Granbury’s Leta Andrews, the nation’s all-time winningest high school basketball coach with 1,416 victories, announced her retirement Saturday following her team’s 40-39 Class 4A area-round playoff loss to Wichita Falls Rider at Jacksboro High School.
“I decided it was the right time to retire about one month ago,” Andrews said, whose retirement will be official on May 31. “I told my family about my decision and they all cried. It’s been a wonderful ride, but it’s time for me to walk away.”
Andrews’ legendary coaching career spanned over 51 seasons with stops at Tolar, Gustine, Comanche, Corpus Christi Calallen and two separate tenures at Granbury, the school where she once played high school basketball.
During that time, the 76-year-old Andrews made 14 appearances in the state tournament, including winning the state championship with Calallen in 1990.
On December 7, 2010, Andrews’ Pirates defeated Midlothian to move her into sole possession of the all-time wins record, passing Fort Worth Dunbar boys coach Robert Hughes, with 1,334 wins. Hughes attended that game.
“I hope that it was because she was darn good and ready,” Hughes said of Andrews’ decision to retire. “She’s pretty level-headed; if you win that many games you have to be. I’m sure she’ll have many horizons left to enjoy.”
Over her career, Andrews has received numerous awards, most notably Disney’s Teacher of the Year, induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
In June 2010, Andrews was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
“I’m most proud of helping these young ladies enjoy basketball and play with the same passion I did while playing and coaching at Granbury and the other schools,” Andrews said.
“I appreciate the effort all my girls gave for me and for their parents to allow me to help their daughters become better basketball players.”
With her family always by her side every step of the way, Andrews was quick to reflect and thank her loved ones for being her top support system during her long and storied career.
“I’m so thankful for how my family has stayed and supported me all these years,” Andrews said. “My husband, David, has always drove the bus to the games; I’m just so thankful for all of them.”
Andrews’ impact on the hundreds of girls she has coached goes without question. But for those fortunate enough to have played for her, worked for her or simply had a conversation with her, they know Andrews’ passion was about more than just coaching — she wanted to make everyone around her a better person.
With the court at Granbury High School bearing her name in front of the Pirates’ bench, Leta Andrews will forever be a part of the school’s basketball program.