March 7, 2007
Pitt Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women's Administrator, Carol Sprague, has been named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Administrator of the Year for her contributions to the development and advancement of women's basketball.
"On behalf of the WBCA, I am elated to announce Carol Sprague as this year's recipient of the WBCA Administrator of the Year Award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Her efforts and devotion to women's athletics have had a tremendous impact on the growth of our game and we applaud her efforts."
"Carol has done a tremendous job helping us build our women's basketball program at the University of Pittsburgh," Pitt Athletic Director Jeff Long said. "She has been relentless in her pursuit of excellence in our program and has been instrumental in women's basketball growth at the national level. The entire Pitt Athletics community is proud of Carol and her accomplishments."
Sprague, who has devoted 33 years to Pitt athletics, was the driving force behind the Panthers receiving hosting rights to the 2007 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds. Her tireless efforts and continued devotion have helped to bring the Pitt women's basketball program into the national spotlight.
The Penn Hills, Pa., native, has been inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, earned the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in Sports and was a 1992 Penn Hills High School Hall of Fame inductee.
In addition to her work in bringing Pitt's first-ever NCAA Women's Basketball tournament to Pittsburgh, Sprague was the athletic department project manager for the construction of the Petersen Events Center, which is one of the premier basketball facilities in the country. Sprague also endorsed current head coach Agnus Berenato, who has turned the program around from a 6-20 season to 23-8 in just four seasons.
"Carol has been a force in not only Pitt women's basketball, but on the national level as well," Pitt Head Coach Agnus Berenato said. "It is exciting to have her selected for a national award by the WBCA for her dedication to the game we all love. Her passion has allowed the game to grow and her vision has been inspiring. The WBCA could not have selected anyone more deserving and I am professionally and personally proud to be on Carol's team to celebrate this wonderful award."
Sprague has been a member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee for the last five years and has been on numerous other NCAA and national committees including serving on the NACDA Executive Committee. In the Big East Conference, Sprague has served on the Championship Committee, SWA Committee, Chair of the SWA Women's Basketball Committee, Swimming and Diving Committee, Volleyball Committee and Basketball Committee.
At the University of Pittsburgh, Sprague has served on multiple athletic department and university-wide search committees, the Title IX Committee, Facility Master Planning Committee and the NCAA Certification Steering Committee.
Sprague will be formally presented her award at the WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens on Tuesday, April 3, at 12:00 p.m. (ET) in the Crowne Plaza's Grand Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. The WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens is part of the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the 2007 NCAA® Women's Final Four®.
Selection for the NCAA Tournament will be Monday, March 12, at 8 p.m. on ESPN. Eight teams will be selected to travel to the Pittsburgh site. If the Panthers are selected, they will earn a spot to play at home at the Petersen Events Center.