March 28, 2012
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FREMONT, Neb. - After a legendary head coaching career spanning 42 years, all of them at Midland University (Neb.), Joanne Bracker will be retiring as head women's basketball coach. She will be focusing on her role in the university's Health and Human Performance Management department.
An inaugural member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., Midland University Sports Hall of Fame, and a former member of USA Basketball's Olympic Selection Committee, Bracker retires as the all-time winningest coach in the history of NAIA women's basketball. In her 42 years as a head coach, she amassed an overall record of 736-403 at Midland, going 9-21 last season.
Bracker's career is nothing short of extraordinary as she guided the Warriors to national rankings at the end of 13 different seasons and earned national tournament berths eight times.
This fall Midland University plans to honor Bracker's retirement with the unveiling of the Bracker name in the Midland University Event Center before the first home game of the season. Midland plans on making the game a celebratory event.
"Coach is a legend," said Dr. Ben Sasse, President of Midland University. “Her accomplishments on the court have earned her a place among the elite in college basketball history. Joanne’s vision and work created opportunities and hope for countless girls through her camps. And to the women who've come to Midland, she has regularly changed lives as an advisor and mentor. Her legacy here at Midland goes well beyond the court. And beyond this time, her tireless work to change the game of women's basketball will be felt for generations to come."
“Coach Bracker has made a difference in four decades at Midland University caring about students on the court and off the court,” said Gary A. Perkins, Chairman of the Midland Board of Trustees. “Her contributions to the development of the complete student at Midland cannot be measured.”
Bracker will stay on with Midland as a professor of the Health and Human Performance Department and focus on the expanding academic programs as Midland explores an athletic trainer certification program and sports management degree.
"I am delighted that Coach Bracker will remain a part of the Midland faculty and family," said Dr, Steve Bullock, Vice President of Academic Affairs. "Her work on behalf of her department has been an integral part of the success of our student body.”
The university will be announcing a national search for the next Midland women's basketball coach. Coach Bracker will play an integral role on the search committee.