Texas Tech celebrating Title IX anniversary by honoring trailblazers

Texas Tech celebrating Title IX anniversary by honoring trailblazers
Texas Tech celebrating Title IX anniversary by honoring trailblazers(Source: Texas Tech Red Raiders)
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 10:30 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech Athletics is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX by honoring its pioneers in women’s athletics. The legislation, passed in 1972, prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school that gets funding from the federal government.

The university kicked off the “Women Who Wrecked ‘Em” campaign, highlighting trailblazers like Hall of Fame Coach Marsha Sharp, the late Jeannine McHaney, former Vice President for Student Affairs Robert Ewalt, NCAA Champion and Olympic athlete Sally Kipyego, and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Krista Gerlich.

In 1993, Marsha Sharp and the Lady Raiders played for a packed crowd to win the National Championship. Sharp says the crowd didn’t always look like that, though.

“Well, most of the universities the size of Texas Tech didn’t even play a competitive schedule. They played intramurals for women,” Sharp said.

When Title IX passed in 1972, things changed.

“So, when we moved into the arena to have 15,000 come and watch us, there’s not really any way you can explain that it’s just such a special thing,” Sharp said.

That change took time and a lot of hard work from trailblazers like Marsha Sharp. She says it all started with people like Jeannine McHaney and Robert Ewalt. When Texas Tech created its women’s athletics department in 1975, McHaney was the first director. Ewalt was the Vice President for Student Affairs, the department Women’s Athletics reported to at the time.

“We should all be grateful every day for both of those people because they were the ones that really made it all happen,” Sharp said.

Brandi Stuart, the Senior Women’s Administrator in Texas Tech Athletics, is helping organize the yearlong celebration.

“The access to sports has done so much more for me than I could have ever given back to the sport. I wouldn’t be here as an administrator if it weren’t for my opportunity to play sports at a young age,” Stuart said.

Title IX leveled the playing field inside and out of the arena.

“There were so many more women who had opportunities to go to law school, medical school, to be in the field you’re in right now that really wasn’t available before the 1970′s,” Sharp said.

Stuart and Sharp summarize how being involved in athletics helps women grow.

“Teamwork, leadership, and the empowerment that women can be strong. We can be ourselves; we can lead,” Stuart said.

“Stronger women, stronger business people, stronger mothers, partners, all of those things. I just think it’s been a really special thing that we’ve been able to provide for women,” Sharp said.

Texas Tech Athletics is creating a documentary tracing the history of women’s athletics through these trailblazers’ eyes. It’s set to debut later this summer in a public showing on campus.

Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved.