COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M Athletics announced Thursday that the Reed Arena court will be named in honor of National Champion and Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Gary Blair, upon approval from the Texas A&M System Board of Regents Thursday afternoon.
With a generous donation from Wayne Roberts ’85 and the approval of the Board of Regents, Reed Arena’s court will officially be named “Gary Blair Court” during a pregame ceremony on Feb. 24 when Texas A&M faces off against South Carolina.
Blair will become just the third women’s basketball coach to currently have a court named after them with Tennessee’s Pat Summitt and NC State’s Kay Yow also sharing the distinction.
“This is an incredible honor,” Blair said. “Having my name on that beautiful floor is a humbling experience. It will be a symbol of all those that helped build this program and all the Aggies that battle on that court, not just in women’s basketball, but in men’s basketball and volleyball as well. My former players, assistants and staff members deserve all the credit. We dedicated our lives to this program and A&M and built it on doing things the right way, the Aggie way.
“I want to thank Wayne Roberts for his vision and generosity. ‘You are an amazing Aggie and my family and I are forever grateful.’ Thank you to Ross Bjork and our administration for their leadership and commitment to women’s athletics. I am appreciative of your guidance and I know you are leading A&M in the right direction. Aggieland is a special place and has always been my destination. Thank you and Gig’Em.”
“Coach Blair roamed the sidelines at Reed Arena for 19 years and won a national championship, so it is only appropriate to have his name attached to the court and a great way to honor his legendary coaching career,” Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said. “As Coach Blair wraps up his stellar career, we are so grateful for the support of Wayne Roberts for making this possible with his contributions and support of Texas A&M Athletics. Wayne’s act of selfless service will be on special display each time the Aggies play on Gary Blair Court.”
“Coach Blair is the winningest coach in Aggie Basketball history, one of only three current Texas A&M coaches to win a National Championship at A&M, and has built a perennial winner at A&M from the ground up.” Roberts said. “He’s a Hall of Fame coach, but an even better person and a wonderful representative of Texas A&M. I’ve been pretty fortunate to be able to fund upgrades for Aggie Basketball over the last five years or so, but have never been comfortable with the naming recognition options. I give because that’s what Aggies do, and I want to leave a legacy. Modeling selfless service and giving is part of that. I suggested using my naming rights to put Coach Blair’s name on the court instead because Coach Blair is the one who paid for this through his performance and contribution to Texas A&M. I am very happy to see someone so deserving be recognized in such a meaningful way.”
Blair has led the Aggies for the past 19 seasons and is the winningest coach in A&M basketball history with 443 victories. He brought the program to the pinnacle of the sport, when A&M stood atop the women’s basketball landscape as the 2011 National Champions.
The Dallas native is 12th all-time in Division I wins, having amassed 852 victories during his 37 years as a collegiate head coach. He is a member of seven halls of fame, including the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Blair has led A&M to 16 NCAA Tournaments, eight Sweet Sixteens, three Elite Eights and five conference titles.
The women’s basketball legend has won 250 games on the court to be named after him, with an 83.1% winning percentage in Aggieland.
Blair’s community impact has also had a lasting effect on the Bryan-College Station area. Coach Blair’s charities has raised over 1.4 million dollars since its creation in 2003. He has helped provide extra funding for multiple charities in the Brazos Valley and worked closely with Special Olympics-Texas.