Underneath the photo, taken in December '77, when Mara was a volunteer assistant for the women's team under coach Jim Grant, is the score: Roxbury Community College 102, Mitchell College 23. "After the game I looked at Jim," recalls Mara, "and said, 'We gotta get some freakin' players.' "
Grant and Mara were both shameless and aimless in their pursuit of talent, logging 3,000 miles in a Datsun pickup the following spring. "We went after everybody and promised them the only thing we had to offer: playing time," Mara says.
As he did in the Datsun, Mara rode shotgun with Grant for six more seasons. When Grant retired in 1984, Mitchell athletic director Doug Yarnall put Mara in charge.
Mara is content at Mitchell. "If we lost 190 in a row, I'd still be here," he says. "I 'don't love it here because I coach basketball. I love it here because it's my home, my family."