Sharp, who is the associate athletics director for special projects, led the women’s basketball team to unprecedented success.
Marsha Sharp, one of the most successful women's basketball coaches in the sport's history who led the Texas Tech University women's team to the 1993 national championship, will speak to the Fall 2015 graduates Dec. 11-12 at United Supermarkets Arena.
Sharp led the Lady Raiders for 24 seasons (1982-2006), compiling a 572-189 record with eight Southwest Conference and Big 12 Conference titles, 10 Sweet 16 appearances, four Elite Eight appearances and the 1993 national title. She was named National Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and was a seven-time SWC/Big 12 Coach of the Year.
“Marsha Sharp's legacy at Texas Tech University and in women's basketball globally is transcended only by the leadership and guidance she has provided countless numbers of students and student-athletes over the years,” said M. Duane Nellis, Texas Tech president. “She is a wonderful ambassador for Texas Tech and we are proud to have her address our graduating class.”
She is a member of four halls of fame – the Texas Women's Hall of Fame (1999), the Texas Sports Hall of Fame (2000), the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (2003) and the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame (2008). In 2010 she was awarded the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Basketball Award and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Jostens Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sharp also is a past winner of the Lauro F. Cavazos award presented by the Texas Tech Alumni Association and was named head coach emerita.
In her current role with Texas Tech athletics, Sharp is responsible for development of the Fearless Champions Leadership Academy, oversees the Marsha Sharp Leadership Circle as well as community involvement and professional development for athletes. She is a fierce advocate for gender equity, civility, ethics and leadership for coaches, teams and corporations.
Her dedication to academics – she retired with a near-perfect graduation rate for her players – is exemplified in the Marsha Sharp Center for Student-Athletes, which opened in 2004. The center provides student-athletes with up-to-date academic services.
She is a past president of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (2001-03), served as executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund (2009-11), is a lifetime member of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board of Directors and also is a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
Other organizations in which she is involved include the local YWCA, the Carillon Senior LifeCare Community Board of Directors, the Sharp Academy/Lubbock Learning Difference Center Advisory Board and the Second Baptist Church.
She has worked as a television analyst for the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA (2007-08) and the Lady Raiders (2010-12). Sharp is an accomplished author, releasing an autobiography in 2004 titled “Tall Enough to Coach.”
Texas Tech's School of Law also will have a commencement speaker for its hooding ceremony on Dec. 12.
School of Law 2008 alumnus C. Barrett Thomas is a partner with firm of Blanchard & Thomas in Waco and is the president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. He was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer for 2014 by the Abilene Young Lawyers Association and earned the Bob Black Bar Leaders award from the School of Law that same year.
Thomas is known as a passionate, detail-oriented litigator specializing in criminal and family law. Prior to becoming an assistant district attorney he worked as a police officer. He has practiced law in Sweetwater and Abilene and is a former felony prosecutor in the 32nd Judicial District Attorney's Office.