Marian Elizabeth Washington (born August 26, 1946) is a former women’s basketball coach, mostly known for her career at the University of Kansas, a post she held for over 30 years. Throughout her career, Washington achieved multiple awards and accomplishments which include achieving membership in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, leading KU to extensive victories, coaching her team in a number of NCAA Tournaments, and receiving the Black Coaches Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Washington was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.
Washington attended West Chester State College, where she played basketball on the team that won the first national women’s tournament in 1969. That tournament was held under the auspices of the CIAW, a predecessor to the AIAW Women’s Basketball Tournament.
After one year as an assistant coach, Washington served as head coach for the Kansas Jayhawks women’s basketball team at the University of Kansas from 1973 to 2004. Washington was also women’s athletic director at Kansas from 1974 to 1979.
Washington was chosen as the head coach of the team representing the USA in 1982 at the William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The team started out strongly, winning their first four games by 16 or more points. In the fifth game, they were matched against Australia. The game was close until the end. With a half-minute remaining, the USA held a one-point margin. The USA extended the lead to three points on two free throws, the Aussies brought it back to one with two free throws of their own, and the USA hit two free throws with two second left in the game to secure the 65–62 victory. The next two games were easy victories, then the USA faced unbeaten Canada in the final game. The game was very close, but the USA fell to Canada 70–67 to finish with a single loss and the silver medal. USA players Lea Henry and Paula McGee were named to the All-Tournament Team.
*Washington resigned with three games remaining in the 2003–04 season; assistant Lynette Woodard served as head coach for the remainder of the season and went 0–3 for a cumulative season record of 9–19 (2–14 Big 12) and 11th place finish.