Longtime Colorado women's basketball radio analyst Carol Callan was recognized as the Atlanta Tipoff Club's selection for the 2019 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women's Basketball on Wednesday.
"To be associated with the Naismith name and the list of previous contributors is an unbelievable honor," said Callan. "Growing up around basketball with a father who was a long-time coach, it's been so satisfying to be able to be a part of the growth of the women's game and its successes."
First presented in 1982 to Curt Gowdy, the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Basketball Award is presented annually to individuals whose extraordinary efforts have made outstanding contributions and created a long-lasting positive impact on the game of basketball. The recipients display character, integrity and dignity, and have contributed to the growth, success and viability of the sport. Chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Directors, Callan and men's honoree Verne Lundquist will be honored later this year and presented with a Naismith-themed plaque.
"Carol is so deserving of this honor and recognition," former CU head coach and current deputy athletic director Ceal Barry commented. "She is a tireless worker and advocate for the sport of women's basketball and has been for over four decades. Carol is respected as a leader by her peers in the game and is often called upon to help steer the direction of and future of women's basketball.
"Each year, we select recipients who have truly impacted the lives of so many players and fans and brought the spirit of basketball to life," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "Carol has elevated the women's game around the world, and Verne has helped our game reach millions of television viewers. It's an honor for us to include them in the Naismith Awards family."
Callan has spent more than 35 years on the radio call for the Buffaloes. She currently serves as the Women's National Team Director, acting as a liaison to women's competition committees and responsible for all USA Basketball women's team programs, including competitions, trials and training camps. Callan was the National Team director for the 1995-96 USA Basketball Women's National Team that posted a perfect 52-0 record, culminating with an 8-0 record and the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Beginning in 1996, the National Team has a record of 100-1 in World Cup and Olympic competition, winning gold medals at 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, and the 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
Callan's ties to Colorado run deep. She earned two master's degrees from the University of Colorado in business administration and physical education. Callan also spent 10 years as director of athletics/activities and two years as an assistant principal at Fairview High School.
It is the 21st honor awarded on the women's side. Past honorees include names like Pat Summit, Nancy Lieberman, Cheryl Miller and Kay Yow.