Rene Portland, the former Penn State women’s basketball coach who built the Lady Lions into a national powerhouse during a 27-year tenure, has died at the age of 65.
As for the cause of death, D’Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall in Pennsylvania confirmed that Rene died on Sunday, July 22 in Broomall, Pennsylvania after battling cancer for three long years.
Born on 31 March 1953, Rene was raised in Broomall, Delaware County. She was one of the best players in the Immaculata "Mighty Macs" championship in the 1970s under Hall of Famer Cathy Rush.
Former teammates and contemporaries of the late basketball coach shared their thoughts on her passing.
Former WNBA and NBA coach and Rene's contemporary, Nancy Lieberman, says, "Rene has always been a great teacher of the game and winner. She forced you to be at your best."
She later took to Twitter to pay tribute to Rene.
Retweeting a post of journalist Mel Greenberg, she wrote, "So sorry to hear about Rene. My thoughts and prayers to her family."
Check it out.
So sorry to hear about Rene. My thoughts and prayers to her family https://t.co/vBta6J4Czn
— Nancy Lieberman (@NancyLieberman) July 22, 2018
Jay Paterno, son of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, also shared a tweet over the sad news, writing, "Sad to hear about the passing of long-time Penn State women’s basketball coach Rene Portland. Hope her family finds the peace that comes from their faith."
Sad to hear about the passing of long-time Penn State women’s basketball coach Rene Portland. Hope her family finds the peace that comes from their faith.
— Jay Paterno (@JayPaterno) July 22, 2018
Rene, who resigned as coach of Penn State in 2007, is survived by her husband John; daughters Christine, and DeLisa; sons John Jr. and Stephen; and her seven grandchildren.
Rest In Peace Rene!