Pantherettes head coach Cathy Self-Morgan selected as Woman Of The Year

Coach Cathy Self-Morgan demonstrates a play during a timeout in the South Grand Prairie game. (Cody Rogers Photo)

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Coach Cathy Self-Morgan demonstrates a play during a timeout in the South Grand Prairie game. (Cody Rogers Photo)

Coach Cathy Self-Morgan demonstrates a play during a timeout in the South Grand Prairie game. (Cody Rogers Photo)

The sound of a basketball pounding on the court floor rings in Athletic Director and head varsity girls basketball coach Cathy Self-Morgan’s ears as one of her players makes a drive to the basket. The crowd cheers loudly with mere seconds left on the clock in the fourth period and a strong 30 point lead, but Self-Morgan remains focused and intense as she coaches all the way through the last seconds of the game. When the game is over, Self-Morgan releases a short smile, claps her hands together a few times and shakes hands with the other team before joining her girls in a huddle mid-court to say a prayer together.

“She is very even tempered, and does not get hot about any bad situations,” husband Jack Morgan said. “She is a great ambassador to the community. She always goes out of her way to make sure the community feels like a part of everything.”

Self-Morgan was named 2012 Woman of the Year in January. Self-Morgan was nominated along with two other community members, and was announced as the winner during the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce Awards and Installation Dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn. Jack said he  knew about the award to weeks in advance and surprised his wife at the event with the girls basketball captains, her assistant coaches and close friends.

“The girls and my coaching staff take pride in any accolades any of our individuals receive, and we all give credit to the whole team for helping,” coach Self-Morgan said. “I told my team they are the Women of the Year. I would not be getting any of this recognition if I did not have all the work and heart that we all put in together.”

The Chamber of Commerce sends out nomination forms every year, and the nominations are taken into consideration in a meeting with former recipients of the Woman of the Year and Man of the Year awards. After a silent vote is taken, the Chamber President Steve Martin and most recent winners count the ballots to determine the winner. A former Woman of the Year recipient and one of Self-Morgan’s nominators said Self-Morgan is someone who goes above and beyond and makes Duncanville a better place to live.

“No amount of publicity can buy what Cathy Self-Morgan has brought to Duncanville, maintaining the name ‘City of Champions’,” the anonymous nominator said. “She has coached our Pantherettes to 2 state championships, and hopefully working on our third. She has carried on the tradition of Sandra Meadows, and now is building a legend of her own.”

The varsity girls basketball team is the current 5A reigning champion after defeating Dekaney 69-31 in the UIL Class 5A basketball state championship. The Pantherettes are currently on a 62 game winning streak, the longest in national history, on the season and haven’t lost a game since they won their State Championship last year. The team is also ranked number one in the state and number two in the nation.

“I am all about teamwork and the next step,” Coach Self-Morgan said. “The girls wanted to wear their state championship shirts this year and I told them no, because this year is a new year. We appreciate honors and accolades and pat each other on the back, but we have to move forward and take on the next team.”

Martin said he has noticed a level of professionalism from the Pantherettes and their attitude to win. He accredits this discipline and motivation to Self-Morgan.

“Cathy genuinely cares about the kids,” Martin said. “It is nice to win, but it is also nice that she cares about the kids and helps them become good people by teaching them about character.”

Senior Destiny Means said Self-Morgan is an awesome coach and a big motivator that is not settled with a number of wins. Means said Self-Morgan deserves the Woman of the Year award, and has taught the team a lot about working together.

“I love my coach. She has that hunger, and she is humble,” Means said. “She taught us that with teamwork anything can be achieved and that is why we help each other on the court and hang together. She deserves this award, and it just makes us want to play better for her.”

Self-Morgan said when she was hired as the athletic director for Duncanville ISD one of her goals was to bring the school and community together. She said the first seven years she worked in Duncanville the community and the schools were distant, but now she sees that gap closing. Self-Morgan accredits her achievement to the support she has received.

“I could not have received this award without the support of the community, especially the school district, my team and of course my family,” Self-Morgan said. “My family now includes all of the Duncanville community. I embrace the entire community, and I appreciate this honor very much.”

Full video interview with Coach Self-Morgan