by Marian E. Washington with Vicki L. Friedman
Before Marian E. Washington stepped into Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse, only one room was dedicated to women: the public restroom. Today the Marian E. Washington Women’s Basketball Suite is among the finest facilities in the nation.
Marian’s compelling life story begins with her growing up in a bus in rural West Chester, Pennsylvania, and traces the unprecedented legacy she left to advance women’s athletics and African American women. Washington achieved excellence as an athlete, administrator, and coach at the University of Kansas. In 1996 she became the first Black woman to coach at the Olympic level. She is enshrined in multiple halls of fame, including the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the University of Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and the West Chester University Athletics Hall of Fame twice, as an individual and as part of the West Chester State College team that won the inaugural women's basketball national championship in 1969.
Washington was fierce in her fight to achieve opportunity and equity for women at a time of firm resistance to newly passed Title IX legislation. She currently lives in St. Augustine, Florida.
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