Waycross-Ware County Sports Hall of Fame

Genevieve Strickland Pope
Inducted 1997
She was born on May 27, 1939. The second of six children, her parents were the Late A.J. Strickland, Sr. and Isabelle Dixon Strickland. She was educated in Pierce County where she attended school in Patterson.
She was an active member and officer in the FHA and Beta Clubs. While playing varsity basketball for four years, God blessed her with the honor of being the highest scoring individual in any single game. That 58 point effort is still a Patterson school record. She graduated from Patterson High School in 1957 attaining the honors of DAR Citizenship and valedictorian.
She attended two years at South Georgia College and then completed her B.S. degree in Education at Georgia Southern University. She was president of the Physical Education Majors Organization, had an intramural championship basketball team on campus, and graduated cum laude.
Her teaching career began in March of 1961 at Wacona Elementary School. In August she moved to Ware County High School where she taught girls physical education and was coach of the cheerleading and girls basketball teams. Genevieve said of the 1963-64 season,“God gave me the honor of coaching the Gatorettes to a state championship.” She started a tennis team and initiated a move that resulted in the first tennis courts being placed at the high school. The courts were dedicated in her honor in 1968 and named the Genevieve Pope Tennis Courts.
In 1972, she moved to the Pierce County School System where she remained until retirement. She taught health, physical education and math at Blackshear Junior High School. Genevieve went to Patterson High in 1975 where she taught health and physical education and resumed her coaching career. Her coaching assignments were for basketball, track, softball and cheerleading. She moved to the new consolidated Pierce County HS in 1981 and became the girls basketball and track coach. Since 1986 she has taught health and was an advisor for the year book.
Her coaching record is impressive. She won 20 or more games in five of her 20 seasons. She claimed six sub-regions crowns, one region title and won the State Class AA Championship in 1964. Her 270 wins and 198 losses give her a winning percentage of .577.
Genevieve is the mother of two daughters, Tar Lorraine and Chanda Celena. She currently resides in Pierce County.