BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Sally Bell announced her retirement as the Southwestern Athletic Conference‘s coordinator of women’s basketball officials, effective April 9.
“The SWAC wishes Sally Bell the best in her retirement and thank her for her many years of service not only in the SWAC but to the game of women’s basketball,” SWAC interim Commissioner Edgar Gantt said. “Sally’s leadership and passion will be missed.”
Bell had served the SWAC as its coordinator of women’s basketball officials since 2009 and held the same post for the Southland, SEC, Ohio Valley, Sun Belt and Atlantic Sun conferences.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to have served the great sport of basketball for over 40 years, especially as an official and coordinator,” Bell said. “I want to thank interim Commissioner Gantt and his staff for their support as well as the loyal and dedicated referees I have had the honor to work with. I was blessed with some memorable experiences but more importantly developed meaningful and lifelong friendships. I am humbled to have played a small role in the game. While I am retiring I will be a fan of the sport for life and look forward to seeing the next generation of officials excel.”
Highly respected during her tenure in the sport, Bell spent 33 years as a women’s basketball official which included 15 NCAA Division I Women’s Final Fours, including 13 consecutive from 1992 through 2004, as well as the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She was also named the 1991 Naismith Women’s Basketball Official of the Year and was inducted as one of six members into the 2017 class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Bell was active in officiating international basketball, working the 1989 Junior World Championships in Spain, the 1990 World Championships in Malaysia, the 1994 Goodwill Games in Russia and the 1993 World University Games held in the United States.
Bell began officiating high school basketball in 1975, moved on to NAIA and NJCAA games in 1979, and first officiated Division I and II games in 1981. Bell will continue with her scheduled camps this spring and summer.