Fresno State (2001); the late Dr. Brenda Reilly, Central Connecticut State University (2000); Betty Wiseman, Belmont University (1999); Dr. Rose Marie Battaglia, Paramus High School and Paramus Community College (1998); Lea Plarski, Saint Louis Community College (1997); Carole Baumgarten, Drake University (1996); Billie Moore, California State – Fullerton (1995); Marcy Weston, Central Michigan University (1994); Patsy Neal, Brevard College (1993); Harley Redin, Wayland Baptist University (1992); Alberta Lee Cox, AAU (1991); Bertha Frank Teague, Byng High School (1990); Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee (1989); Hunter Low, Eastman Kodak Company (1988); Cathy Rush, Immaculata College (1987); Mildred Barnes, Central Missouri State University (1986); the late Carol Eckman, Lock Haven University (1985); and the late Margaret Wade, Delta State University (1984).
Jostens is a trusted partner in the academic and achievement channel, providing products, programs and services that help its customers celebrate moments that matter. The company’s products include yearbooks, publications, jewelry and consumer goods that serve the K-12 educational, college and professional sports segments. Founded in 1897 and based in Minneapolis, Minn., Jostens is a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation and can be found online at http://www.jostens.com.
About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association promotes women’s basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.