Coach Vanessa Blair Inducted into NEC Hall of Fame
An NEC pioneer in the sport of women's hoops, Blair remains a legendary figure in the conference to this day. And with her induction to the NEC Hall of Fame, she has earned every conceivable honor from the conference.
"I am completely honored to be chosen to receive such a tremendous award," Blair said of her induction into the NEC Hall of Fame. "I could not have done this without my coaches, teammates, family and friends. I am grateful to the Northeast Conference and Mount St. Mary's University for giving me the opportunity to serve them in the capacity as both a player and a coach."
Blair was named the NEC Player of the Decade and was also selected to the NEC 20th & 25th Anniversary all-time teams. A two-time NEC Player of the Year in 1990-91 and 1991-92, she wrapped her career as a three-time All-NEC performer and three-time All-Tournament selection.
Blair still stands as the Mount's career blocks leader with 242 and ranks seventh in points (1,488), third in rebounds (849), sixth in steals (241), fourth in free throws made (370) and second in free throw attempts (588).
The Upper Marlboro, Md. product was a member of the Mount's first Division I class that posted an 80-30 record in four years and helped lead the Mountaineers to a pair of NEC Championship Game appearances.
Following her graduation, Blair played two years in Sweden before returning to Mount St. Mary's to coach. She served as an assistant from 1996-98 before taking over as head coach in 1998. She was named NEC Coach of the Year in her inaugural season, and remains the only person in league annals to be named both NEC Player and Coach of the Year. Blair went on to lead the Mount program through 2007, and is now in her fifth year as head coach at Bethune-Cookman.
Blair was inducted into the Mount's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003 and earned a spot on the program's 30th Anniversary team in 2005.
"Mount St. Mary's is very proud that Vanessa Blair has been selected as a member of the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame," said Lynne Robinson, Mount Director of Athletics. "Vanessa is among the all-time greats in the history of the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball program. She was instrumental in the Mount's early success in Division I and Northeast Conference competition, leading the team to three consecutive NEC regular season championships in our first three years in the league. Vanessa has earned many accolades during and since her distinguished playing career at the Mount. She will long be remembered not just for her legacy as an incredible basketball player but for being a wonderful coach, colleague and friend. We congratulate Vanessa on this tremendous honor and much deserved recognition."
Blair was joined in induction by Fairleigh Dickinson men's basketball player Desi Wilson and Sacred Heart Executive Director of Athletics Don Cook.
For information about the Lady Wildcats, and their 2012-13 season under fifth year Head Coach Blair, click here.
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