Bernadette Mattox

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Overshadowed pioneers in women coaching men

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Becky Hammon last week began her first season as a San Antonio Spurs assistant coach. Sadly, not mentioned or oft-overlooked is the fact that two Black women, Stephanie Ready and Bernadette Mattox, earlier paved the way for the recently retired WNBA player’s historic debut. “It will be a nice education piece for this generation” to learn about the historical place that both Ready and Mattox rightfully hold, says Chicago Sky Head Coach and General Manager Pokey Chatman of the WNBA. Asked his view shortly after Hammon’s hiring, Chatman told the MSR, “I think those of us on the inside who know Becky Hammon and the people that know Pop [Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich] and the organization know it is not a gimmick. She’s a perfect fit for his culture and his style of play. Continue Reading →

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Women coaching men — can they? Will they?







Fourth in a series
Six women were full-time Division I men’s basketball assistants during an eight-year stretch from 2003 to 2011. Before that (1990-2002), there were three female assistants, two of them Black — Bernadette Mattox at Kentucky, 1990-94, and Stephanie Ready at Coppin State, 1999-2001. None, however, were ever fired as men’s assistants. Mattox went on to become Kentucky’s head women’s basketball coach, then eight years as a WNBA assistant. Ready later coached two years in the NBA Development League (2001-03) and became the first female to coach in a men’s pro league. Continue Reading →

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