By Travis Atkins
Former longtime Bowie girls basketball coach and current AISD Assistant Athletic Director Lynn Davis Pool is having a year to remember. For her career in coaching, Pool was recently inducted into both the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) and Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) Halls of Fame.
The ceremony for the TGCA Hall of Fame was held on July 11 and the TABC induction was in May. Pool was in disbelief upon initially hearing the news.
“I was shocked,” Pool said. “I didn’t have a fantastic coaching record that a lot of the people in there had, but I had been around so long and done a little bit of everything from national floor coach for the 1984 Olympics to camps for middle-schoolers, so, I’ve seen the spectrum.”
The TGCA honors coaches of all sports and the TABC honors basketball coaches, both boys and girls. Pool’s journey to the halls started in northwest Texas when she was a standout high school player.
“I was all-state for two years at Canyon High School, this was back when we had 6 players,” Pool said. “I was a guard which meant I just played defense which was my specialty as a coach.”
After playing in college at Wayland Baptist and West Texas State University, her coaching career started at Lubbock-Cooper High School, where she was the head coach and girls athletic director.
Pool was then an assistant coach for Jody Conradt at the University of Texas for ten years in the 1980’s, serving as the defensive guru. In 1986, her Lady Horns went 34-0 and won the national championship.
She then went on to be the head coach at Bowie, where she would stay for 19 years, from 1990 through 2009.
“I just liked the family atmosphere and great community (at Bowie),” Davis Pool said. “Everyone cares for each other and the kids are great.”
Pool saw a few players she coached go on to play in college. The last was guard Mickel Picco, who earned a scholarship to play for Boston College in 2006.
Coaching at Bowie was about more than just the record of her teams or how many banners she was able to hang up in the gym though.
“It wasn’t about the wins and losses,” Pool said. “It was about the kids you work with and seeing them take the lessons they learned with them after high school.”
Pool has a deep family connection to Bowie. Her son Dalton graduated in 2010 from Bowie and, although not yet born when Pool started coaching the Bulldogs, he played a major role in her one memory that sticks out in her 19 years at Bowie.
The ‘91-‘92 season was Pool’s second year at Bowie. The team traveled to Duncanville to play in the annual tournament held there. The host team, Duncanville, was ranked number one in the state and fifth in the country while Bowie was unranked. Pool at the time was seven months pregnant with Dalton.
“My doctor said not to go but I went anyway,” Pool said. “We ended up making the finals to play Duncanville and we won in double overtime. Two weeks later, my son was born.”
Dalton went on to be student body president at Bowie and is currently going into his junior year at the University of Texas.
Pool left Bowie in 2009 to be the AISD Assistant Athletic Director; a move she said was too good to pass up.
“I always kind of thought this is where I would end up,” Pool said. “I actually wanted to coach a little bit longer but you kind of have to jump on it because it doesn’t come around very often.”
She likes her new role of “coaching the coaches” Pool said, and it’s a different challenge every day. Although she does miss the x’s and o’s of coaching, she was quite sure her coaching days were behind her.
Looking back on her career as a player and coach, Pool has seen girls sports blossom into what they are today. Title IX, which was a law enacted in 1972, among other things, provided equal rights and opportunities for men and women in sports.
“I was a product of Title IX,” Pool said. “I was on the doorsteps of Title IX in high school and I’ve watched women’s sports evolve ever since. We just had basketball, then added track when I got into coaching—I’ve seen it go from a six-player game to a five-player game. The opportunities that young women have today are pretty amazing and it can only grow. Organizations like the TGCA are a great resource for girls sports.”