Championship Mighty Macs Nominated for Basketball Hall of Fame
The championship Immaculata University Mighty Macs of the early 1970s have been nominated to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. The Class of 2014 will be announced during the NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four held the weekend of April 5-7 in Dallas, Texas.
Led by their young coach, Cathy Rush, the Mighty Macs won the first three women’s college basketball championships in 1972, 1973, and 1974 and is considered the Birthplace of Modern College Women’s Basketball. Rush is a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2008. Her record at Immaculata was 149-15. She also had six Final Four appearances from her 1970-1977 coaching tenure with the Mighty Macs. In addition to the national championships, the Mighty Macs were the first women’s team, along with the University of Maryland, to appear on national TV; first women’s team, along with Queen’s College, to play at Madison Square Garden, and the first women’s college team to play outside the Country (Australia in 1974). Their inspirational story was made into a feature-length theatrical movie called The Mighty Macs and released by Sony Pictures in 2011.
Several Mighty Macs earned special recognition for their achievements while players. Theresa Shank Grentz was named a three-time All-American in 1972, 1973, and 1974 and scored 1,167 career points and 952 rebounds. Marianne Crawford Stanley was also named a two-time Kodak All-American in 1975 and 1976 with a career 747 total points and an astonishing 544 assists. Mary Scharff, a 1977 Kodak All-American, scored 1,235 total career points with 583 rebounds and 284 assists. Rene Muth Portland earned three Outstanding College Athlete of America awards and the New York Press All-American Citation.
Several former players became NCAA Division I head women’s basketball coaches including Grentz who was coach for St. Joseph’s University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois and was named head coach of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball team, and president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Stanley, who has coached at both the collegiate and professional level, won three national championships as head women’s basketball coach at Old Dominion. She is now a coach with the WNBA Washington Mystics. Portland was the former head women’s basketball coach at Penn State for 27 years where she amassed a career resume that includes 21 NCAA tournament appearances including a Final Four appearance.
Click here for more information about the Mighty Macs or call 610-647-4400, ext. 3143.
Immaculata University is a Catholic, coeducational institution of higher education, located on the Main Line between Malvern and Exton, 20 miles west of Philadelphia.