Jayne Arledge ’79, the longtime women’s basketball coach at North Greenville University in South Carolina, has never been far from a hoop. Growing up in Buncombe County in a lively neighborhood of sports-loving kids, Arledge already was perfecting her basketball skills at the age of 10, hoping to play in high school. Basketball was the main sport available to women at the time. Arledge was playing for Enka High School when Title IX became a law in 1972, giving female athletes equal opportunities at federally supported universities. Several years later, WCU’s women’s basketball team came calling, and she became the first female student in WCU history to receive an athletics grant-in-aid. Arledge played throughout her college years, leading the team to four winning seasons. An honors student, she graduated in 1979 as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,928 points, a record that still stands. At North Greenville University, Arledge coached the women’s basketball team through transitions into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1992 and to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II in 2002.
Serving for 36 seasons until her retirement earlier this year, she earned a solid reputation as a hard-working coach who made time to get to know her players. “I cared about them personally and tried to treat everyone fairly and with respect,” she said. Arledge has decided to stay on at North Greenville University, serving as the senior women’s administrator in athletics and physical education instructor. “I feel like I’ve still got some good years left. I’m not ready to sit on the sidelines yet. I’ll probably be sneaking back in the gym sometimes, too,” she said.