You don’t want to miss this sit down with Bethune-Cookman Women’s Basketball’s head coach, Vanessa Blair-Lewis. 2020 has thrown a lot at this mother of two young boys. Blair (6) & Bryce (2) are homeschooling this year. And Vanessa’s husband Eric Lewis, an NBA referee, was in the bubble officiating from early July through the duration of the pro season. When we recorded this episode, Eric was due to arrive home for the first time in three months. Vanessa had planned a brief girls’ getaway in order to decompress before getting back to the grind with her team.
And then, like so many other things in 2020, Bethune-Cookman’s ‘20-’21 season was cancelled.
We didn’t see that coming when we planned this podcast episode. So you’ll hear us chat with Vanessa about her workouts and COVID protocols in a way that was outdated just two weeks later. However, we also had a great discussion about women of color in coaching, Vanessa & Eric’s love story, what it looks like to be an “older” mom, and why Bethune-Cookman has been a great home for her for 13 years.
The Lady Wildcats program turnaround during Coach Blair’s tenure is impressive, to say the least. Vanessa is a 4x MEAC Coach of the Year. Over the last five seasons, she has led Bethune-Cookman to a 107-48, 68-12 record. Her teams have won four MEAC regular season titles and one MEAC tournament championship. She led the program to four postseason berths, including its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2019.