The Dr. Carolyn Savoy Award of Excellence was established and is sustained through generous donations from Carolyn's friends and family. The Award of Excellence will be granted to a women's basketball player who exhibits leadership, good academic standing and a committment to community involvement on an annual basis. To make a donation to the Dr. Carolyn Savoy Award of Excellence, please visit Dalhousie University's Alumni page.
Christina Brown was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2014-15
Dr. Carolyn Savoy dedicated her life to the sport of basketball and her legacy lives on through her players, colleagues and all who met her.
After a seven-year stint as the women’s basketball coach at St. Francis Xavier University, “Coach Savoy” took the reins of the Tigers program in 1977. She is the winningest women’s basketball coach in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history with 858 wins and boasts a 75% winning record. She led the Tigers to 389 (of 530 games) regular season wins, nine conference titles and five conference championship titles.
A five-time AUS coach of the year, Coach Savoy held a 49 game conference win streak from 1979 to 1982 and had two undefeated conference seasons. She had a 100% graduation rate for players who played three to five years on the team. In addition to academic success, Carolyn pushed her players to succeed on the court, producing 16 CIS All-Canadians, six CIS tournament all-stars and coached nine players to Canada’s junior and senior national teams.
Along the way, Carolyn received many accolades. She was inducted into the Saint John New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 2012. She received the Progress Club Women of Excellence Award, the Basketball Nova Scotia Frank Baldwin Award and the Dalhousie University Sandy Young Award in 2012.
Carolyn’s passion and commitment to the sport of basketball reached far beyond her time with the Tigers. She was the sport psychologist of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team when they won the NCAA Championship in 1991. A former president of Basketball Nova Scotia, she was the technical chair for the Pan American wheel chair games in 1982. A member of Canada Basketball’s Board of Directors from 1981 to 1987, she was the chair of the National Coaching School for Women in 1988. A master course conductor and Canada Basketball level 4 coach, Carolyn was the head coach of Nova Scotia’s Canada Games women’s basketball team in 2001 and was an assistant coach with Canada’s junior national team in 1979.
An associate professor in Dalhousie’s School of Health and Human Performance, Savoy served on Dalhousie’s Faculty Association and published two books and many articles during her tenure. After retirement she focused on corporate coaching, speaking at countless workshops and symposiums in addition to working on mental skills training with local sports teams.
At the time of her retirement from coaching in 2009, Carolyn reflected on her time with the Tigers saying “I’ve been very fortunate to be in a job where I loved running practices, the individual sessions with players, seeing them grow from freshmen to seniors and now they are doctors and successful in business. I loved that and I love being part of their lives. As a coach you have those fond memories. Not just of who they are as players, but who they are as people. And some of them are still good friends of mine to this day and they are in their 50s.”
Carolyn passed away in March 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was inducted into Dalhousie's Sport Hall of Fame as a builder in May of the same year.