Dillard’s Pinder Coaching Style Goes Beyond X’s and O’s
Marcia Pinder has a dress code. Mind you, that doesn’t mean “biz-cas” for game days — only a dress or suit will do for Dillard’s girls basketball coach.
Some may think Pinder is too hard on her players, that after 39 years at the helm for Dillard, she drives them too hard, requires too much.
“It is not just about basketball between her and I. She talks to me about life.”
Washington stresses that many Dillard players have never been outside of Fort Lauderdale’s city limits. But it reveals a passion she shares with Pinder — helping their girls get beyond whatever limits them.
“The reason we coach is because we want the kids to go on to college,” Washington said. “She sees their potential and that is why she is so hard on them — I think they appreciate it.”
Washington, 37, played college ball at Howard University, where she helped the Bison win Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference titles in both her freshman and senior seasons before graduating in 2001. She has been on staff at Dillard since 2002.
Pinder, 64, said it is rewarding to see former players and members of her staff on the sidelines coaching.
“It’s a great feeling to know that you helped a child get to the next level and then to want to come back and give back,” she said.
Blanche Ely coach Shantel Haye, 33, a guard at Dillard from 1996-2000, says she still calls Pinder for advice.
“She means a lot to me,” said Haye, who took over the Tigers program two years ago and led Ely to an 18-7 record and the regional semifinals this season. “I try and bring the same things to my girls that Coach Pinder did with me, like determination, hard work — and bringing that to the table every day.”
Compiling a Florida-best 903-195 career record, Pinder has led the Panthers to a record nine state championships — including five in the last six years.
She’s a three-time Hall-of-Famer, having been enshrined by Broward County in 2002, the Florida Athletic Coaches Association in 2013 and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association in 2014.
But the prize in her eyes, as those in her coaching tree continually stress, is doing what’s best for her players.
George Adams was Pinder’s assistant for 25 years before leaving this season to take over at Calvary Christian.
Adams said about 90 percent of what Pinder professes he has brought into his own coaching.
“She has been a great mentor and a friend,” Adams said.
Brandon Adams, a cousin to George Adams, is also part of Pinder’s staff at Dillard and echoed many in his praise of her.
Adams, 26, has a long way to go if he’s working toward his own 900 wins, but already he has guided the Dillard Middle School girls team to 28 consecutive victories and back-to-back county championships.
“It is more than basketball with her. I think that is why she is so successful,” Adams said. “She does such a great job in her craft, but she cares more about people and that has carried over to the basketball floor. She has a passion for it and she is the best at what she does.”