Written by Lorraine Cox MacIntyre, 4/27/2020 – Vermont, USA
This writing celebrates an anniversary of a friendship between the countries of Gibraltar and the United States brought together by a common love of women’s basketball. Had founder and creator of COACHBOARDS, Jason McMahon and myself not been so passionate for the UConn women’s basketball program; as well as, the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA, surely so much would have been lost. Our communication began the spring of 2019 via writings and occasionally video chats. I had created two fan based groups for Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UCONNHUSKIESBLEEDBLUE/ and another for Connecticut Sun. Jason’s expertise with graphics was (and remains) invaluable to both my groups. The customized logos are one of a kind and cannot be duplicated, as well as, cover photos, cell phone wallpapers, screen savers and more. It was astounding the professionalism that came with our friendship, spilling over onto my Facebook groups; thus, ensuring immediate success. This friendship continued to flourish as we embellished further into my groups and I learned more about the fantastic COACHBOARDS.
Jason set out to design COACHBOARDS for Connecticut Sun, a WNBA team. After he designed one, that simply would not do. As the WNBA has theme nights and Jason wanted to do more for “our” team. Off to creating he went. After great lamenting, he found the perfect logo, the perfect schematics, the perfect layout, the perfect look – in other words: the perfect COACHBOARDS for our Connecticut Sun. Then Jason shared with me the most enchanting news: He was not mailing the boards to myself to give to the head coach. Instead, Jason was hand delivering these board to myself when he came to the USA in January of 2020. Indeed, Gibraltar and the tiny state of Vermont, USA would finally meet and even better, his lovely wife, Charlene, was to join him. The excitement was huge! For I knew that Jason had not only created masterpieces for the Connecticut Sun, he had also created coaching boards for our beloved UConn Huskies team, the NBA Boston Celtics and legendary coach Jim Calhoun (previously UConn men’s) as well. Jason said he had something extra special to surprise me with when we met.
January 2020 came, as did the infamous UConn vs Tennessee women’s college basketball game and meeting Jason and his wife in person! Gibraltar and USA finally connected. What was the first thing we did? Indeed, viewing the extraordinary, excusive COACHBOARDS handmade by Jason. Sadly, I was unable to view coaching boards made for the Boston Celtics, for Jason and Charlene had already delivered such exquisite workmanship in person and watched head coach, Brad Stevens, use his boards during the NBA game just a night before. While Jason and his wife made their way closer to meeting myself, traveling from Boston, Massachusetts to Hartford, Connecticut, the head coach of Saint Joseph’s University men’s basketball team was presented with his COACHBOARD. A moment Jason had been awaiting like a school boy. He was exhilarated to meet up with Coach Jim Calhoun.
Prior to our heading to the delightful Geno’s Grill in Storrs, Connecticut, I indulged in Jason’s amazing talent beholding each COACHBOARD he had made for head coach Geno Auriemma of UConn, head coach Curt Miller of Connecticut Sun, ESPN sports analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer, Rebecca Lobo (UConn) and ESPN sports commentator Holly Rowe – all spectacular legends. The details on each board was more than described in photos and as I had experienced with my Facebook groups, individual graphics depicted exactly what each coach needed to execute play-by-play perfection with proficiency and ease. Jason’s heart and soul were not only seen in each board, his astounding gift to feel the needs of each coach (or individual in my personal case with BLEED BLUE) was very evident. I could not wait to join Jason at the UConn vs Tennessee game, for he had asked that I be his videographer whilst he presented the COACHBOARDS to Ms. Lobo and Ms. Rowe … ahhh what an honor to be a part of something so grand!
As Jason had departed the United States with his lovely wife, I was left with such a beautiful gift: my very own pink COACHBOARD in honor breast cancer survivors. Jason also left me with the unbelievable honor of presenting head coach, Curt Miller, of the Connecticut Sun, with the two COACHBOARDS, made specifically for the fabulous team. I shared Gibraltar meeting USA in both my groups. It was such an impactive story, that it was shared in three parts; one of which featured an article from a well-known paper in Connecticut.
Yes, I have been blessed over the past several years to have seen the best coach of women’s basketball, Geno Auriemma, use COACHBOARDS made by my dear friend Jason McMahon. I have seen excellent plays executed and championships won! I have seen the latest and state of the art quality of COACHBOARDS and know first hand what awesomeness awaits any coaching staff savvy enough to order their team the best. Jason combined his aptitude and personal knowledge of the game and created COACHBOARDS. The outcome: The perfect coaching tool.