Former Memphis State women’s coach Mary Lou Johns named to Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame


MEMPHIS — She is considered a pioneer in women’s basketball.  The first head coach in University of Memphis history back in 1972 and still that program’s winningest coach with 368 wins over 20 seasons at then Memphis State.

Now, Mary Lou Johns is the newest inductee into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame as WREG News Channel 3 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame teammed up to make the surprise announcement. 

“We want to congratulate you on your long, successful career at the University of Memphis,” said Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Vice Chairman of the Board Harold Graeter.  “Your impact on women’s athletics in our state and we’re proud to tell you that you are the newest inductee named to the Class of 2021 for the state of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Congratulations.”

“Obviously, I’m very honored.  Surprised.  Wonder if I really belong in this role with so many other wonderful people,” said Johns. “Like I’ve said many times before, to other coaches and players, you obtain a lot.  You don’t do it on your own.  You obtain it through your players, your coaches, your administrators. Everybody that you put yourself around during your life and I’ve had a wonderful life.”

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