Linda Messner

About This Inductee

Linda Messner graduated from Liberty Jr./Sr. High School in Liberty, Pa. The school provided only two organized sports for girls: basketball and track and field. She played 6 on 6 basketball in high school prior to Title IX. Half of the players remained on the defensive end of the court while the other players, “rovers” were playing full court. Players were allowed three dribbles then they had to pass or shoot. They played with a boys’ basketball, no 3-point shots and no possession arrow. The players provided their own uniforms consisting of shorts and a white shirt. The school provided a red pinnie and a coach. Players drove to the games following the coach. Games were played at 4:00 in an empty gym because parents and fans were working. There were no letter awards and no sports assemblies. Linda’s senior year the league recognized her as the “leading scorer in Tioga County.” In 1966-67 the league transitioned to 5 on 5. All players needed to develop their ball handling skills while learning the offensive and defensive strategies. Linda also participated on the Track and Field team. She dominated the field events: javelin, softball and discus throwing. Linda also competed in the Junior Olympics at Lewisburg High School. The top three winners were presented with a blue, red, or white ribbon. Title IX had a positive impact on girl’s athletics at Towanda Jr. Sr. High School. Every team finally had their own uniform, equipment was upgraded, transportation was provided, scholarships were offered post high school, more sports were added for girls, coaching salaries were improved, assistant coaches were hired, and gym time was evenly shared. After graduating from Lock Haven University, Linda began her teaching and coaching career at Towanda Jr. Sr. High School in 1973. She taught Health and Physical Education forty-two years, and this fall Linda will begin her 50th season as Varsity Volleyball Coach. She continued her education earning a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Elmira College. She has coached several varsity sports including swimming-3 years, basketball-31 years, cheerleading-3 years, softball-5 years and volleyball-50th season. In 1984, the Northern Tier League moved the season from the winter to the fall hence, two volleyball seasons in one year. Linda also co-coached the Pocono Region Volleyball Team in the Keystone State games. She was a volunteer coach for the Northern Tier volleyball team many years. Many athletes enjoyed the post season competitions in the district and state tournaments. Personally, Linda was an avid tennis player but hung up the racket for a set of golf clubs at the age of 32. She has won the club championship numerous times and recently organized and participated in the Little Brown Jug tournament representing Towanda. She loves playing in golf tournaments and in the senior league. Linda is thankful and credits the support of her sons Tom and Jordan, her sister Beverly, her coaching staff, players, and fans for their support and encouragement in her successful career. She is a proud grandmother of three adorable children: Lillian Louise, Emerson Grace and Martin David.