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Goodrich announced as D2 ADA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Lynda Goodrich

Lynda Goodrich

Feb. 6, 2014

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Former Western Washington University Director of Athletics Lynda Goodrich has been named the recipient of the 2014 Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is the most prestigious presented by the D2 ADA, an organization administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). It is given to athletic directors who have exemplified superior achievement during their careers at the NCAA Division II level.

Goodrich retired last May after 26 years as head of the WWU Athletics Department. Currently, she is serving in her first year as the Special Assistant to the Vice President/Athletic Fund Raising.

"Lynda led Western Washington to unprecedented success during her time at the helm of the Vikings," stated D2 ADA President Anita Barker, director of athletics at Chico State. "The D2 ADA looks forward to honoring her accomplishments at the June Convention."

Goodrich has been an icon, not only on the WWU campus, but also nationally. Under her leadership, the Vikings captured nine national championships and another nine individual titles, while posting five straight top 15 finishes (2008-13) and five consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-sports titles. She led the school's transition from NAIA to Division II.

Goodrich is no stranger to the coaching ranks either, having coached basketball, golf, tennis, track & field and volleyball during her 41-year tenure at WWU.

WWU made the move to NCAA II in 1998. During that 15-year stretch under Goodrich's leadership, the Vikings won eight team national titles, one in men's basketball and seven in women's rowing. They also reached the national title match in volleyball, two national semifinals in both men's and women's basketball, and placed second three times and third twice in women's rowing.

Under Goodrich's direction, WWU student-athletes graduated at rates well above the national average for NCAA II.

Goodrich was instrumental in rebuilding and reshaping the WWU athletics program, helping raise funds for a strength and fitness center, softball field upgrade and the installation of a multi-purpose field, while introducing an annual fund drive, auction and golf tournament to help raise funds for scholarships. Softball and golf were added as varsity sports for women and attendance increased across all sports during her tenure.

Among her top accomplishments at WWU, Goodrich listed the move from NAIA to NCAA II, improving facilities and hiring outstanding coaches and staff as her top accomplishments. She also implemented a marketing program, better game management and refurbishments of Carver Gym including LED signage and a video board.

When Goodrich transferred to WWU as a student in 1963, there were no true opportunities for women athletes and when she began collegiate coaching with the Vikings in 1971 the opportunities weren't much better.

Goodrich posted a 411-125 record in 19 seasons (1971-90) as women's basketball coach, never having a losing season, reaching post-season play 18 times and winning 20 games 13 times. A finalist for National Division II Coach of the Year honors in 1981 and 1982, she directed the Vikings to two quarterfinal finishes at the NAIA National Tournament; and three regional titles and subsequent trips to the AIAW Nationals.

Goodrich, who has received numerous sports administration honors, has been inducted into five Hall of Fames. They are the NAIA, WWU Athletics, Northwest Women's Sports, Snohomish County Athletics and Lake Stevens High School Athletics.

Goodrich obtained her bachelor's degree in 1966 and master's degree in 1973, both at WWU, and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Western's Alumni Association in 1988.

Goodrich will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award on June 10 at the 2014 NACDA Convention at Orlando, Florida.

Division 2 ADA Announces WWU's Goodrich as 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Contact: Julie Work, Assistant Executive Director, jwork@nacda.com

CLEVELAND - The Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) has announced the recipient of the 2014 D2 ADA Lifetime Achievement Award - Lynda Goodrich, former director of athletics at Western Washington University (WWU). The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to athletics directors who have exemplified superior achievement during their career at the Division II level.

"Lynda led Western Washington to unprecedented success during her 26 years at the helm of the Vikings," stated D2 ADA President Anita Barker, director of athletics at Chico State. "The D2 ADA looks forward to honoring her accomplishments at the June Convention."

Goodrich has been an icon, not only on the Western Washington campus, but also nationally. Under her leadership, WWU captured nine national championships and another nine individual national titles, while posting five straight top 15 finishes (2008-13) in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup and five straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) all-sports titles. She helped lead the transition from NAIA to Division II.

Goodrich is no stranger to the coaching ranks either, having coached golf, tennis, track & field, volleyball and basketball during her tenure. She coached women's basketball for 19 seasons, compiling 411 wins with no losing seasons and five national tournament appearances.

Goodrich was instrumental in rebuilding and reshaping the WWU athletics program, helping raise funds for a strength and fitness center, softball field upgrade and the installation of a multi-purpose field, while introducing an annual fund drive, auction and golf tournament to help raise funds for scholarships. Softball and golf were added as varsity sports for women and attendance increased across all sports during her tenure.

She has been inducted into multiple halls of fame, including the NAIA HOF in 1996. Nationally, she earned NACDA West Region Athletics Director of the Year honors in 2006 and was named WWU's Sports Impact Person of the Century (1900-99).

Currently, Goodrich is serving in her first year as the Special Assistant to the Vice President/Athletic Fund Raising.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious award presented by the D2 ADA. To be eligible for this award, a person must be at least 60 years old, or have spent at least 25 years in collegiate athletics, with a majority of those years as an AD. The honoree may be currently in the profession or retired. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes athletics directors who, over the course of his/her career, have made an exemplary contribution to Division II athletics and the student-athlete experience.

About D2 ADA: The D2 ADA is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities; enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics; and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of Division II athletics directors. For more information about the D2 ADA, please visit www.div2ada.com. The D2 ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 49th year. For more information on NACDA and the 13 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

Former Athletic Director advocates for women in sports

Goodrich named NCAA Divison II Lifetime Achievement Award winner

By Marina Bankowski, The Western Front

During a typical night at home, former Western Washington University Athletic Director, Lynda Goodrich got a phone call she wasn't expecting. Much to her surprise, she had won an award her staff had secretly nominated her for. A win she would describe as a great achievement after her four decades at Western.

Since 2008, NCAA Division II has been awarding Lifetime Achievement Awards to deserving athletic directors. The award is designed to honor the recipient's career.

Before retiring in August 2013, Goodrich was the athletic director at Western for 26 years.

"It's a huge honor, it's a national award," Goodrich said "It's like a capping on my career."

Steve Card, interim Athletic Director, worked as the associate athletic director alongside Goodrich for 23 years. After building a relationship and learning so much from someone, it is strange to think they won't be around everyday, Card said.

"She is truly a legend and a pioneer in women's athletics," Card said. "This award she is receiving is very well deserved."

Goodrich's history

After graduating from Western in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in education, Goodrich went to West Seattle High School to teach physical education for five years. She came back to Western as a graduate student in 1971 and had the opportunity to take over the head coaching position for Western's women's basketball team.

When Goodrich came to Western to coach basketball, she wanted a 20-game schedule, even though the previous years' schedule had 10 games. After some arguments and persuasion, Goodrich's demands were met, going to lengths such as squeezing in two games a day to get out of the gym in time for the men's teams to play, Goodrich said. At only $800, the women's budget was far less, compared to the men's budget. After having to do bake sales and car washes to raise funds, Goodrich decided to make a change.

"I went to the chair of the department and said that I've sold my last damn cookie, if you want to have athletics for women, then you need to come up with the money to fund it," Goodrich said.

Things got better after her conversation and the budget grew, Goodrich said. Today, Western's women's athletics maintains about 56 percent of funding for athletics.

Despite the struggles, Goodrich took Western's women's basketball to new heights between 1971 and 1990. The Vikings won three District One Championships and went to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament twice. Throughout the 19 seasons she coached, the women's basketball program held a 411-125 record. Goodrich was also named the Vikings Female Coach of the Century, for the years 1900-1999. Goodrich also coached golf, tennis, track and field and volleyball at Western.

The road to becoming Athletic Director

In the 1980s, both male and female athletic directors governed varsity sports of their respective gender. When the men's and women's athletic departments in 1985, the men's athletic director took over as director of athletics, and Goodrich became associate athletic director. After the departments split, Goodrich made the choice to quit teaching classes and focus athletics.

The president of Western at the time, Dr. G. Robert Ross, hired Goodrich as Athletic Director when the previous one retired in May 1987. Ross was killed in a plane crash in November 1987.

"I can remember having doubts about continuing, it was not easy being an athletic director as a woman at the time," Goodrich said. "I felt secure because I had the president behind me."

At Ross' memorial service, his wife confided in Goodrich. She told Goodrich to continue and to perform well because Ross had so much faith in her. Goodrich couldn't give up then, she said.

As a mentor to those she was around, Goodrich hired many coaches during her time as Athletic Director, with many of those coaches leading their teams to regional and national championships.

"She is a visionary, a great advocate for women's athletics and gender equality," Card said. "She has always been a leader in that regard. It's a huge part of her legacy."

Goodrich fought for women's equality in athletics because she always wanted more opportunities for herself as an athlete, as well as those she coached and mentored, she said.

"Girls and women have as much right as boys and men to enjoy what sports and athletics have to offer, just as they have the right to all aspects of our society," Goodrich said.

Paul Madison has been the sports information director at Western for 47 years and has spent many of those years working with Goodrich. Goodrich is a very special person, one who has all the attributes that fit an outstanding leader, Madison said.

"She had this sixth sense about people," Madison said. "She knows that the people she hired wouldn't be just good -- but outstanding."

The women's right movement and Title IX

Athletics have a way of reflecting what's happening in society, and with the women's movement came Title IX, Goodrich said.

"Things parallel what's happening in society as a whole," Goodrich said. "At that time, for a woman to be the athletic director over all programs and all men's sports was very rare."

Title IX became legislation in 1972 and required gender equality for both males and females, under federally funded educational programming. The law paved the way for women to participate in sports without discrimination.

Goodrich became involved in the height of the women's movement fighting for their rights alongside other female teachers she worked with in West Seattle.

Girls' high school sports were not recognized at the varsity level, and these female teachers would meet and strategize on how they could get school districts to recognize girls' sports at a varsity level. Girls' were only able to play after-school sports against each other and would arrange these games on their own. It took a lot of pushing and harassing to make things happen, and by the time Goodrich left after her five years in Seattle, gymnastics, basketball and track were recognized as varsity sports, she said.

Looking forward

In May, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference will host a seminar in Seattle for young women who have an interest in a career in athletics. Panelists and speakers will talk about what it takes to be a woman in athletics, what opportunities there are, and mentorship for the attendees. Goodrich will be a panelist at the conference.

"I hope I have done a good job mentoring young men and women to try and succeed in their careers," Goodrich said. "It behooves us to mentor those who come behind us."

As someone who has made such strides in Western Athletics, Goodrich struggled with the idea of retiring. The announcement of her retirement went public in May 2013, and Goodrich officially retired at the end of August that year.

Since retiring, Goodrich has shown no sign of slowing down as she continues to work as the special assistant to the vice president for athletic fundraising at Western. Goodrich believes staying involved at Western and with the athletic program is important, she said.

"I love what Western stands for as an institution, it's academics and it's dedication to the students," Goodrich said.

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