Legends Weekend Welcomes Back Coach Fanning-Otis

Led Lady Mocs to 5 SoCon Titles

Thursday, February 7, 2013 - by Sharon Fanning-Oits

UTC BASKETBALL LEGENDS WEEKEND - Former UTC women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis will be in Chattanooga this weekend as part of UTC Basketball Legends Weekend as UTC hosts Elon (women at 5 p.m.) and the College of Charleston (men at 7:30 p.m.) in a Saturday doubleheader at McKenzie Arena.


The Chattanooga native coached the Lady Mocs for 11 seasons, 1977-1987 ... record: 189-129 .

.. 5-time SoCon champs ... 1984 National Women's NIT, runner-up. 

She has chosen some of her highlights with the Lady Mocs.

UTC Highlights:

Top Wins: 1. Championships: AIAW State Championship '79 … Southern Conference Championships: '82,'83(unofficial), '84,'85,'86...

2. Top 20 ranking, SoCon Champs, Runner-Up WNIT, 26-5 record, 1983-84...

 Most Exciting Finish: @ the buzzer vs. West Virginia in 1983 in the South Florida Tournament Finals ... we were down 1, ball out of bounds opposite with 4 seconds ..., Gaby Gondolfo long pass to Tina Chairs @ top of key, shot, whistle ... Goal Tending call and we win by one …

… The coach followed our team bus to the hotel parking lot and asked me to protest the outcome because the official had missed the call... Obviously, the game was in the books... We won... And to my knowledge no women's game other than ours has been won on a goal tending call! ‘

Best Leaper: Walta Gail Peterson "Pete" from Miami, Fla ... 36" vertical ... also played volleyball and led Betty Robinson's VB Team to a State Championship in 1978 ... we always scored on a lob out of bounds under and she never lost a jump ball situation!

Best Defensive Players: Kay Irby, Lori McCord, and Denise Powers

Smoothest Players on the Court: Denise Powers and Tina Chairs

Most Assists: Karen Mills led the nation in assists her junior year... Key Note: she could palm a men's basketball with either hand... The best dribbler and passer I have ever coached.

 Best Team/ Best starting 5/ Best Bench: Kim Weems/ Lori McCord@ Point Guard... Kay Irby/ Gaby Gondolfo@ 2... Chris McClure/ Melissa Blevins@ 3...Kim Horsey/Detrius Hill@4... Tina Chairs/ Elinor Benson/ Kelly Durham/ Paula Wandell @5 … 1983-84

Best Rebounder: Charlotte Robinson, 11 per game.5

 Best Scorer: Regina Kirk, best small post I have coached... Only UTC female over 2000 pts. (2376) … give her the ball and let her work!... Plus second best rebounder (9.7/game)... Only player 2000+points and 1000+rebounds.

 Sixth Player Award: Lori McCord: Competitive gym rat who wanted to win... Great 3 ball shooter(but no 3 ball@ that time)... In your face defender ... Made everybody around her better!

Sixth Player Award (Fans): Wanda Albritton (according to Wanda, was the oldest student assistant in the country), Rosalind Crownover (sold the first women's basketball season ticket), Joe Hobbs (bus driver who made sure we had the very best), and Bob Maffett (one of first Moc boosters who made sure our locker room was first class).

Strongest Player (pound for pound): Lori McCord (Weight: 105, Bench: 125-130) was really strong, back in the day!

Funniest Player: Gaby Gandolfo... I was walking up the tunnel to practice and Gaby sprinted up and said; Coach, I have to run back to the dorm real quick to get my TENT... I said it's time for practice, why do you need a tent? She said Coach, you told us to be INTENSE today and I forgot mine!

Funniest Moment: One night before curfew we noticed a motel room door slightly open... I knocked, they came to the door, my assistant Ken Henry yelled "BOO" just before they opened the door... They screamed... And I almost got my face smashed as they slammed the door... Next day, Coach Henry told them I said boo... That night, Cindy Stuart and the Team put a rubber snake in my bed... When I pulled back the cover I almost had a heart attack... They had cracked the adjoining room door to watch and were now rolling on the floor they were laughing so hard!

Best Arenas: Big Mac and Roundhouse... Why?... Because there's no place like home!

 Thanks UTC... For the wonderful memories and opportunity to coach...


-- Coach Sharon Fanning-Otis

Halls of Fame(3): Chattanooga City High School (charter member), Greater Chattanooga, UTC

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