Home Former JMU women’s basketball coach Betty Jaynes passes away

Former JMU women’s basketball coach Betty Jaynes passes away


Betty Jaynes, the former Madison College (now James Madison University) women’s basketball coach, passed away Monday in Athens, Ga., after a brief illness.  She was 68 years old.

jmu logoJaynes first came to Madison College in 1968 as an assistant professor of physical education.  She primarily worked with gymnastics, tennis and swimming classes before becoming the head coach of women’s basketball.  During her time as head coach from 1970-82, she led the Duchesses to a 144-114 record and coached JMU Hall of Famers Katherine Johnson (’77) and Melinda Childress (’79).  Member schools of the Colonial Athletic Association will hold moments of silence prior to women’s basketball games this week.

For 38 years, Jaynes was a national advocate for women’s basketball.  She became the first executive director of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in September of 1981, a role in which she served for 15 years before being named the CEO of the WBCA in September 1996.  After retiring from her post in November 2011, she remained as a consultant and continued to support the efforts of and equality for women’s basketball coaches until her passing.

Before working with the WBCA, she served as chair of the U.S. Girls’ and Women’s Basketball Rules Committee from 1979 to 1981.  She was also the tournament director for the 1975 AIAW Large College National Basketball Championships.

Jaynes was inducted in several halls of fame, including the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.  She also received several honors and distinctions from national organizations, including the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.

Funeral arrangements are pending with services to be held in Covington, Ga.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Betty F. Jaynes Internship Program in care of the WBCA office.



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