Jacqueline “Jackie” Jeffery said she was one of the lucky ones to get an opportunity to play high school basketball before Title IX attempted to even the playing field for females.
Her coaching career was dedicated to making sure others had opportunities, too.
“I wanted to be successful because I wanted (St. Clair County Community College) to be a place where the young women athletes of the area could feel it was a place they could go to follow their dreams,” Jeffery said. “So often with Thumb schools, colleges don’t really look at them. This was a place where if they wanted to continue playing, they an opportunity to do so.”
Jeffery, who coached the SC4 women’s basketball team for eight years, will be back on campus Saturday night to be inducted into the Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame.
She is one of seven inductees – six individuals and one team – in the 2015 class. She will be inducted on Saturday along with Marshall “Duke” Campbell, Randy Shagena, Daryel McCarrel, Mary Kay Baribeau, Dave Forstner and the 1970 St. Clair County Community College men’s golf team.
The induction banquet will be held in the Atrium at the student center at SC4. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. This year’s guest speaker is former Denver Broncos offensive lineman George Goeddeke.
Jeffery was the first women’s basketball coach at SC4, and had plenty of success with the new program. The team won five out of six league championships, including four straight from the 1976-77 season through 1979-80.
In 1977, the team won state and regional titles, as well, and earned a bid to the national tournament, where it finished eighth.
In her eight seasons, Jeffery compiled a 164-84 record, had two All-Americans – Nancy DeNardin and Penny Kroll – and one member of the All-National Tournament Team – Laurie Nolan.
“When you coach a team, you don’t think about going into the Hall of Fame,” Jeffery said. “You think about how you can bring your team to have the most amount of success they can have. I was very fortunate, because most of the girls I recruited were very coachable and gave their best all the time.
“I was just always happy that they were following their dream and they were as successful as they were.”
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.