Thursday, July 25, 2024

Arkansas State Athletics to celebrate 50 years of women’s sports in 2024-25

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Arkansas State Athletics has announced plans to celebrate the milestone 50th anniversary of women’s sports at the school throughout the 2024-25 academic year. The celebration will include special ticket offers and events, Alumni Nights for all women’s sports, commemorative teams announced and more.

“It’s exciting to be at Arkansas State at a time when we are celebrating 50 years of women participating in intercollegiate athletics,” Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Women Administrator Amy Holt said. “We are looking forward to honoring both the past and the present female student-athletes at A-State over these coming months.”

In a press release dated Oct. 25, 1974, Arkansas State announced that Kay Woodiel had been named “coach of women’s intercollegiate athletics” at the school. Woodiel, who had gotten her master’s degree from A-State the previous August, would lead the newly formed women’s program in three sports. Before that, women’s sports were played as extramural activities, or club teams.

Woodiel coached teams in women’s basketball and tennis in the Spring semester of the 1974-75 year. She led the school’s first volleyball team in the Fall of 1975. She coached all three sports for their first four seasons of play and ended up leading the volleyball program for nine years. Woodiel also served as the athletic department’s primary women’s administrator.

“How exciting and special that A-State will be honoring the first student-athletes in Women’s Sports during this 50th anniversary celebration,” Woodiel said. “The past few years have certainly seen a significant increase in fan support and following for all women’s sports, but I believe the product has been there all along. Today’s record-breaking crowds and television coverage are the result of increased marketing, better facilities and more scholarship opportunities.

“I am sure that the trailblazers that might not have enjoyed all these benefits will appreciate the special recognition and celebration. I look forward to attending the Alumni Nights, reconnecting with those trailblazers and remembering the excitement we all felt when given the opportunity to compete at a higher level.”

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, fans can purchase a special combo season ticket that includes both volleyball and women’s basketball. That ticket is just $99 and can be purchased by going to //, or by calling 870-972-3882.

Several of A-State’s Women’s programs will also welcome back former players as part of Alumni Nights during their respective seasons. Volleyball will have its Alumni Night on Aug. 31, when the Red Wolves host Ole Miss while the tennis program will welcome back alumni on Oct. 26 during its home tournament.

A-State Soccer will celebrate both Alumni and Senior Day on Oct. 27 against Old Dominion. The Alumni Day for Women’s Basketball is tentatively set for Feb. 1, 2025.

There will also be All-50 Year Teams announced for volleyball and women’s basketball during their respective seasons.

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