Last modified on February 1, 2023, at 19:10

Donna Wise

Donna H. Wise

(Administrator and former women's basketball coach at Campbellsville University)


Born July 24, 1950
Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky
Political Party Republican
Spouse George D. Wise

One son
George Maxwell "Max" Wise (Kentucky state senator)
Three grandchildren

Religion Southern Baptist

Donna H. Wise (born June 24, 1950)[1] is a retired professor and administrator at the Southern Baptist-affiliated Campbellsville University (formerly Campbellsville College) in her native Campbellsville in Taylor County in central Kentucky.

As thet chairman of the Human Performance Department, which offers the university sports curricula, Wise was from 1977 to 2007 the award-winning CU women's basketball coach. In that capacity, she had a 662-283 career record, a success rate surpassed only in Kentucky by Adolph Rupp of the University of Kentucky, Denny Crum, and Ed Diddle. On the road, Wise's Lady Tigers won 306 of 512 games (61 percent); at home, 355 of 432, 83 percent.[2]

Wise studied at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, which in 2005 inducted her into the "Hall of Distinguished Alumnus. In 1995, the Campbellsville Chamber of Commerce named Coach Wise "Citizen of the Year"; in 2000, "Educator of the Year." The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics inducted Wise in 2000 inducted Wise into its Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, Wise was admitted to Cambridge Who’s Who.[2] In 2010, she was inducted in Louisville into the Kentucky Athletic Association Hall of Fame.[3]

Ginger Colvin, a former player under Wise and her successor as head coach of the Lady Tigers, said of her mentor: "It's hard for me to put into words what she has meant to the program and to me personally. Her determination and work ethic – the way she studied the game and her opponents was the best training I could have had. I know I’ll never be able to duplicate what she has done, but to carrying on the Lady Tiger tradition is as much an honor for me as, I’m sure, the Hall of Fame honor is for her.”[3]

An active Republican donor, Wise and her husband, George D. Wise (born August 18, 1951), attended the 2017 inauguration in Washington, D.C., of U.S. President Donald Trump.[4] The Wises are past contributor to the campaigns of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and the parents of Kentucky state Senator George Maxwell "Max" Wise of Campbellsville, also a Republican, first elected in 2014. Max Wise is a former CU faculty member who is an instructor at the University of Kentucky Patterson School of Diplomacy in Lexington. The Wise's daughter-in-law, Dr. Heather Wise, is a pediatric dentist in Campbellsville.[2]

Wise retired from CU in 2022.


  1. Donna Wise. Retrieved on January 4, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biography of Coach Donna Wise. Retrieved on January 4, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Joan McKinney (April 29, 2010). Donna Wise is named to Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Retrieved on January 4, 2018.
  4. Coach Donna Wise: Human Performance Chair. Retrieved on January 4, 2018.