Stratford University has named Cathy Parson the first coach in the history of the women's basketball program. Parson is no stranger to the Newport News area, as she previously spent ten season as the Head Coach at Christopher Newport University, where she had a record of 183-83 and was named Conference coach of the year twice, while leading five teams to the NCAA D3 tournament and a Sweet sixteen appearance.
Parson also lead Howard University to two MEAC regular season championships and won the MEAC tournament championship in 2001, during her eight seasons as head coach. Parson also spent time as an assistant coach at Providence College, the University of Richmond and also in the WNBA with the Washington Mystics.
While her coaching background is impressive, Coach Parson was accomplished as a player as well, as she was the first woman to earn an athletic scholarship at West Virginia University. During her time in Morgantown, she was a two time All-American as she earned honorable mention honors in 1982 and third team honors in 1983, she earned these honors while becoming the all-time leading scoring in West Virginia University women's basketball history with 2,115 points, an honor she still holds today. Parson, who played professionally in the Women's American Basketball Association, is a 1996 inductee in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame and a 2001 inductee into the Christopher Newport University Sports Hall of Fame and was the first woman to have her jersey retired at WVU.