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This award, established in 1978, is named for Margaret Wade, one of the most outstanding basketball coaches and pioneers in the game. Through a collaborative partnership between AAHPERD and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) the Wade Trophy has gained national recognition and is the most prestigious award in women's college basketball.
For most of her 82 years Coach Wade dedicated her life to the sport of Women's Basketball and today is revered as the "Mother of Modern Women's Collegiate Basketball." After the passage of Title IX, it was Wade's pioneering efforts, spirit, desire, and vision that ignited the growth and popularity of women's college basketball in the 70s. In her six years coaching at Delta State University, the Statesmen were 109-6 and won three national championships.
Coach Wade inaugurated the first true rivalry in women's college basketball as demonstrated by the fierce competitive contests between the players of Delta State and Immaculata College. However, Coach Wade's primary role was that of educator. She was strongly committed to ensuring that her players graduated from college and succeeded in life both on and off the court.
The Wade Trophy was established in 1978 to salute outstanding female athletes and to encourage young women to develop their potential through participation in sport. The Spirit of Margaret Wade lives on through the recipients of this trophy, who by their selection have demonstrated their commitment to their sport, to their academic development, and to the importance of acting responsibly both on and off the basketball court.