|Sybil Blalock was born in Sevier County. Tennessee (Yep, that’s the same place country music singer Dolly Parton was born) but she has spent almost half of her life in Macon affiliated with Mercer University . She is a pioneer in Mercer women’s basketball being one of the first players recruited when the “Teddy Bears” program got up and running in the early 1970’s. She and Myrel Huskey, who also is from Sevierville, helped lay the foundation for early women’s basketball success at “Tattnall Tech.”
It is interesting how she was discovered. Then Mercer men’s basketball assistant Jay Niddifer was recruiting Bob Caylor, a member of the Seveir County boys team, and saw Blalock and Huskey play and recommended both to Mercer A.D. Jerry Stone who talked them into coming to Macon. There were no women’s basketball scholarships at the time. Sybil only got athletic aid her senior season. Mercer coach Peggy Collins was the beneficiary of Niddifer and Stone’s recruiting effort. Sybil scored 1,856 points in her career ( 6th best all time in school history} for an average of 18.9 points per game. In her sophomore season she averaged 21.9 points a game which is still 8th best all time at Mercer. During her playing career, the women’s team had a composite 87-13 record. Incidentally Caylor didn’t come to Mercer but instead went to Western Kentucky where he played just one season.
Sybil was a top student graduating magna cum laude with a degree in mathematics and physical education as well as a master’s degree in applied mathematics. She and I have one thing in common academically, we both made just one B+ in college.
After completing Mercer she played professionally in Europe, Venezuela and in the U.S. with the New Orleans Pride in the Women’s Professional Basketball League. She was a member of the U.S. team that competed in the World University games and was also on the U.S. Olympic development team.
Following her playing days she entered the coaching ranks as an assistant at the University of New Orleans in the late 1980’s before returning to Mercer in 1993 as a member of Billy Holmes’ staff. She was named Mercer Associate Athletic Director in 1995 and was elevated to the position of Deputy Athletic Director in 2015. Sybil, who teaches at least one math class each semester, is responsible for the academic side of the house in the Athletic program and Mercer has consistently ranked among the top teams in conference standings in the classroom.
Sybil is well respected as an administrator at both the Conference and NCAA level. She has served as tournament director for conference championships in Tennis, Volleyball and basketball and has chaired the Sports Policy Committee, been secretary of the Executive committee and currently is chair of the Southern Conference Tennis Committee.
She has served on two prestigious NCAA committees as well. She was a member of the NCAA Tennis tournament committee from 2006 until 2010 and was chair in 2009 and 2010 and was a member of the NCAA Division I women’s basketball committee from 2010 until 2015 serving as the chair of the site selection committee.