Distinguished Alumni 2001
Boots Bandy had the nickname of “Coach” while she was a student at Winthrop. Her basketball experiences started with her seventh grade year and basketball continues to be a big part of her life. While at Winthrop, Boots was active in a number of sports and was a member of the Dolphin Club. She was active in Sigma Gamma Nu, served as an officer in the Winthrop Recreation Association, and was editor of the PEM Press. After her graduation in 1958, Boots taught physical education and coached at North Augusta Junior High School and Paul Knox Junior High School. Two years later she began her career at Strom Thurmond High School where she built a basketball dynasty with a record of 277 wins, 79 losses and 3 ties. Her teams won six conference championships and participated in state championships eight years. They won two state championships and placed second once. During her tenure at Strom Thurmond High School, she completed a master’s degree in guidance at Clemson University and a specialist’s degree in supervision at the University of South Carolina. She moved from teaching physical education to the position of school guidance counselor. Numerous honors include two Principal’s Service Awards at Strom Thurmond High School, the Outstanding Young Educator Award, three additional education awards from the Jaycees, and a number of coaching awards. In 1976, Boots was named National High School Coach of the Year. In 1998, she was inducted into the South Carolina Coaches Association Hall of Fame.