2021 Camp Dates
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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 eight appearances in the Sweet Sixteen and reached the Elite Eight in 2008, 2011 and 2014. In 2020-21, the Aggies went 25-3 and reached the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
At the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, Blair ranked fifth in career victories among active Division I coaches with an impressive 813-330 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 18th year (2020-21) at Texas A&M, Blair is the longest-tenured coach in program history, also owning the school records for wins (405), winning percentage (.702) and NCAA Tournament appearances (14). Blair has more than doubled the win total of Lynn Hickey (154).
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.
Blair has coached three USBWA All-Americans at Texas A&M; Danielle Adams, who was the program’s first true All-American in 2010-11, Kelsey Bone, who earned All-America recognition in 2012-13 and Chennedy Carter, who was named All-America twice in her career (2019 & 2020).
Adams was a first-team honoree by the Associated Press, the USBWA and the WBCA in addition to being selected as a finalist for prestigious awards such as the Naismith Trophy, the John R. Wooden Award and the Wade Trophy. After leaving Aggieland, Adams became a WNBA All-Star for the San Antonio Stars.
Bone was selected to the USBWA first-team and was a third-team selection by the Associated Press, after completing a 2012-13 season that saw her earn MVP of the SEC Tournament. She was the fifth overall pick by the New York Liberty in the historically-strong 2013 WNBA Draft, and earned WNBA All-Rookie honors in her first year in the league.
Carter, who was Texas A&M’s first National Freshman of the Year in 2017-18, earned second-team honors by the USBWA as a sophomore, after leading the SEC in scoring for the second consecutive year. The Mansfield, Texas, native became the first player in program history to earn All-America honors in the first three years of her career. Carter was named an AP, USBWA and WBCA All-American on eight different occasions, a program record.
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.
Notably, Blair is one of only three all-time NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches to lead two different teams to the NCAA Women’s Final Four (Texas A&M and Arkansas), and is one of 12 coaches to lead three different teams to the NCAA Tournament (Texas A&M, Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin).
Over the course of his 40-year collegiate coaching career, which includes stops at Stephen F. Austin (1985-93) and Arkansas (1993-03), Blair has led his teams to 34 winning seasons, 29 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 405-167 record (.708) after 17 seasons in Aggieland, including 15 consecutive 20-win campaigns since 2005-06. Under Blair, A&M has registered an unprecedented 227-47 (.828) overall success record at Reed Arena.
Since 2008, 12 of Blair’s players have been selected in the WNBA Draft, including Chennedy Carter, who was the program’s highest-ever pick at fourth overall in the 2020 draft. Kelsey Bone is the second-highest draft pick in school history at fifth overall in the 2013 draft. Texas A&M has had two players selected in the same WNBA Draft four times; Courtney Walker and Jordan Jones in 2016, Tyra White and Sydney Carter in 2012, Sydney Colson and Danielle Adams in 2011 and Morenike Atunrase and A’Quonesia Franklin in 2008.
One of the most active and involved coaches in the Bryan-College Station community, Blair is a frequent and charismatic speaker at the local Rotary Club as well as other civic and student groups throughout the year. He also hosts the annual Gary Blair Celebrity Golf Classic that benefits Special Olympics Texas. A marketing and public relations guru, Blair has increased awareness about his program and boosted both attendance and season tickets sales at Reed Arena by over 300 percent due to his one-on-one approach.
Blair is a member of seven Hall of Fames, including induction into the Dallas ISD Hall of Fame in 2019, the state of Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2009, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also honored with the 2011 New York Athletic Club’s Winged Foot Award, which is presented annually to the winning coaches of the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I Basketball Championships.
A 1963 graduate of Dallas Bryan Adams High School, Blair was an all-city baseball player. After a tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, he earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education with a minor in journalism from Texas Tech in 1972. He completed his master’s degree in education in 1974 and also played a season of baseball for the Red Raiders.
Blair has two children, Paige and Matt, and three grandchildren, Logan, Lola and Landry. Paige owns a children’s boutique in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and is married to Beau Thompson, head boys basketball coach at Farmington High School in Farmington, Ark. Matt is married to the former Alli Nielsen, and owns a furniture, gift and antique shop in Fayetteville, Arkansas.