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GARY BLAIR

A 1963 graduate of Dallas Bryan Adams High School, Blair was an all-city baseball player. After a tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, he earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education with a minor in journalism from Texas Tech in 1972. He completed his master’s degree in education in 1974 and also played a season of baseball for the Red Raiders. Blair has two children, Paige and Matt, and four grandchildren, Logan, Lola, Landry and Reagan. Paige owns a children’s boutique in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and is married to Beau Thompson, head boys basketball coach at Farmington High School in Farmington, Ark. Matt is married to the former Alli Nielsen, and works in logistics in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In 2020, Blair married his wife, the former Kyla Gay.

Coach Gary Blair began working with Special Olympics in 1992 and has not stopped since. The joy Blair saw in the Special Olympians eyes through his engagement only intensified his desire to be involved. Since that time he has presented medals during award ceremonies, spoken at opening and closing ceremonies of the Spring and Winter Games, and contributed in other ways to help these Olympians in Texas. In addition to this Coach Blair often hosts the Special Olympians to the A&M Women's Basketball games and other related events. Coach Blair Charities has raised over 1 million dollars since its inception.

FORMER head coach for
Texas A&M Women's basketball

On Feb. 24, 2022, the court at Reed Arena was named Gary Blair Court before the Aggie legend's final home game at A&M. Blair is one of three women's basketball coaches to currently have a basketball court named after them.

Blair is a member of seven Halls of Fame, including induction into the Dallas ISD Hall of Fame in 2019, the state of Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2009, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also honored with the 2011 New York Athletic Club’s Winged Foot Award, which is presented annually to the winning coaches of the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I Basketball Championships.

Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member, Gary Blair, led Texas A&M to the 2011 NCAA Championship and transformed the women’s basketball program into a national power over the course of his 19 years leading the program (2003-2022).

Since 2008, 15 of Blair’s players have been selected in the WNBA Draft, including Chennedy Carter, who was the program’s highest-ever pick at fourth overall in the 2020 draft. Kelsey Bone is the second-highest draft pick in school history at fifth overall in the 2013 draft. Texas A&M has had two players selected in the same WNBA Draft four times.

One of the most active and involved coaches in the Bryan-College Station community, Blair is a frequent and charismatic speaker at the local Rotary Club as well as other civic and student groups throughout the year. He also hosts the annual Celebrity Golf Classic that benefits Special Olympics Texas. A marketing and public relations guru, Blair has increased awareness about his program and boosted both attendance and season tickets sales at Reed Arena by over 300 percent due to his one-on-one approach.