LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Tracy Sanders, who enjoyed an outstanding career with the Gael women’s basketball team, was announced as part of the sixth annual West Coast Conference Hall of Honor class.
“This year we welcome yet another remarkable group of inductees into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor,” WCC CommissionerJamie Zaninovich said. “These 10 individuals are some of the best and brightest to ever represent our conference and their respective institutions. The Hall of Honor celebration will once again serve as one of the highlights of what promises to be another highly competitive West Coast Conference Basketball Championship."
The 2013-14 Gaels were in attendance and gave their associate head coach a standing ovation.
Tracy Sanders (formerly Morris) enjoyed a standout collegiate career as a member of the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team from 1996-2000. A member of the WCC’s 50 Greatest Student-Athletes list, Sanders’ honors include the WCC Freshman of the Year (1997), three WCC first-team selections and the 1999 WCC Player of the Year. She finished her career with 1,807 points (a school record at the time), amassing 1,069 points in her final two seasons.
“I am truly honored to be inducted into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor,” said Sanders. “The WCC has an incredible tradition and continues to raise its caliber year after year… it is humbling to be recognized with these athletes. Basketball is a team sport and I believe this honor is a product of the tremendous coaches and teammates I was blessed with along the way.”
During the 1998-99 year, the Gaels entered the WCC Tournament as the No. 3 seed as Sanders led SMC to an upset win over No. 2 seed and tournament host Santa Clara in the semifinals, then a 72-69 win over No. 1 seed Pepperdine to cut down the nets. Sanders captured WCC Tournament MVP honors. Sanders led the league in scoring for three straight seasons and finished second all-time in the WCC in points scored. She set the Saint Mary’s school record for points in her career, breaking a 15-year old mark. During her Player of the Year season in 1999, Sanders led the Gaels to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
After her playing career, Sanders was an assistant coach for three years with the Gaels, including assisting on the 2000-01 NCAA Tournament team, which reached the second round. Before joining current head coach Paul Thomas’ staff, Sanders had her children, Cason (12) and Samantha (11). , who are now 12 and 11 years old, respectively.
Sanders has coached the last eight seasons with Thomas, being promoted to Associate Head Coach before the 2013-14 season. She has helped produce several All-WCC award winners, including helping the development of Louella Tomlinson, who ended her career as the Saint Mary’s leader in career points, the WCC leader in career rebounds and the NCAA career leader in blocked shots.
The 2014 WCC Hall of Honor class includes: BYU's Ed Eyestone(Cross Country), Gonzaga’s Kelley Cunningham Spink (Volleyball), Loyola Marymount’s Jeff Fryer (Basketball), Pacific’s Keith Swagerty(Basketball), Pepperdine’s Mike Scott (Baseball), Portland’s Laura Sale O’Connell (Basketball), Saint Mary’s Tracy Morris Sanders(Basketball), San Diego’s Jose Luis Noriega (Tennis), San Francisco’sOllie Johnson (Basketball) and Santa Clara’s Leslie Osborne(Soccer).
Single game tickets for the 2014 West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will also be on sale at the Orleans Arena box office each morning.