Former All-American Keeps Passion for Basketball and UNT
From humble beginnings in McCamey, Texas, Bill Menefee ('43, '48 M.S.) began his journey with UNT as a walk-on to the North Texas basketball team and went on to be team captain and the first basketball All-American in school history. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 95.
Bill not only played a historic role in North Texas sports history, but also had a desire to give back to the university. He provided for UNT in his final arrangements with a gift to athletics. UNT worked with his grandson and fellow UNT alumnus, Scott Menefee, to determine which area to support.
As a family, the Menefees decided to allocate the gift to Mean Green Women's Basketball. "We wanted to honor his legacy," says Scott. "Over the last 20 years he had developed a strong interest in women's basketball."
"We are very grateful to have great alums like Bill Menefee," says women's basketball coach, Jalie Mitchell. "His belief and support in our program and in what we're building means the world to us. Our student-athletes are blessed to have people that care, and to see that number climb each year."
Bill met and married fellow North Texas student Dorothy Winford while in college. They were married 69 years. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in health education, Bill went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps in World War II. He earned a Bronze Star for bravery and a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the line of duty.
Bill never lost his love for basketball, or UNT. After the war, he returned to his passion for basketball and joined the coaching staff of Baylor University. He also returned to UNT and earned a master's degree in health education. Bill eventually rose to Baylor Head Basketball Coach in 1961 and was awarded Southwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1965, 1968 and 1969.
He was summoned out of retirement from coaching in 1980 to serve as the Baylor University Athletic Director until 1992. He is a member of both the North Texas and Baylor Halls of Fame.