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The City Journals

Specketer retires as SLCC basketball coach

May 08, 2019 05:03PM ● By Greg James

Salt Lake Community College’s Betsy Specketer compiled 545 wins before she stepped down as its women’s basketball coach. (Photo courtesy of SLCC)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

The basketball coaching career of Salt Lake Community College women's basketball head coach Betsy Specketer came to end. She has retired after 25 seasons on the Bruins sideline.

“It is something that was definitely not decided upon in haste,” Specketer said in a press release. “My experience at SLCC has been nothing but positive, but there comes a time when you’d like to do some different things.”

She compiled 545 wins in her career at the college, the second most by any women's collegiate coach in the state of Utah behind former University of Utah coach Elaine Elliott.

Specketer had 20-win seasons 18 times for the Bruins. Her teams appeared in eight National Junior College Athletic Association women's tournaments. She led her team to the Final Four in 2017 and had five Region 18 championships.

She grew up in Havana, Illinois, and played softball and basketball at Illinois State University where she earned a master’s degree in Sports Administration. She was hired as an assistant coach at SLCC in 1994 with Monica Sheratt. She was the fourth head coach in the school’s history. 

“Our women's basketball program has been blessed to have such terrific leadership for over 25 years,” Bruins Athletic Director Kevin Dustin said. “She was born to coach and influence young people. She is a role model to so many. She has been an advocate for women and is a leader in our athletic department.”

This season was the Bruins sixth straight appearance in the NJCAA national tournament. They lost in the first round 66-51 to Tyler Junior College. 

She was named Region 18 Coach of the Year 10 times.

“She knew the game very well,” former Riverton girls head coach Ron Ence said. “What impressed me most was her consistent winning.  She did not just have a good team once in a while. Her teams competed for their [junior college] regional championship every year. I believe it will be difficult to replace her track record of success.”

More than 70 players were able to continue their basketball careers at four-year universities after finishing their SLCC careers. The Bruins reputation grew as a place for players to springboard onto bigger and greater opportunities.

Riverton graduate Shelby Richards played one season under Specketer, which led to an opportunity in Texas and later professional basketball in Europe.

“She always supported her at the next level after SLCC,” Shelby’s mother Kim Richards said.

The Bruins finished this season 25-6 overall and won a Region 18 title. Freshman Lauren Gustin from Salem Hills High School led the team in scoring averaging 19.1 points per game. 

“Well done Betsy,” former Bruins athletic director Norma Carr said. “I have enjoyed watching you and SLCC women’s basketball grow.”

Specketer said she “will enjoy having more time for exercise, biking, hiking, camping, pickleball, racquetball and everything else.” 

“I look forward to catching up with friends and, most of all, family,” Specketer said.

Six-year-assistant Marcilina Grayer has been named as interim-head coach. She attended SLCC and played basketball for Specketer’s 2008–10 teams that appeared in the NJCAA Final Four. She is a graduate of Copper Hills High School in West Jordan.