Dalhousie University’s women’s basketball head coach Anna Stammberger will be retiring at the end of the 2020-21 season, after a 25-year coaching career.
Stammberger assumed the role of head coach of the women’s basketball team in May of 2009.
In her first 11 seasons with the Tigers, Stammberger has led the women’s basketball team to seven AUS championships tournaments. The fate of the 2020-21 championship season is still yet to be determined. In 2014-15, Stammberger was named AUS coach of the year after leading her team to a 14-6 regular season record.
“My decision to retire comes at the right time for both me and the program,” says Stammberger. “I was thrilled to return to Dalhousie in 2009 to be a proud Tiger again, and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to grow and develop as a person and a coach. I’m proud and excited about the current team; I know the future is bright for these outstanding young student-athletes and I look forward to supporting them and following their progress from the stands!
“I sincerely thank the student-athletes, assistant coaches, support staff, colleagues, alumni and friends for their tremendous and loyal support along the way. I’m indebted to my immediate and extended family who have been Tigers fans and supporters for the past 40+ years and I’m especially grateful for my husband Hartwig, for the sacrifices he made as partner of a head coach, and my children Tessa and Sven who dedicated many hours as well as blood, sweat and tears (literally) to the Tigers. Once a Tiger, always a Tiger!”
Stammberger’s approach to her role as coach has always been focused on preparing her student-athletes for life after graduation and ensuring their experience as a Tiger was well-rounded. A strong focus on academics has always been key to the success of her teams and it shows with nearly a third of her players achieving Academic All-Canadian status each year. Community involvement is also something Stammberger believes strongly in and has passed that on to her players. Her teams regularly give back through several community-based events and fundraisers each year in addition to their individual volunteer activities.
Promoting women in sport is one of her great passions. She, along with women’s volleyball head coach Rick Scott started the Dalhousie Tigers Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner in 2010 to showcase the impact sport can have on women as future leaders. This event has raised funds for their respective programs but more importantly, it has provided their student-athletes with an opportunity to grow off the court while setting a valuable example for the hundreds of young women who have attended the event over the years.
“Our athletic department, university and community have benefitted tremendously from Anna’s contributions which will leave a lasting impact,” says Tim Maloney, executive director of athletics and recreation at Dalhousie. “Anna is a consummate professional who has led our program with a foundation built on integrity, hard work and passion. Her connection to Dalhousie is unmatched as is our gratitude for her efforts as a player, alumna, coach, hall of famer and parent of two amazing Tigers.
A Dalhousie basketball alumna, Stammberger (née Pendergast) played five seasons with the Tigers starting in 1978. She earned CIS All-Canadian status twice and was named Dalhousie’s Class of ‘55 Award winner in 1983 as the university’s top female athlete while earning a Bachelor of Education. She was inducted to the Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of the 1979-80 national silver medal winning women’s basketball team and again as an individual in 2016.
She was also a member of Canada’s national team from 1980-1992, competing in the 1984 Olympics, 1982, 1986, and 1991 World Championships, 1988 and 1992 pre-Olympic tournaments as well as numerous Pan American Games and World Student Games. From 1985-2003 Stammberger competed in Germany’s first Division and after eight years as head coach of Athletic Club BG Rentrop Bonn, she returned to her hometown of Kensington, P.E. to take on the roles of athletic director, teacher and coach at Kensington Intermediate Senior High School before returning to Dalhousie to coach the women’s basketball team.
A one-year interim coach will be appointed in the coming weeks followed by a national search for a permanent replacement for the 2022-23 season.
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