Anne Donovan

Anne Donovan giving the women's basketball team a pep talk during a previous game.

Former East Carolina University women’s basketball coach and Hall of Fame member Anne Donovan passed away at the age of 56 on June 13 due to heart failure while at home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Donovan is most well known for being one of the best women’s basketball players of all-time, as at 6’8, she was a matchup problem for her opponents. She played college basketball for Old Dominion University from 1979-83, and led the Monarchs to a national championship in 1979. She also was the recipient of the 1983 Naismith Trophy as National Player-of-the-Year. She was a member of the inaugural class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015.

ECU was the first to give Donovan a shot to be a head coach when she was hired in 1995 as the school’s women’s basketball coach after spending six seasons as an assistant for her alma mater, ODU. Donovan was head coach for ECU from 1995-98, and gained great coaching experience as a Pirate before taking her coaching talents to the professional and international ranks. She led the Pirates to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship game in 1997 as the No. 6 seed, where they faced off against her former school, ODU.

"The tremendous impact Anne Donovan made, not only on ECU, but the entire game of basketball is unprecedented," ECU women’s basketball coach Heather Macy said in the press release. "While we have lost a legend, we are consoled by the lasting memories and a legacy that will certainly continue to inspire our program and the countless of individuals she influenced."

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