Girls basketball coaching legend, Edna Tarbutton, dies


7/27/2009, USA Today


WEST MONROE, La. (AP) Edna "Tiny" Tarbutton, who set national records while coaching girls basketball at Baskin High School in the 1940s and '50s, has died.

Tarbutton, who had been living at an assisted living facility, died Sunday, according to Mulhearn Funeral Home. She was 87.

A cause of death was not provided.

"She was a true pioneer and there is no doubt that for a certain time frame she was the best our country had. She did it better than anyone else," said former Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore, upon learning of Tarbutton's selection into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Tarbutton's teams set a national record with 218 consecutive victories from 1947 to 1953, winning nine state titles eight in a row. Tarbutton ended her 33-year coaching career in 1977 with a record of 654-263-2. All of her victories were at Baskin.

"We've lost a great coach and a great mentor," said former Baskin player Frances Lyles of Mangham, who had an outstanding coaching career of her own in basketball and track. "She helped us as young people to shape and mold our lives. I know she was a model for me when I became a teacher and a coach. I marvel at her records and the fact that she always gave us (her players) the credit. This is a big loss for the game of basketball and for all who knew Coach Tarbutton."

Funeral arrangements are pending.