miami herald lifetime achievement award | marcia pinder

Normally stoic, Dillard coach Pinder lets emotions pour out


More coverage

• Dillard’s Pinder earns Lifetime Achievement Award, 8D

• Complete list of Broward County award winners, 8D

• It was a banner year for Miami-Dade schools, 9D

All the emotions woven into a 37-year Hall of Fame career at Dillard started trickling out with each step girls’ basketball coach Marcia Pinder took to the Signature Grand stage on Friday.

Pinder, a no-nonsense coach known for her poise and stoic presence on the sidelines, gave a rare glimpse of her soft side by accepting the Miami Herald’s Lifetime Achievement Award as tears rolled down her cheeks.

As Pinder paused to collect herself, an audience that included 20 Broward state team champions showered Pinder with a standing ovation at the Miami Herald Broward Athletic Awards.

“I was extremely surprised,” Pinder said. “I’m honored. Lifetime achievement, that says a lot. When you look around and get a standing ovation … That was the icing on the cake.”

Pinder followed Dillard forward Briana Green, a Southern University signee, winning the Class 8A-5A Girls Player of the Year award by claiming her fifth consecutive 8A-5A Girls Coach of the Year award.

“This is the perfect morning,” Green said. “You have an aunt winning coach of the year and me winning player of the year. It’s always great to see one of your close family members win it. We represented Dillard real well [Friday]. I’m real proud.”

It’s only fitting that Pinder said listening to Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, the Rocky III theme song, blare over the loudspeaker as she went to pick up the lifetime award ultimately pushed her to tears.

“Everything flashed before me,” Pinder said. “Winning state championships, and the girls running on the court. And the song that was playing. A lot of emotional stuff.”

Pinder’s pending induction into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame, eight state titles and an 854-185 career mark, the most wins in Florida basketball history, was built on an unmatched competitive streak and work ethic.

Players who come into Pinder’s system soon learn that anything that might undermine team goals will not be tolerated.

“I coach because I love it,” Pinder said. “Just being firm and sticking to the plan and having set goals and not having anyone defer you from that. Just to see these young ladies go to school, that is the ultimate.”

Approaching the middle of her fifth decade of coaching, Pinder’s career appears to be gathering steam. The Panthers have won four state titles in the past five years and have a returning core that should put them in position to challenge for their ninth state title, which would tie them for No. 1 all-time and keep adding to Pinder’s legacy.

“My assistants backing me and getting these girls into college is what keeps me going,” Pinder said. “Once the girls come back and give back to the other girls, it just keeps going and going.”

Read more Broward High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category