My name is Margie Hunt McDonald. I am a former Hutcherson Flying Queen, NCAA women’s basketball coach at the University of Wyoming, Commissioner of the High Country Athletics Conference, Deputy Commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference, and Coordinator of Women’s Basketball Officials of the Mountain West Conference. Currently, I am the color analyst for radio broadcasts of Wyoming women’s basketball games. I played on the Queens from 1961-62 through 1963-64.
I am the wife of Dr. Lyman McDonald, a world recognized wildlife statistician, and mother of three children who gave us nine grandchildren.
These are the people who made me who I am today: my parents, Herman and Mildred Hunt; my college coach, Harley J. Redin; Hutcherson Flying Queens sponsor, Claude Hutcherson; and, my husband, Dr. Lyman McDonald.
I grew up in a small town in northwest Oklahoma, Camargo, population about 300. I was one of ten children and my parents always encouraged us to follow our dreams. In the late 1950’s when I began high school, girls’ sports were popular and I played basketball (half-court), softball and track. But basketball was certainly my passion. At the time, we had never heard of the Hutcherson Flying Queens of Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas. The coach of a rival team mentioned them to my dad, and he took me to tryouts.
Since I played on the defensive end of half court rules in high school, I was not a good shooter. Coach Redin recognized some talent and committed himself to teaching me the offensive part of the game. The rules at the time were AAU, called the rover game. I was a rover and most of my responsibility was game strategy. Coach Redin was a master at that and my future in coaching was born.
Because of him, I eventually was named All American and chosen to represent the USA team in the Women’s World Tournament in Lima, Peru. In addition to the coaching, Coach Redin encouraged me in my studies and even let me babysit his two boys!
None of that college experience would have been possible without the commitment of Claude Hutcherson. I had never flown in an airplane, certainly not a single engine plane. Claude was always encouraging and supportive of every player. A secret: he bought me my first glass of Champaign on my 21st birthday!
My husband, Lyman, was from a small town ten miles from Camargo, and we started dating in the summer of my sophomore year at Wayland. He was very encouraging about my commitment to basketball. He even drove my parents to the National Tournament my senior year! We were married that summer, he received his PhD, and we moved to Laramie, Wyoming where he taught statistics and zoology. By then we had three children, two boys and a girl. When all were in school, the opportunity to coach the women’s basketball team at the University of Wyoming became available, and Lyman said go for it!
One of the proudest moments of my life was awarding the first athletic scholarship to a woman at the University of Wyoming. I coached nine years, then went into sports administration. I was blessed with being able to contribute to the Title IX revolution that made women’s sports what it is today.
I have been honored by being inducted in two Halls of Fame, the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall and the Wyoming Sports Hall; named District Administrator of the Year in 1996, served on several NCAA committees, and received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award given by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administration. And, none of that would have come about without the encouragement of my parents, Coach Redin, Claude, and my dear husband, Lyman. Thank you and God Bless!
Regarding the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 2019 nominations, I would say, Coach Redin made women’s collegiate basketball what it is today. He was adamant about going to five-on-five rules so the USA could compete internationally. The number of AAU Championships his teams won, all the USA teams he coached at international tournaments, plus the long list of All-American players he coached, certainly qualifies him and the Hutcherson Flying Queens to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame!
Margie Hunt McDonald
Wayland Grad 1964
Flying Queens Forever!