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Fall 2024


My Fight for Nothing Less

by Marian E. Washington with Vicki L. Friedman

In 2022 The Washington Post called her the Jackie Robinson of collegiate women’s basketball coaching. Now Marian E. Washington shares her compelling life story, tracing her humble roots in rural Pennsylvania to the unprecedented legacy she left for the advancement of women’s athletics and African American women.

Washington became the first female African American head coach at a predominantly White institution at the Division I level when the University of Kansas hired her in 1973. A year later she was named KU’s first women’s athletics director. Over 31 years she coached Kansas women’s basketball to 560 wins, 11 NCAA Tournament appearances and two Sweet 16s.

But her legacy is the battle she waged for equity inside the walls of her own institution and nationally, becoming a trailblazer for a host of successful Division I Black female coaches. In 1996 she became the first Black woman to coach on a U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team staff, serving as an assistant coach on the USA’s gold medal-winning team.

Washington was the first female President of the Black Coaches Association. She is enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and is a finalist on the Ballot for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

FIERCE is her story.
Fall 2024

About the Author

Marian E. Washington

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.


Autobiography/Biography/Celebrity, Sports
Publication Date
Fall 2024
16-page photo insert
Trim Size
5.5” x 8.5”
Page Count
* indicates required