COVINGTON — Betty Faith (Jump Shot) Jaynes, 68, who was a leading figure nationally in the sport of women’s basketball for 38 years and the first executive director of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), died Monday, Feb. 10.
Jaynes died at St. Mary’s Hospice House in Athens after a brief illness.
She was named the WBCA’s first executive director in September 1981. Her title was changed to CEO in September 1996. Under Jaynes’ leadership the WBCA established itself as a leading resource, voice and advocate for coaches of women’s basketball, growing from 212 members in its initial year of existence to more than 3,000 at the time of her retirement as CEO in November 2001. Jaynes also was a staunch advocate for and defender of Title IX.
“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Betty Jaynes,” said Florida State head coach and WBCA President Sue Semrau. “She built the WBCA from the ground up. She helped give coaches of women’s basketball a voice and successfully fought for those of us in this profession to be treated equitably. Each of us who coaches women’s basketball owes Betty a huge debt of gratitude.”
Jaynes remained active with the WBCA as a consultant handling advisory assignments including finances, educational programming, advocacy and special projects until her death.
“There are no words to describe the emptiness I and the entire WBCA family feel,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass, who joined the WBCA staff in 1997 and succeeded Jaynes as chief executive in 2001. “Betty was like a mother to many of us; a good friend to all of us. For me, both personally and professionally, she was an adviser, mentor, confidant and my closest friend. Women’s basketball and the WBCA were not just her livelihood; they were her entire life.”
Jaynes’ commitment to and national involvement in the development and growth of women’s basketball began long before her employment as WBCA executive director. While serving as head women’s basketball coach at Madison College (now James Madison University), Jaynes chaired the U.S. Girls’ and Women’s Basketball Rules Committee from 1979 to 1981. She also acted as tournament director for the 1975 AIAW Large College National Basketball Championships, which boasted the first-ever championship game sellout in the modern era of women’s college basketball.
That event also featured the selection and recognition of the inaugural Kodak Coaches’ All-America women’s basketball team. Jaynes took that program under her wing, serving as chair of its selection committee from 1976 through 1982.
In her role as WBCA executive director/CEO, Jaynes served on a variety of national boards, including the Center for the Study of Sport in Society National Advisory Committee; the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and Women’s Screening Committee; the USA Basketball Board of Directors; the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors; and the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees. Jaynes also coordinated volunteers working the basketball competitions in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.
A native of Covington, Jaynes attended Newton County High School where she lettered in basketball for four years and was a two-time All-State selection. She helped lead her team to a 33-1 record and a berth in the 1963 Class AA state championship game in Atlanta her senior year. Jaynes earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Georgia College in 1967 and her Master of Science degree in the same field from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1968.
Jaynes joined the staff at Madison College in 1968 as an assistant professor of physical education with primary teaching duties in gymnastics, tennis and swimming. She served as the Dukes’ head women’s basketball coach from 1970 to 1982.
She was the recipient of numerous awards and honors from national organizations, including the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport Honors Award (1991), the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Honors Award (1995), the Women’s Sports Foundation President’s Award (1997) and the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).
She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2000), the NACDA Hall of Fame (2006), the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (2007) and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (2008). In 2006, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame honored Jaynes with its John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, which is the highest honor the Basketball Hall of Fame can present to an individual short of actual induction.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb.15 at 2 p.m. at The Church At Covington with the Rev. Phil DeMore and the Rev. Royeese Stowe officiating. The body will lie in state from noon until the service hour. Interment will follow at Lawnwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at The Church At Covington, located at 11975 Ga. Highway 142 N. Oxford from 4-8 p.m. on Friday.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Betty F. Jaynes Internship Program, her pride and joy, in care of the WBCA office 4646 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn, GA. 30047.
Jaynes is survived by her sister Peggy Jaynes Moss of Lawrenceville; nephew Jack (Donna) Moss of Monroe; great-niece Shelley ( Kiley) Dillingham of Monroe; great-nephew Chad (Amanda) Folds of Monroe; great-great nieces and great-great-nephew Gracie, Emma, Hayden, Jaxson, and Macy; several cousins; second cousins and extended family and friends; and beloved pets Pollack, Georgia Gal and Suga.
A tribute page honoring Jaynes is being created on the association’s official website, WBCA.org. Anyone wishing to post their thoughts or memories of Jaynes should email them to Andrea Kane, WBCA manager of communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.