When basketball standout and veteran coach Felisha Legette-Jack ’89 saw her jersey hoisted to the rafters of the Syracuse University stadium in November 2021, she was rendered speechless. “Stunned” was more like it. “I got emotional because all these memories came flooding back to me,” recalls No. 33, who is the first alumna to have her jersey retired by the University. “I don’t take it lightly because there are so many other people just as deserving.”
As the University marks 50 years of women’s athletics, almost any mention of women’s basketball includes Legette-Jack—the six-foot forward who, as a freshman, helped power the Orange to their first BIG EAST championship in 1985. Not even a devastating knee injury, which grounded Legette-Jack for most of the 1987-88 season, prevented her from owning the team’s scoring and rebounding records. “That injury was a God-wink because I started watching Head Coach Barb Jacobs from the sidelines. That’s when I became interested in coaching,” admits the Syracuse native, who earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences and human development and family science from Falk College.
Syracuse University News recently caught up with Legette-Jack, who is in her 10th season as head coach of the University at Buffalo women’s basketball team to do an interview. The winningest coach in that program’s history, she is equally at home at Syracuse, where she is a 2021 recipient of the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Sports.