Gary Blair, Texas A&M: Are You Worth 6 Points A Game?by THSCA
Gary Blair, head coach of Texas A & M Women's basketball covers a variety of topics during his presentation at the 2019 THSCA Coaches Clinic. Coach Blair opens with the importance of simplicity, developing relationships and player development, as well as a list of areas he is patience with and shows no patience for with his team. In addition, Coach Blair uses team video to discuss how he uses the Horns set to create shots for his best players, using sets to create easy scoring opportunities during the game, along with his defensive pressing system.
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member, Gary Blair, led Texas A&M to the 2011 NCAA Championship and has transformed the women’s basketball program into a national power since his appointment as head coach in 2003.
Blair, a two-time national finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award, has guided Texas A&M to 14 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and to four conference championships, including the 2013 SEC Tournament Championship.
Blair led the Aggies to their first national title in their first-ever trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four and closed out the 2010-11 season with a 33-5 record, the most victories in program history. The Aggies were voted as the No. 1 team in the coaches’ poll following the season, the first time Texas A&M stood atop either poll in women’s basketball.
With Blair at the helm, the Aggies have made seven appearances in the Sweet Sixteen and reached the Elite Eight in 2008, 2011 and 2014. In 2018-19, the Aggies went 26-8 and reached the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.
Entering 2019-20, Blair ranks sixth in career victories among active Division I coaches with an impressive 791-322 overall record (.711). Blair is a five-time recipient of the TABC Texas Coach of the Year award and a six-time conference coach of the year.
In his 17th year (2019-20) at Texas A&M, Blair is the longest-tenured coach in program history, also owning the school records for wins (383), winning percentage (.707) and NCAA Tournament Appearances (14). Blair has more than doubled the win total of Lynn Hickey, whose 154 wins marked the school’s previous record for a coach.
He leads or co-leads all active SEC coaches in career wins, career SEC wins, 20+ win seasons, NCAA Tournament appearances, Women’s Final Four appearances and national titles.
The women’s basketball program won its first SEC Championship in 2013, knocking off three ranked teams to capture the league crown. The Aggies captured the regular season Big 12 Conference Championship in 2007 and continued with postseason championship titles in 2008 and 2010 before departing to the SEC. In his career, Blair has coached his teams to 17 conference championships.
Over the course of his 34-year collegiate coaching career, which includes stops at Stephen F. Austin from 1985-93 and Arkansas from 1993-03, Blair has led his teams to 33 winning seasons, 28 20-win seasons, 25 NCAA Tournament appearances and 39 NCAA postseason victories. Blair has won a championship at every level of his coaching career including three state championships at Dallas South Oak Cliff High School, two national championships as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech, a WNIT Championship at Arkansas and a national championship at Texas A&M.
Blair previously led the Lady Razorbacks to the 1998 NCAA Final Four and the SFA Ladyjacks to four NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. He has followed that path of success by elevating Texas A&M into one of the nation’s elite programs where he has put together a 383-159 record (.707) after 16 seasons in Aggieland, including 14 consecutive 20-win campaigns since 2005-06. Under Blair, A&M has registered an unprecedented 213-45 (.826) overall success record at Reed Arena.