Nancy Darsch, collegiate and WNBA women’s basketball coach, dies at 68

Joining her Plymouth-Carver High School team in the mid-1960s, Nancy Darsch found that the girls’ and boys’ basketball squads were treated differently.



Nancy Darsch wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: Ms. Darsch, giving instructions to her players on New York Liberty during the inaugural WNBA basketball game, against the Los Angeles Sparks in Inglewood, Calif.


© KEVORK DJANSEZIAN
Ms. Darsch, giving instructions to her players on New York Liberty during the inaugural WNBA basketball game, against the Los Angeles Sparks in Inglewood, Calif.

“We had six players on a team, two were always in the defensive zone, two could only play on the offensive side of the floor and two players could swing back and forth,” she told the Globe in 1992.

“I remember some of us played in boat shoes, others had Keds,” she added. “And for uniforms, we had tunics with button-down shirts underneath. We played in the afternoon and it seemed very informal.”

Ms. Darsch, who went on to coach the Ohio State women’s team to the NCAA finals and later was a coach for WNBA teams, was 68 when she died Monday in her hometown of Plymouth.

She had Parkinson’s disease, according to the Associated Press, which added that Brian Agler, who had coached with her for the Seattle Storm, said Ms. Darsch’s family had told him she had died. There also is a brief listing on the website of Cartmell-Davis Funeral Home, which has locations on the South Shore.

“It’s difficult to imagine the changes that have occurred,” she told the Globe in 2006 as she looked back at more than three decades of coaching women’s and girls’ basketball. “When I began playing, it was beyond my comprehension that someday there would be a women’s professional league in America, let alone having the opportunity to coach in the league.”

At the time of that conversation, Ms. Darsch had just returned to Greater Boston, between WNBA coaching stints, when she was named an assistant coach at Boston College.

She coached at all levels of the game. After finishing her bachelor’s degree at Springfield College in 1973, she began her career by coaching basketball, field hockey, and softball at Longmeadow High School.

Ms. Darsch went on to become a longtime part of the USA Basketball coaching staff and was an assistant coach for the US Olympic women’s teams that won gold medals in the 1984 and 1996 Olympics.

In 1978, she joined the college coaching ranks as an assistant to legendary coach Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee, from which Ms. Darsch graduated with a master’s degree.

Speaking with the Globe in 1993, she recalled that upon graduating from Springfield she knew she “wanted to be a coach at the major college level. I went to the University of Tennessee as a volunteer assistant because at that time, they didn’t have paid assistants, and I was just fortunate that when the opportunity to have an assistant coach came up, they offered it to me.”

Taking the Ohio State head coach job in 1985, Ms. Darsch posted a 234-125 record. She led the Buckeyes to four Big Ten regular season titles and to the 1993 NCAA Final, in which her

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The North American Collegiate League Ties Partnership with Three Commas Clothing

EL PASO, TX / ACCESSWIRE / 21 October 2020 / Over the last decade, esports has exploded into a billion-dollar industry, capturing millions of players worldwide. Aside from nurturing its standing as a leading non-profit esports organization, the North American Collegiate League(NACL) furthers its authority by partnering with Mark Cuban’s Three Commas Clothing. The two parties have recently signed a major merchandise deal that aims to capture everyone in the esports industry.

The exclusive NACL Collegiate Collection was the product of the eventful collaboration between industry leaders. The collection currently carries five available items featuring limited edition jerseys and hoodies. The product line touts some of the most iconic collegiate teams such as Arkansas State, ICEBRKRSCLAN and NACL. The current production marks the first of many as the partnership targets to launch new products each month.

The North American Collegiate League hosts and streams video game tournaments and league play for collegiate esports competitors. In turn, the platform gives away scholarship prizes to worthy and competitive individuals. NACL is founded by David Chen, who is a former Deloitte Partner, current partner at Mediabudnace and GTIF Capital, and investor in esports. He believes it is a platform for establishing a community of like-minded and strong-willed individuals. The organization plays various video games such as Fortnite, Dota 2, Fifa 21, Madden NFL 21, and many others.

The North American Collegiate League encourages a healthy dedication to esports to everyone. The content shared on the platform is suitable for anyone who comes across it. The founder ensures that anyone is not discriminated against and left behind to urge them to know more about esports. “This serves the purpose of fostering a communal relationship between established players, those who are looking to enter the scene, and even those who do not entirely know what the esports industry has to offer them,” said David Chen.

Despite its popularity, there is still a gap between traditional sports fans and esports enthusiasts. NACL addresses this by positioning esports as a welcoming platform. Just as much as traditional sports heavily involve camaraderie and sportsmanship, the same is true for esports. It is also an industry built on the players’ respect for each other and the electronic sports they are passionate about.

The North American Collegiate League is streaming under TV rights in seven countries across Asia. This includes China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Japan, and South Korea. Asia has one of the most significant communities of esport enthusiasts and players. In the region alone, esports has generated millions of dollars of investment for the industry. NACL is looking toward advancing to other countries in Asia and the rest of the world.

Most recently, The North American Collegiate League hosted their very first live event at ISM Raceway during NASCAR’s 2020 championship weekend. It was a milestone event for NACL, where NASCAR drivers and students came together to compete in a NASCAR Heat 4 tournament. The event was truly monumental, showing audiences how people from different industries can

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