fter helping her Paul VI High School basketball
team win a state parochial title in 1972 and a
20-2 record in 1974, Mary Scharff became a
star of the Immaculata Mighty Macs’ dynasty. The
Mighty Macs recruited Scharff in 1974 when she
was a college freshman majoring in mathematics.
For two years, the team had played and beaten
the best schools in the nation, and Scharff helped
them win their third national title in 1974.
Scharff won a title of her own three years later when
she was named a Kodak All-American player, with
1,231 career points and an average of 15 points
per game. She developed a reputation as a brilliant
shooter, a queen of three-point shots before the
three-point line existed. Scharff played with the
Mighty Macs during their tour in Australia, in the first
women’s game at Madison Square Garden, and in
the first women’s game to be televised nationwide.
A year after graduating from Immaculata, she
landed the head coaching jobs at Archbishop
Prendergast High School and John W. Hallahan
Catholic Girls’ High School. She gained further
experience as an assistant basketball coach at
Villanova University for two seasons. She played for
and then coached the California Dream women’s
professional basketball team in 1979 and 1980.
In 1987, she returned to Immaculata to serve
as a basketball coach there for 11 years.
Playing basketball and coaching has provided the
fun and motivation that has kept Scharff going
even through difficult times. “Basketball got me
through,” Scharff commented. “The kids are great.
I love coaching. I love coming to practice.”
I MMA C U L ATA U N I V E R S I T Y