We are extremely sad to share the news that Patricia "Pat" Barry, longtime Coordinator of Montgomery County Public School Athletics (MCPS), passed away Thursday night, 9/6. Pat was a champion for equity and a true pioneer in the field of athletic administration, serving not only MCPS but the MPSSAA in multiple capacities. Pat served as the Coordinator of MCPS Athletics for 20 years, from 1975-1995, starting as the Coordinator of Girls Secondary Physical Education and Sports. Pat also served the MPSSAA as President from 1994-1996 and on many State Tournament Committees, including serving as the longtime director of the MPSSAA Girls Basketball Tournament. Following her retirement, Pat continued to serve as an invaluable resource and wealth of wisdom for both MPSSAA and MCPS Athletics.
Having worked closely with Pat Barry during her tenure, former MPSSAA Executive Director, Ned Sparks stated, "Pat Barry's legacy continues to leave its' mark on the interscholastic athletic programs in Maryland. From first recognizing the impact of cable television and pioneering broadcast standards and rights fees, to chairing state tournament committees notably taking the Girls Basketball Tournament to a Division I facility, to providing the leadership culminating with the "open state tournament", to mentoring and providing an excellent example to aspiring female athletic administrators. Even in retirement, Pat's work continued as she worked to establish corporate sponsorships for the MPSSAA in excess of $1,000,000. Pat was a giant of a leader whose impact will be felt for generations of Maryland public school student-athletes to come.".
Diane George, current Director of the Girls State Basketball Tournament shared her thoughts. "Pat followed Mildred Murray as our second State Committee Director for Girls Basketball. Her excellent leadership style and human relations skills blended our state-wide workers into a fine-oiled machine. It was an honor to work alongside Pat. Her contributions and the impact she made to our girls’ basketball tournament is still evident today. We lost a wonderful professional and kind-hearted person.".
"The high standards of MCPS Athletics are a direct result of the passion and efforts of Pat Barry ", says Jeff Sullivan, current MCPS Director of Systemwide Athletics. "We have recently discussed that effective leaders can see the big picture AND focus on the small details; Pat certainly excelled as an innovative leader who could do both well and served as an inspiration to all around her. While you may not have had the pleasure of knowing Pat, we have all experienced the impact of her commitment to excellence.".