nized conglomerate of club and recreation teams, some from as early as the 1930s, when a UNC women's basketball team was fonned out oftean1.s from the Phi Beta Phi and Chi Omega sororities to compete against other local colleges and clubs. Twenty years later, another sport stood out as an early trendsetter for the women's athletic program at UNe. Francis Hogan, formerly the women's athletic director at Carolina, became the school's first head coach in women's tennis and spurred a remarkable interest in the sport around the state. Among her innovations was the cre- ation of North Carolina Women's Tennis Day in 1958. In 1970, still before AlAW -sponsored women's tennis at the collegiate level, Hogan
coached the Tar Heels' Laura DuPont ' 72
to the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association's col-
legiate singles championship and led the
UNC team to a No. 6 national ranking.
"There is probably a lot we don't know
about the early years of women's sports at
UNC and in North Carolina," Miller said.
"The farther you try to look in the past,
the more you have to rely on newspaper
accounts and things like that.
"I know that in the late '70s there was a
whole lot going on at UNC that people
never heard about. Women's sports were
abnost completely ignored by the major news
outlets; about the only attention we would
get was a paragraph or two in
that was if we were lucky."
The first women's varsity teams at UNC
didn't arrive until the
1971-72 academic year,
when the University
fielded women's varsiry
teams in basketball, cross
country, field hockey,
(now fast-pitch) softball,
tennis, track and volley-
ball as part of the depart-
ment of physical education.
"Even before Title IX, the University
supported women's athletics," Miller said.
"Of course, mere wasn't nearly as much
organization or financial support for women's
sports on a national or even regional level
as you see today.
"But I think, even at that time, UNC's
reputation for athletic success in some of
the men's sports created an environment
that was more supportive of women's ath-
letics than at many of the other schools
across the nation."
The changes came slowly. At first, the
women's program patterned itself after the
high school model, in which teachers were
assigned coaching responsibilities. Across
the board, head coaches on the women's
teams earned $1,000 a year; assistants pulled
"The volleyball team and the basketball
team used to share uniforms and travel bags,"
Miller said. "The volleyball team used them
in the fall, ... and the basketball team used
them in the winter. It may seem strange, but
we really felt lucky to have memo Ofcourse,
you'd never see anything like that today."
In 1974, in part in response to the recently
Beth Miller coaches
Charlotte Smith '95 sinks the
three-pointer that sealed the 1993
NCAA women's title for UNC.
in this issue
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