1999 Hall of Fame Inductee
On her journey from being a coal miner's daughter in Sykesville, PA to becoming BYU Associate Women's Athletic Director, Ann Valentine has incorporated life's lessons to bring out the best in herself and in the sports and athletes she loves. Tonight we honor her as a coach, as an athlete, as an administrator, and one of the best friends BYU Athletics will ever have.
From an early age, Ann's three brothers provided her the teammates and opponents necessary to kindle her athletic interests. Those early years provided Ann her first lessons in athletic innovation and facilities management, as she and her siblings invented their own sports on the Catholic church's playground and folded chairs for the school janitor in exchange for playing time on the basketball court. Ann also acquired a love for tennis playing on a local doctor's farm-side clay court.
She earned a bachelor's degree in physical education at Pennsylvania's Slippery Rock College (1955), followed by a master's degree at Penn State (1961) and post graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania (1962). While earning her bachelor's degree she competed on the tennis, volleyball, field hockey, and basketball teams, losing only one tennis match in the entire four years.
Valentine brought her talents to BYU in 1969 when she became the women's tennis coach and ushered in a whole new era for both BYU and the nation. Ann literally changing the format of collegiate tennis by creating new national championship formats and conducting national tournaments that are now the mainstays of national collegiate competition. Over a legendary, 27-year coaching career, she won 71 percent of her matches and accumulated the 427 match victories that made her the second-winningest Division I coach in NCAA tennis history.
Twelve times she was named conference Coach of the Year. Four-times she was the Wilson/ITA Central Region Coach of the Year. And in 1996 she received the Rolex Meritorious Service Award. Her teams won 15 conference championships; over 23 years, 19 of her teams were ranked in the top 20 and 11 in the top 10. Ann coached 17 All-American athletes who won a total of 31 All-America awards.
In 1995 she stepped down as women's tennis coach to become Associate Director of Women's Athletics and more fully promote the progress and success of the BYU women's program. Valentine's administrative insight has helped produce the funds, the facilities, and the organization necessary for the success of BYU's existing teams and the addition of women's soccer and softball.
Ann has also been a winner in the classroom. She's earned the title of Associate Professor and has been voted by her students as the "Outstanding Faculty Member" for excellence in teaching, service, and leadership.
Personally and professionally Ann Valentine is an individual whose lifestyle turns coal into diamonds. She has lifted and she has learned; she has taught and she has loved, changing for the better all who have called her "coach," "colleague," "professor," or "friend" at BYU.