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UB Sports History

Women's SportsWomen's Sports

Early Years

The University's first athletic programs consisted exclusively of men's varsity and junior varsity teams. However in the fall of 1922, Lillias MacDonald, the newly appointed Dean of Women, helped to established a physical education program for women at UB which included the Women's Athletic Association (WAA). The WAA, run by a student governing council, developed a foundation for UB women's athletics that "would be strong enough to stand the test of time" (1923 Iris yearbook).

In 1923 Gretchen Lee became Director of the Clark Gymnasium and Physical Education Instructor often coaching women's athletics.

In the 1940's women around Clark Hall--the University's main gymnasium at the time--were known as "PEWs," or Physical Education Women.


First women's varsity athletic program established at UB, swimming and diving. That initial team had one meet on its schedule.

Throughout the 1960s, UB's women's athletic program belonged to the Recreation Association Affiliation. Each team had a small local schedule consisting of matches against other local schools.


By 1966, UB had three intercollegiate women's athletic teams: Swimming and Diving, Volleyball, and Field Hockey. The entire women's athletic program consisted of only 80 women and a combined game schedule of a mere 20 events. Vie Diebold, chairperson of women's physical education served as women's athletic coordinator.


Basketball, volleyball, and field hockey also became part of women's athletics.


UB became a member of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). Affiliation with AIAW provided post-season games and State Championships for almost all of the women's athletics teams.


Inception Education Amendments of Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Prior to the approval of Title IX, the entire women's budget was made up of a mere $16,000.

c. 1973

Women's athletics have 8 teams varsity teams: basketball, bowling, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.


Elizabeth "Betty" Dimmick became Women's Athletic Director.


UB's female athletes become the "Royals" (for UB's team colors--Royal Blue and White) abandoning the contradictory title of "Lady Bulls," (as the result of a Spectrum contest).

c. 1970s

Membership with the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC). At the time SUNYAC was noted for being one of the strongest Division III conferences in the country. Many of its championships are qualifying events for national tournaments.


Bowling is downgraded to the club level, while women's soccer becomes a varsity sport.


Women's athletics changed their allegiance to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Nan Harvey joins the Athletic Department coaching the newly-created varsity softball team.

At this time the women's program includes 155 women, among nine varsity teams, and a combined game schedule of 140 events.


The NCAA accepts UB's application to upgrade from Division III to Division II.


In May the NCAA officially upgrades UB's intercollegiate athletics program to Division I.


Nelson Townsend, Director of the Division of Athletics, announces at a Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting that UB will add three women's intercollegiate sports -- crew, lacrosse, and softball -- over the course of the next two years. Doing so will increase the proportion of total athletic funding spent of women's sports to reflect the percentage of females in UB's student body as required by Title IX of the 1964 Civil Right's Act.

Nan Harvey is inducted into both the National Indicator Fraternity of the ASA Hall of Fame and the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame.


The athletic department formalizes the name "Bulls" for all UB athletic teams, male and female.

Natosha Cummings is the first African-American female to graduate from UB's NCAA Division I Program(?).


Victoria S. Bull joins Victor E. Bull as one of UB's mascots. Although she was introduced at the "Rockin' Rally 2001" on August 24th, her first game appearance was August 30 at the football team's home opener against Rutgers.


Seven of UB's nine women's sports programs are coached by female coaches, two times the national average.