After being introduced to the sport of basketball in the 7th grade, Jackie DiNardo’s athletic career blossomed. As a center on her high school team at Azle High School in Azle, Texas, Jackie earned All-League, All-State and All-District Honors. In her senior year, she was named as the Most Valuable High School Player in her region. She went on to play basketball at McLennan Community College for two years. At McLennan, Jackie helped her team earn a League Championship and she earned All-American honors. She went on play basketball at the University of Texas from 1978-1981 and had a stellar collegiate career. She was again named All-American, and she was named as the team’s Most Valuable Player. In 1979, Jackie was chosen to represent the United States in the Pan American Olympic Basketball games. Her team, under the leadership of legendary coach Pat Summitt, brought home the Gold and Silver medals.
After graduating from the University of Texas, Jackie headed to Baylor University, serving as the Head Volleyball and Assistant Basketball Coach for a year. From there she moved to Danbury, CT, where she coached volleyball and basketball at North Salem High School, North Salem, NY, for three years before she landed a job at Danbury High School in Connecticut. As a Physical Educator and Health teacher, Jackie was able to continue her passion for coaching in Danbury, serving as the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach and the Varsity Volleyball Coach for several years. In her coaching tenure for both sports combined, Jackie gathered 481 wins, 25 League Championships, and she brought her teams through several state tournament bids and tournament finals games. In 1999, Jackie took over as the Director of the Wescon Fillies Girls’ Basketball Amateur Athletic Organization and she still oversees the program for the 12 teams and coaches.
While at Danbury, Jackie pursued advanced degrees from Western State University and Sacred Heart University. She has since worked as a school counselor and administrator at Danbury High School. Her current position at Danbury is as the Reach/Endeavor Administrator for the school. In her tenure at Danbury, Jackie has been a part of many activities, from class advisor to organizing and founding the Danbury Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Jackie has received many honors for her hard work over the years. She was named FCIAC coach of the year, went 25-0 which is a new school record for both boys and girls before being defeated in State Tournament, won 400 games in basketball, and won the FCAIC tournament (2011-2012) She was been named Girls’ Volleyball Coach of the Year (2001-02) and Girls Basketball Coach of the Year (2002-03) and was also awarded as the “Connecticut Teacher of the Year” by the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) in 1994. She was recognized as the Union Carbide Teacher of the Year in Danbury in 1988 and was recently named the Connecticut AAU Coach of the Year in 2010-2011. She was honored with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Appreciation Award and she has received Coaches’ Awards from both the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Finally, Jackie was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Fame in 2005, an honor of which she is most proud.