native and Miami Dade College women’s basketball coach Susan Summons
was recently recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Sports
Educators in America by the Institute for International Sport, based at
the University of Rhode Island. She is the first community college
sports educator ever to receive the honor.
“I am so
pleased and honored to be acknowledged by such a reputable national
organization as the Institute for International Sport for my work both
as a coach and an educator,” said Summons.
Summons has served as head coach of women’s basketball and associate
professor at Miami Dade College for 22 years. Under her leadership, the
MDC Lady Sharks team has made 17 trips to the Florida Community College
Athletic Association State Championships and holds one of the highest
student graduation and placement rates in the nation — an impressive 93
Summons began her playing career at Jeremiah Burke High School, where
she was voted athlete of the year in 1974 and 1975. At Roxbury
Community School, Summons earned All-State, All-Region and All-National
honors while leading the team to back-to-back National Tournament wins.
Summons also attended Lamar University in Texas, where she set a record
by scoring 43 points in a single game and became one of the first
African American student-athletes to have her portrait bronze-plated
and hung in the famous Babe Zaharias Museum in Texas. She was drafted
in the third round of the Women’s Basketball League (WBL) by the New
Jersey Gems in 1980, and later played for the New England Gulls under
Boston Celtics legend Jim Loskutoff.
During her career, Summons has been repeatedly recognized for her
commitment to sports education. She has been named Southern Conference
Coach of the year three times, Regional Coach of the Year in 2006 and
National Coach of the Year in 1993, among many other awards.
These days, Summons helps others reach their goals as a motivational
speaker and founder of the Best of the Rest Stars Inc., a nonprofit
organization providing education training for boys and girls.