Linda Hamm credits her brother, Art, with having the greatest influence on her career. When they were young, Art would always allow Linda to play basketball with him. Her brother still admits that Linda was often picked on a team before he was.
Linda graduated from Terryville High School after an outstanding career in basketball and softball. She attended Southern CT State College where she excelled in three sports – field hockey, softball and basketball for legendary coach, Louise O’Neal from 1964-68. Unfortunately, basketball records do not exist for those years except for a three-year record of 27-3 against the top teams in the country. However, Coach O’Neal clearly remembers Linda as probably the top center in the country. She was “as pure a shooter as Coach had ever seen, with a beautiful outside shot.”
After graduation, Linda took a job at Lewis Millis High School in Burlington, CT where she taught physical education and coached basketball from 1968-77 and volleyball from 1969-78. Her volleyball team won the Northwest Conference Championship in 1973. She was honored as the Lewis Mills Teacher of the Year in 1990.
Linda’s coaching stint at Lewis Mills was during the time of great change in the girls’ game of basketball. 1969-70 was the year the CT girls’ game changed from the six-player game to the 5-player game. Her ’73-’74 team compiled a 12-1, averaged 36 points a game enroute to the Spartans’ first winning season.
Coach Hamm’s 1974-75 basketball teams compiled a 10-3 record, won the Northwest Conference Championship and advanced to the CIAC State Tournament Semi-finals. The following year, her basketball team again won the Northwest Conference.
Linda’s advice to her players was to “take pride in everything that you do as a player, coach, or team.” This philosophy and her sense of integrity produced one of her most vivid memories as a coach when her team beat Granby in a tournament game in which she had disciplined her star player by benching her.
Linda eventually left high school coaching and moved to the collegiate ranks. She coached the University of New Haven Women’s Basketball Team for two years. Her 1980-81 team compiled a 16-12 record; the 1981-82 team was 13-13.
Linda Hamm retired from Lewis Millis High School in 2008. She continues to pursue her hobbies of golf, horses and photography.