Texas Tech women's coach to speak at Wayland chapel

Her name is synonymous with top-notch women's basketball. In West Texas, she is the best women's collegiate coach, no matter what official honors she attains.

As head coach of the Texas Tech Lady Raiders, Marsha Sharp has built a career of leading young women to success on and off the court. For 18 years, she has led her team into battle, often to post-season play, coming out on top in 1993 as NCAA National Champions.

She may bleed red and black now, but at one time, she wore the blue and gold of Wayland Baptist University with equal pride. Sharp will return to her alma mater April 18 as keynote speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' chapel program.

Sharp graduated from Wayland in 1974 after playing two years on the Queens court and coaching her last two years. The Tulia native served as a graduate assistant coach for the Queens in 1974-75, helping lead the team to a victory against Tech.

She coached at Lockney High School for six years after getting a master's degree from West Texas State University. She then moved to Tech first as an assistant coach in 1981-82, then as head coach the next year.

Today, Sharp serves as associate athletic director and has racked up a slew of honors. Five-time SWC Coach of the Year. National Coach of the Year in 1993. Big 12 Coach of the Year twice. A coaching record of 434-134 at Tech. Member of the Texas Women's Hall of Fame and Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Those accolades are impressive, but Sharp is most proud of her athlete's academic success. The Lady Raiders boast a 99 percent graduation rate, mostly because Sharp stresses the importance of making the most of their opportunity to earn an education while playing basketball.

Outside of the university, Sharp is active in community service. She is vice president of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, national chairperson for the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer advisory board, and serves on several athletic selection committees.

The chapel program is free and open to the public.