While fans may talk about Tennessee, Connecticut and Stanford today, but it was Old Dominion, and Marianne Stanley that laid the foundation for women's basketball success.
Beginning at the age of 23, Stanley compiled a ten-year mark of 268-59 (.820) at ODU and helped put the Lady Monarch basketball program on the map as ODU captured three national championships during those ten years. Overall, she had a 416-222 (.652) 21 year career coaching mark. Her teams won 30 or more games four times and enjoyed eight seasons of 20 or more wins at ODU.
The Lady Monarchs won the AIAW national titles, when there was no NCAA Championships for women. In 1978-79 with a 35-1 record, The Lady Monarchs defeated UCLA, 87-82 for the crown. Again in 1979-80, ODU rolled to a 37-1 mark and defeated Tennessee, 68-53 for the AIAW crown.
In 1985, the Lady Monarchs defeated Georgia, 70-65 for the NCAA National crown. ODU also captured the NWIT crown in 1978. Overall, the Lady Monarchs reached the national semi-finals five times, including 1983 when the NCAA Final Four was held in Norfolk's Scope Arena.
Besides ODU, Stanley also served as head coach at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, California-berkeley and the University of Southern California. She guided Stanford to the NCAA Final Four in 1996.
Stanley's honors read like a Who's Who list. She was the 1979 AIAW National Coach of the Year in 1979, and a five-time Virginia Coach of the Year in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984 and 1985.
Stanley was named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the year in 1984. Regionally, she was named NCAA District III Coach of the Year in 1983, and was Fast Break Mideast Region Coach of the Year in 1984.
Two of her student athletes, Anne Donovan and Nancy Lieberman are both in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Lieberman was a two-time Wade Trophy winner and four of her student athletes, Lieberman, Donovan, Inge Nissen and Medina Dixon were Kodak All-Americans. Donovan was also the Naismith Player of the Year in 1983.
Marianne served her nation on several basketball staffs for 13 years (1983-96). She served as the Junior National Coach In Colorado Springs in 1985, and In 1986, served as the gold-medal winning U.S. National team assistant coach at the World Championships in Moscow.
In 2000, Stanley joined the Sparks as an assistant coach to Michael Cooper. The two-time Collegiate All-American as a player at Immaculata, Stanley served as head coach of the WNBA's Washington Mystics for two years and was named Coach of the Year in 2002. In 2004 she joined the New york Liberty as an advance scout later became an assistant coach with the Liberty.
Stanley returned to the college arena in 2006 as an assistant coach to C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers University, and helped guide the Scarlet Knights to the 2007 NCAA Championship game.
In 2002, Stanley was also inducted into The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the ODU Sports Hall of Fame.
Stanley has been an active member in the community, lending a hand to groups such as Hoops for Africa, the YMCA, Hope House Foundation and National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 2009 she became an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.
Stanley's daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Jonathan Worden, live in California with their children, Madelyn, Jonathan, Jr. and Dylan.