Texas A&M went 9-19 in Blair’s first season, but hasn’t had a losing record since. He has led Texas A&M to six straight NCAA tournament appearances and this year’s 33 wins are the most in school history.
The crowd gathered Wednesday is a clear indication of an impressive turnaround in attitudes at this formerly men-only military school.
When the school began admitting women in 1963, some alumni bristled at the decision and funding men’s and women’s sports equally after the passage of Title IX in 1972 was frowned upon by some.
Years ago the Texas A&M women’s basketball team had to share uniforms, and its practice gym wasn’t heated. Blair not only improved the product on the court, but made sure people in the community knew it. When he first arrived, he went door to door to introduce himself and ask people to come out to Reed Arena to watch the women play.
Even with a national championship on his resume, Blair hasn’t stopped trying to drum up more support for his team. He informed revelers at the celebration that the ticket office was open and they could buy season tickets on their way out the door.
Adams looked at the crowd lined up for her autograph after the ceremony and shook her head at the number of people who came out to welcome the Aggies home.
“It’s amazing to come back and see all these fans here,” she said. “Just to bring home a championship to Texas A&M is an amazing feeling.”
The homecoming party was a culmination of a wild 24 hours for the players. They were a bit bleary-eyed after celebrating into the wee hours of Wednesday morning after the win. They hit a Steak ‘N Shake in Indianapolis about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning where they chatted with fans, shook hands with workers and caught a few highlights of the win on ESPN.
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