Sharon Chatman

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Sharon Chatman
Biographical details
Born (1947-12-15) December 15, 1947 (age 73)
Alma materCalifornia Polytechnic State University
Playing career
1965–1968Cal Poly
Position(s)Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1968–1974Hill HS
1974–1976De Anza CC
1976–1986San Jose State
Head coaching record
Overall204-124 (college)
Accomplishments and honors

Sharon Ann Chatman (born December 15, 1947) is an American former college basketball coach, a lawyer, and a judge.

Chatman was the head coach of the San Jose State Spartans women's basketball at San Jose State University for ten years during the 1970s and 1980s. Chatman subsequently change careers, graduated from law school, served as a deputy district attorney, and is currently a senior judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California.

College athletic career[edit]

Chatman attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where she played point guard for the Cal Poly Mustangs women's basketball team. During her college playing career, she twice notched triple doubles. After graduating from Cal Poly, she became a teacher and head coach for nearly two decades. Chatman coached basketball at Andrew P. Hill High School in San Jose, then at De Anza College in Cupertino. In two seasons coaching junior college women's basketball for the De Anza Dons, her teams compiled a win-loss record of 61–3.[1]

Women's basketball coach at San Jose State[edit]

Chatman led the San Jose State Spartans women's basketball program for 10 seasons from 1976 to 1986. She is the only coach in the history of the Spartans basketball team to compile a winning record; her ten-season overall win-loss record was 143-121, with a conference win-loss record of 60–54. For six consecutive seasons under Chatman, the Spartans had a winning record. They won 24 and 22 games in 1979 and 1980, respectively, and won the NorCal Conference championship both years. Chatman is the only women's basketball coach to lead the Spartans in post-season tournament play, coaching them to four consecutive AIAW tournament berths from 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981.[2]

In recognition of the achievements of her Spartans teams, she was honored as the San Jose State University Women's Basketball Coach of the Century, and she was inducted into the SJSU Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Legal career[edit]

Chatman changed careers in 1986, retired from coaching, and attended the University of California, Hastings College of Law at the age of 38. After graduating from Hastings in 1989, she accepted a position as a deputy prosecutor in the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, where she prosecuted gang violence, sexual assault and murder cases over ten years.[3]

Judicial career[edit]

While Chatman was a prosecutor, she was recruited by Judge Eugene Hyman to accept a position as a judge. Chatman eventually became Gov. Gray Davis' first superior court appointment in Santa Clara County in 2000. During here tenure as judge, she has supervised the Superior Court's three dedicated domestic violence courts where she helped to develop many changes, including a specialized court for mentally ill domestic violence defendants and a special project for defendants with children. She has presided over numerous sexual assault and murder trials and is currently assigned to the Family Law Division.[4]

Chatman has served on the national faculty for the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence and National Institute on Fatherhood, Visitation and Domestic Violence. She has made frequent presentations and appearances at schools and community groups, and was the inspiration for the 2005 founding Building Peaceful Families (BPF), a nonprofit entity whose mission is to foster the health and safety of children through better parenting.[4]

Chatman presided over the trial of Robert Roy Farmer, who pled guilty to killing 21 cats and sexually abusing a dead cat. The high-profile trial went from 2015 to 2017; Chatman sentenced Farmer to 16 years in jail.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

She has been the recipient of numerous community service awards, including the Santa Clara County Bar Association's Unsung Hero Award; the NAACP Social Justice Award; the Commission on the Status of Women - Woman of Vision Award; the California Judges Association – Alba Witkins Humanitarian Award for outstanding service to the community; 10 Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area; and California Probation Officers Chief's Association Judicial Officer of the Year.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
San Jose State Spartans (NorCal Conference) (1976–1982)
1976–77 San Jose State 10–10 4–7 4th
1977–78 San Jose State 17–10 12–0 1st
1978–79 San Jose State 24–4 12–0 1st
1979–80 San Jose State 22–9 9–3 2nd
1980–81 San Jose State 14–13 8–4 2nd
1981–82 San Jose State 15–12 7–5 3rd
San Jose State Spartans (NorPac Conference) (1982–1986)
1982–83 San Jose State 17–9 8–6 5th
1983–84 San Jose State 9–17 5–9 6th
1984–85 San Jose State 9–17 3–9 7th
1985–86 San Jose State 6–20 1–11 7th
San Jose State: 143–121 64–54
Total: 143–121

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ De Anza College, "Women's Basketball at De Anza College: 1974–Present." Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  2. ^ San Jose State University 2014-15 Women's Basketball Media Guide, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, pp. 82–83 (2014).
  3. ^ Justin M. Norton, "Judicial Profile: Sharon Chatman; Unlikely Road To The Bench For Ex-Basketball Coach," The Recorder (December 28, 2004). Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c County of Santa Clara, Office of Women's Policy, Sharon Chatman. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Baum, Julia (2017-07-15). "San Jose: Judge hands cat killer 16-year sentence". The Mercury News. Bay Area News Group. Archived from the original on 2017-08-11. Retrieved 2017-08-10.

External links[edit]