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Nov. 5, 2002

TRENTON, N.J. – Debbie Ryan, a native of Titusville, N.J., who has posted a 561-210 record as head women’s basketball coach at the University of Virginia, will be honored for lifetime achievement by the prestigious Trenton Select Committee at Baldasarri Regency on Sunday, November 10.

Ryan, who graduated from Hopewell Valley High School and played collegiately at Ursinus College (Pa.), will be honored, along with longtime Rider University baseball coach Sonny Pittaro at the affair, which begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $40.

Founded in 1972, the Trenton Select honors a male and female native of the Greater Trenton area who have brought outstanding recognition to themselves and to their communities in both sports and civic endeavors.

Ryan is a seven-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year whose long list of accomplishments with the Cavaliers also includes:

20 postseason tournament appearances (1980, 1984-present)
19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1984-present)
12 NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances
Seven NCAA Final Eight appearances
Three Final Four appearances
One NCAA Championship Game appearance (1991)
11 ACC regular-season titles
three ACC Tournament titles

Ryan, who begins her 26th season at the helm at Virginia later this month, has recruited and developed such notable players as Val Ackerman (Hopewell native, now President of WNBA), Cathy Grimes, Donna Holt, Wendy Palmer, Dawn Staley, Tammi Reiss and Tora Suber. Players under Ryan’s guidance have earned 31 All-America honors, 17 Academic All America awards, six ACC Player of the Year awards, and no fewer than 51 All-ACC honors.

When she achieved her 500th collegiate coaching victory in 1999, she joined an elite group of only five other Division I women’s coaches who had attained at least 500 victories at one college or university: Pat Summit (Tennessee, Jody Conradt (Texas), Kay Yow (NC State), Mike Granelli (St. Peter?s) and Marian Washington (Kansas).

Perhaps most impressive on the Debbie Ryan resume is the fact that 100 percent of her players who have completed their four-year eligibility have graduated from Virginia.

On the international front, Ryan served as the head coach of the USA Basketball women’s team that participated in the World University Games in 2001, resulting in a gold medal in Beijing, China. She led the team to a 7-1 record and an 87-69 victory over China to claim the championship.

The state of Virginia has saw fit to honor Ryan on several occasions. She was cited by the Virginia State Assembly in 1997, and was named Outstanding Woman of the Year in 1991 by the Virginia Women’s Forum.

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