Longhorn legends: Women's Hall of Honor inductee Becky (Bludau) Marshall
Nov. 3, 2008
Andy Ortegon, Texas Media Relations
On Friday, November 7, Becky (Bludau) Marshall, the first full-time athletic trainer in UT women's athletics history, and one of the first female athletic trainers in the Southwest Conference, will be inducted, alongside four distinguished athletes, into The University of Texas Women's Longhorn Hall of Honor.
"I did not expect this," Mrs. Marshall said cheerfully as she described her initial reaction to hearing that she would be inducted into the Women's Hall of Honor. "I was very surprised and very honored because I know the people that have been inducted before me, and thus, the characteristics and achievements it requires to be a part of this legacy. Besides that, you are also excited because of the sheer fact it is an award from The University of Texas, which makes everything all the more special."
Marshall attended Ranger (Texas) College from 1969-71 and was a member of the Ranger's 1971 national championship basketball team. She then transferred to UT and graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education and biology in 1973.
"When I arrived at Texas, I remember of course, loving the school, but I was disappointed in what the athletic training program had to offer," Marshall said. "Though it was uncommon in the state to have a well developed program for athletic trainers, surely UT should have something more to offer. So when I graduated, I had hoped I would be able to come back here and help with the program to try and make it better."
After earning her bachelor's degree from UT, she attended graduate school at Southwest Texas State. There, she served as women's athletic trainer from 1973-75, until she graduated with a master's in education.
Due to the infancy of the program, Marshall was saddled with oversight of all eight UT women's teams during her tenure from 1976-85. She found the task both demanding and rewarding.
"We had about seven teams at different times and it was difficult because I only had a few student assistants," Marshall said. "We found ourselves unable to go everywhere with every team because we simply did not have enough people to do so. And during that time, UT had a gymnastics team and that sport alone could take up most of our man-power. Even though it took so much from us, we were so lucky because there weren't that many athletic trainers in the state at that time. There were only two I knew that even had their official certification and here we were with the opportunity to build something new and hopefully something great."
Marshall lived some of her most memorable moments surrounded by the athletes and coaches during her years as an athletic trainer.
"There are so many stories I remember," she said. "We would drive all night to be with the team. We would stay in some unusual places because there wasn't always the money for some place nice, and we would work weird hours because the athletes needed us, but it was all worth it to be in that environment of great athletes and great coaches. I remember championships, conference games, and times when you got to watch an athlete recover from something they thought was going to be much worse. There was a never a dull day and I truly loved it."
Marshall's contributions to the program served as the foundation to the nationally acclaimed UT women's athletics sports medicine program that the University is known for today. And in 1978 she was selected as the head trainer for the U.S. national women's basketball team which toured and competed throughout Eastern Europe.
After retiring from a career of sports medicine, Marshall found her love for athletics still calling. Thus, she became a certified referee for women's NCAA basketball.
Today, Marshall still remains active. Due to a hip surgery she can no longer referee, however, she still indulges herself in 18 holes every now and again. Looking back on a life of accomplishment, she leaves simple advice for all who will ever cross the stage wearing a burnt orange tassel with hopes and dreams of building something just as she helped build the University's sports medicine program.
"Regardless of what field you go into or whatever you do in life, there will come a point in everyone's life when you will be faced with looking in the mirror and answering two questions, `Did I try to live my life doing the right thing?' and `Did I live up to my potential?' so my advice is live everyday making choices you know in your heart are right and be all that you have the capability of being."