Legendary Coach Tasker to Receive Award

SPRINGFIELD MA, - Legendary Lea County basketball coach Ralph Tasker will receive the Morgan Wooten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made that announcement earlier this week.  Mr. Wootten will present the awards this March in Miami at the 2009 McDonald's High School All-America Game.

From the Basketball Hall of Fame:

Coach Ralph Tasker coached for 52 seasons at Sulpher Springs (OH), Lovington (NM) and most notably at Hobbs (NM) where he compiled 1,122 victories against 291 defeats. His teams qualified for postseason play 48 times in his 53 year coaching career while winning 12 state championships and recorded two undefeated seasons.

Coach Tasker was a two-time National High School Coach of the Year, was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, was named to the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor and was named the Walt Disney Coach/Teacher of the Year in 1991.

His contributions to Hobbs High School touched thousands of lives over his career and today the basketball arena is known as "Ralph Tasker Arena." Coach Tasker retired from coaching in 1998 and passed of cancer on July 18, 1999.

Chicago basketball coach Dorothy Gaters will also receive the award.