Kansas State Will Celebrate 50th Title IX Anniversary Next Season

Kansas State Athletics will be commemorating the achievements of its women as it pertains to sports over the course of the 2022/23 athletic season in recognition of the passing of Title IX on the Higher Education Act.

The celebration will feature game promotions during sporting events, the likes of football, volleyball, soccer, and women’s basketball fixtures, as well.

“As we look forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we are excited to honor some of the pioneers and individuals who have invested in women’s athletics at K-State and recognize them for the impact they made for our student-athletes competing today,” Jill Shields, K-State Deputy Athletic Director, and Senior Women’s Administrator announced this week.

The college will recognize feats achieved by female student-athletes, both past and present, plus coaches and administrators, via K-State Sports Extra features and video packages produced by KStateHD.TV.

The site notes that Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits sexual discrimination at educational institutions to which federal funding is given. The regulation demands that “except for provided elsewhere in this part, no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by a recipient which receives … Federal financial assistance.”

K-State intercollegiate women’s athletics started prior to Title IX being finalized, with the Wildcats being offered a women’s track and field program in 1905, before having its initial varsity women’s basketball campaign in a968/69 under the guidance of iconic head coach Judy Akers.

Said program has given varsity letters to 1,222 women, won four conference team titles, and presented 169 All-American honors. K-State women’s basketball had registered 50 wins by the time Title IX became law. 

The Wildcats have handed out letters to 221 female basketball players and have been to the NCAA Tournament on 17 occasions. Deb Patterson, who coached from 1996 to 2014, is the all-time wins leader with 305, with Lynn Hickey setting the program’s record with a career winning percentage of .762 between 1979 to 1984, having led the Wildcats into its first three NCAA campaigns.

The college’s women’s basketball program will go into the upcoming seasons just two wins away from 1,000 and will become the 19th NCAA Division I program to get to the mark in the association’s history.

With Kansas sports betting apps soon to go live following the betting bill being signed into law, there’s more for supporters to look forward to. It’s expected that betting will be available this fall.

K-State played its first season of intercollegiate varsity tennis in 1973 under head coach Bev Yenzer. Over 105 varsity letters have been dished out since then and three student-athletes have gone on to snatch Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American honors.

K-State volleyball followed up on the back of the tennis program getting off the ground, playing its first season in 1974. It has since been involved in 18 NCAA Tournaments and won the Big 12 title in 2003. A total of 212 women have been in receipt of varsity letters. Suzie Fritz’s 378 wins mark the most as a coach as part of said program. 

The cross country team started competing in 1975, with the Wildcat harriers running individually from 1975 to 1977 prior to competing on a team in 1978. It’s gone All-Conference 21 times and All-America 15 times.

As for women’s golf, that started out in 1981 and has delivered 89 letters to student-athletes since then. Kristi Knight has been at the helm since 1995 –  she’s the longest-tenured coach in the Big 12 and has also steered the program to five NCAA Regional appearances and served as the president of the Women’s Golf Coaches Association from 2016 to 2018. 

The college’s rowing program got off to a start as an NCAA Division I discipline back in the 1996/97 academic year and got the first season in the books in 1998 as it became the second Big 12 Conference school to take up rowing as a varsity competition. The program has bestowed 248 letters since then. Jenny Hale was the head coach who was in charge of the program for its first seven seasons.

Soccer is the most recent addition to K-State athletics, having been announced in 2014. The first game was played out two years later. Since then, 71 letters have been handed out. 

The school has also sponsored women’s varsity swimming, softball, gymnastics, and equestrian.

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