When he was the senior manager of the Temple University NIT champion men’s basketball team, no one could envision that Mel Greenberg, KLN ‘69, would remain involved with hoops the rest of his life — but on the women’s side.
Widely known as the “Guru of Women’s Basketball,” Greenberg began his career with The Philadelphia Inquirer just after his graduation from Temple University, where his love of basketball began while attending Owls games. He was hired as a copy boy, then quickly promoted to editorial clerk on the business page.
In the early 1970s, Greenberg was asked to cover a basketball game for the first time, and impressed his superiours enough to earn ongoing assignments. In 1975, new sports editor Jay Searcy tabbed Greenberg to launch women’s basketball coverage, as well as start a weekly women’s poll.
Because information to launch a credible ranking was scarce, Greenberg resisted at first. He later relented, feeling that the poll might make a difference at a time when women’s sports were barely publicized. As a result, he almost instantly became the most trusted sportswriter in the nation to cover women’s basketball, helping its rise in popularity and earning the Guru nickname.
He retired from The Inquirer in 2010, but has maintained women’s basketball coverage through his Womhoops Guru blog.
Greenberg is also an inductee into the Big Five, Women’s Basketball and Philadelphia Sports Halls of Fame. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association annually gives out the Mel Greenberg Media Award, and Greenberg was the inaugural awardee in 1991.