A Celebration of 40th Anniversary of First National Basketball Championship: The Legendary IC Mighty Macs Women’s Basketball Team Walks the Red Carpet in Philadelphia, March 29, 2011
Immaculata University (IU) is regarded as the birthplace of modern college women’s basketball and IU’s Mighty Macs have the hardware to prove it.
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Immaculata’s first national college women’s basketball championship, the YEAR OF THE MACS will be kicked off at The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, PA) at a black tie fundraiser on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 beginning at 6 p.m.
The Mighty Macs The Movie Black Tie Gala will include a private screening of the film The Mighty Macs which stars Tony- and Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn, Carla Gugino (Entourage, Race to Witch Mountain, Watchmen) and David Boreanaz (Bones, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Members of the championship teams as well as the head coach are slated to take part in the screening’s festivities as well as the actors and the film’s director Tim Chambers.
The Mighty Macs won three consecutive national college women’s basketball championships in 1972, 1973 and 1974 – the first such national championships played in women’s college basketball in the United States.
Another milestone includes Immaculata playing the University of Maryland in the first nationally televised women’s basketball game in 1974.
The teams produced several NCAA Division I head women’s basketball coaches including Theresa Shank Grentz, an All-American player who went on to become the head coach for the 1992 US Olympic Women’s Basketball team, and president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), served as head coach for the women’s basketball program at Rutgers University (at the time, Grentz was the only fulltime head women’s basketball coach in Division I) in New Brunswick, NJ. Grentz coached Rutgers to the National Championship in 1982. She also was head coach for women’s basketball at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, IL. Prior to her retirement from coaching, Grentz was the 10th winningest Division I college women’s basketball coach in history.
Also from the player’s roster of All-American Mighty Macs is Marianne Crawford Stanley. Stanley won three National Championships as head women’s basketball coach at Old Dominion. She also was head coach at the University of California, Berkeley and was an assistant coach at Stanford. She is now a coach with the WNBA Washington Mystics.
Another coaching standout is Rene Muth Portland. She is the former head women’s basketball coach at Penn State. Her career resume includes 21 NCAA tournament appearances including a Final Four appearance played in Philadelphia, PA in 2000.
Both Grentz and Portland played on all three national championship squads. Stanley played on two.
Mighty Macs Head Coach Cathy Rush was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. Her record at Immaculata University (then college) was 149-15. She also has six final four appearances during her coaching tenure from 1970-1977 with the Mighty Macs.
“It was a dream come true that we never dreamed [about winning the three national championships],” said Grentz. “We were a team that proved women could compete and win at the highest levels of competition.”
Tickets for the event, (which includes a private tour of the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit that will be on display at the Franklin Institute), are $250 per person.
To purchase tickets or program ads, please call 610-647-4400, ext. 3120 or email email@example.com.
The Franklin Institute is located at 222 North 20th Street in Philadelphia, PA.
Immaculata University, a Catholic coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.
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