Women's coaches address BBA Women's Council
April 30, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- The similarities between the world of business and the world of athletics are striking. And a major one is the male-dominated nature of both.
A Who's-Who list of names from the Texas Women's Athletics Department addressed that issue on Wednesday afternoon at the BBA Women's Council Seminar, held in the Legacy Events Room at the McCombs School of Business.
Former Women's Basketball coach Jody Conradt, Rowing coach Carie Graves, Track and Field coach Beverly Kearney and Golf coach Martha Richards headlined the panel, which addressed a room full of female undergradute BBA students.
Conradt, who began coaching at UT in 1976 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, said she never aspired to be a coach when she was younger, because all of her coaches were men.
"It was never on my radar that I would become a coach. You can't be what you don't see," Conradt said.
Graves, who grew up in Wisconsin, said she never dreamed of becoming an athlete, because it wasn't an option. Her high school didn't offer athletics to females, but Graves went on to qualify for three Olympic teams and won gold in 1984.
Kearney became UT's first African-American head coach when she was hired in 1993. Richards originally attended Stanford on a basketball scholarship, and helped the Cardinal to the 1990 national championship. But Richards also earned All-America honors as a Stanford golfer in 1993.
All four of the panelists had to fight their way into non-traditional roles, and they encouraged the audience to do the same in the corporate world.
"Sports is simply a magnification of life," Kearney said. "No matter the perception, you get to create your own reality. The only thing that trumps prejudice is success."