After 51 years as a women’s basketball official and most recently as NCAA national coordinator of officiating, women’s basketball Hall of Famer June Courteau announced that she is retiring effective May 31.
“I have always loved the game and put the game first because it should accept nothing less,” said Courteau, who plans in retirement to spend more time with her family. “It’s been a privilege to serve the last five years as the NCAA national coordinator and feel proud of where we are today and what we have accomplished. It’s important that we continue to humanize our game officials so that they can be appreciated for the role they play in the game and so that we have a next generation of officials that can prosper in that role.”
As NCAA national coordinator of officiating since 2014, Courteau has engaged actively with the many stakeholders in the game, including the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, the Women’s Basketball Mechanics Committee, coaches, regional advisors and the officials themselves in striving for a free-flowing and up-tempo game in the midst of numerous rules changes.
“I have strongly valued the continued relationship and communication with the coordinators and regional advisors and want to note the support of the rules and mechanics committees and NCAA staff,” Courteau said. “The advanced use of technology and improvements in our regional clinics have been instrumental in the development and education of our game officials. It’s been a point of emphasis that all officials use the same mechanics and system language that has helped lead us to a more consistent understanding of the rules and on average achieving a higher call accuracy on games across the country.”
A women’s basketball official from 1968 to 2011, Courteau participated in 20 NCAA Division I championships and 12 Women’s Final Fours, including five national championship games, during her on-court career. Courteau was named the Naismith Women’s College Official of the Year in 1989.
In addition to her work in college sports, Courteau officiated Women’s National Basketball Association games from 1997 to 2011, working 13 championship finals games and two all-star games. She also officiated the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain; the 1991 Pan American Games; and U.S. national team games for the International Basketball Federation from 1987 to 1998. In 2013, Courteau received the Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
After Courteau retired from on-court officiating in 2011, she worked as an independent contractor for the NCAA and served as a clinician at regional officiating clinics, as well as assisting with officiating training videos. She was also an assistant coordinator of technology and staff development for the Women’s Basketball Officiating Consortium, working with the eight conferences that made up the WBOC and interacting with coaches, officials, conference personnel and NCAA staff. Courteau was also an observer, trainer and mentor of officials for the WNBA before joining the NCAA in October 2014 as national coordinator.
A Minnesota native, Courteau earned a Bachelor of Science in physical education, health, speech and theater from Winona State, followed by a Master of Arts in speech and communications from the University of Northern Iowa. She was certified as an educational administration specialist by Minnesota State Mankato.
“June was the right person at the right time for the role of NCAA national coordinator of officiating, and we appreciate all that she has brought to that position,” said Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball. “June worked tirelessly to gain consensus between the major stakeholders in women’s basketball while building a more active regional advisor program. She was able to make Division I officials more accountable, creating a more comprehensive selection system, as well as developing the next generation of officials. We wish her the best in retirement.”
A search for Courteau’s successor as NCAA national coordinator of officiating will begin in early May.