MURRAY — Jackie Mounts, 2020 Murray State Hall of Famer, is this week’s guest on the Runnin’ with the Racers Podcast, episode 103.
The Runnin’ with the Racers Podcast posts each week to GoRacers.com, iTunes and Soundcloud.
Mounts, from Springfield, Ohio, is part of the 10-person class to join the MSU Hall of Fame after her stellar women’s basketball career from 1975-79.
Mounts was a big part of the evolution of women’s basketball that eventually led to the first season in the Ohio Valley Conference during her senior season of 1978-79. Mounts was outstanding in all areas of the game. She was the first player to reach 1,000 career rebounds at MSU and is still the career leader for the Racers. She was also the first Racer to score 1,000 points and she is still ranked today in the top-10 at No. 9 with 1,421 points.
Mounts still holds the MSU single-game record with 28 rebounds, which she secured at Vanderbilt in 1977. Her best career scoring game was 36 points against Western Kentucky in 1978 and it stood for 10 seasons.
Mounts was named All-OVC in her senior season of 1978-79, the first for the conference to name all-conference teams for women’s basketball.
Mounts has big memories of playing for MSU coaching legends, Dew Drop Rowlett and Dr. Jean Smith. Dr. Smith was MSU’s first women’s basketball coach named OVC Coach of the Year in 1981.
“My coach was Linda Stegnor at Greenon High School and she was a Murray State grad and she was the one who introduced me to Murray,” Mounts said. “That’s how Coach Rowlett found out about me. Dew Drop was a fascinating lady and her last two years as coach was my first two years at Murray. Dew Drop had a lot of connections in the game, she knew Pat Summitt and I was able to get a tryout for the USA Olympic team the summer before my freshman season. Dew Drop loved the game and she had a great heart.”
“Dr. Smith was strict and was big on conditioning, but she truly cared about her players,” Mounts said. “She was just as strong on academics and took the coaching job because it meant she could continue teaching at Murray State. I learned a lot from her because she was a strong teacher and she demanded all her players to graduate.”
What means the most to Jackie Mounts now, 41 years after her final game, is the memory of being part of the rise of women’s basketball in the OVC.
“When I was coming out of high school, there wasn’t a lot of talk about it,” she said. “But once I got to Murray, I started to hear more about it. I remember Billy Jean King started a women’s sports magazine at that time and you could feel and hear it building. The OVC was strong in women’s basketball right from the start. I remember Tennessee Tech and Middle Tennessee and of course, EKU and Western were good too.”
Mounts has the distinction of being the first woman to receive a full scholarship to be a student-athlete at Murray State