MPSSAA Title IX at 50 Content
Edition II - Post-1972 Title IX Passage in Maryland
“No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Title IX of the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Nixon on June 23rd, 1972. As we embark on the 50th year anniversary, the MPSSAA would like to recognize the history and the contributions of those who have and continue to advocate for female student-athletes.
The MPSSAA is forever indebted to these individuals, pioneers, trailblazers, and moments of magnitude that stretch into Maryland’s history, long before Title IX was enacted. Leading up to the 50th Anniversary, the MPSSAA will be posting numerous artifacts and stories on the contributions and legacy of Marylanders who have paved the way for increased participation.
The second edition in a series of Title IX information will look at the stories, history, artifacts since the passage of Title IX.
Since the passage of Title IX, female participation rapidly grew through the MPSSAA. Beginning in 1973, Barbara Riley (Montgomery County), Helen Cook (Montgomery County), Mildred Murray (Baltimore County), Elaine Lindsay (Baltimore County), and Francis Miller (Kent County) all became voting members of the MPSSAA Board of Control. Murray went on to become the first female member of the MPSSAA Executive Council in 1976-1977 academic year and was elected as the first female President of the MPSSAA, serving from 1978 – 1980.
Effective August 1, 1973, the regulations that governed student-athlete eligibility transferred from the MPSSAA Constitution to the State Board of Education COMAR 13A.06.03, Interscholastic Athletics. The following authorization was first adopted in Article I: “The following rules and regulations have been established by the State Superintendent of Schools to govern athletic programs for boys and girls in the Public Secondary Schools of Maryland effective August 1, 1973.”
In the 1973-74 MPSSAA Handbook, the following Girls’ Athletics Committee was established with representatives from the MPSSAA eight districts at the time.
District 1 - Teresa Bachtell – Washington County
District 2 – Barbrara Riley - Montgomery County
District 3 – Barbara Stinson – Prince George’s County
District 4 – Adaline Buchanan – Charles County
District 5 – Pat Chance – Anne Arundel County
District 6 – Elaine Lindsay - Baltimore County
District 7 – Roberta Shuble – Cecil County
District 8 – Brenda Jones – Worcester County
With the work of the committee, tournament committees were established in the 1974-75 handbook for girls’ basketball, girls’ track and field, girls’ field hockey, girls’ volleyball. Mildred Murray became the first MPSSAA Committee chair of the girls’ basketball, girls’ field hockey, girls’ volleyball, and girls’ softball committee while Joanne Perryman of Prince George’s County chaired the girls’ track committee. Girls’ soccer and Girls’ lacrosse committees were later formed and an influx of female administrators began to filter into many of the MPSSAA sport and standing committees.
The MPSSAA can look to numerous individuals who continued to pave ways for female administrators. Baltimore County began employing female athletic directors in the first few years after Title IX passage. These positions grew rapidly across the state. Female leaders took positions on standing committees leading to additional leadership of the association as committee chairs and President’s. Pat Barry, Mary Etta Reedy, Marlene Kelly, Kim Dolch, and Dana Johnson have all served as Presidents of the MPSSAA.
Melba Williams and Milly Wilson controlled the MPSSAA “War Room”, collecting scores from across the state before cell phones, text messages, and social media. These collection led to the updates of state tournament brackets and smooth logistics of tournaments.
Melba Williams and Phyllis Hemmes grew girls’ lacrosse from the ground up with Mildred Murray. Hemmes went on to become the field hockey chair for over 20 years. MPSSAA tournament directors and committee chairs emerged the likes of Jean Boyd, Norma Bankford, Pat Barry, Vivienne Daily, Karen Bundy, Sarajane Quinn, Mary Etta Reedy, Jill Masterman, Diane George, Marlene Kelly, Lynn Pitonzo, Beth Shook, Gabriele von Nordheim, Marianne Shultz, Sue Ann Strobel, Peggy Troiano, Sybil Kessinger, Debbie Basler, and Lynette Mitzel,
Exception female leadership expanded into the MPSSAA office. The MPSSAA office expanded in 1988 with the hiring of Ms. Mary Lucas as the MPSSAA Coordinator of Information and Publications. Lucas, a 31-year teacher and coach from Bladensburg High School, had served on numerous MPSSAA tournament committees and annually compiled state track and field records. Lucas expanded MPSSAA publications and ensured equitable attention and logistics for female sports. Lucas retired from the MPSSAA office position in 2006, yet continued working track and field and indoor track championships through 2019. The MPSSAA is indebted to Lucas, whose investigative skills published numerous lost records, including many female participation opportunities, and is the reason for having an extensive historical database of MPSSAA championships. As quoted in the Fall 2005 MPSSAA SCOUT Newsletter, “her attention to detail, work ethic, outstanding work product, and good-hearted respect for others has provided untold benefits to the student-athletes of Maryland.”
Ms. Lynette Mitzel was hired by the MPSSAA in 2007, and, while only with the MPSSAA office for a short time, left a lasting mark with administering the first Minds in Motion Scholar-Athlete Scholarship Awards Banquet. This now annual program has provided over 190,000 in scholarship money since the 2007-08 academic year.
After a 30-year career in Baltimore County Public Schools, Ms. Jill Masterman came to the MPSSAA office in the fall of 2008. Ms. Masterman, a former chair of the volleyball and softball committees and a member of numerous standing committees and ad hoc task forces, brought a well of knowledge and support to the MPSSAA as the Female Athletics' Specialist. Ms. Masterman quickly elevated the scholarship program, the MPSSAA website and publications, and continued develop strong policy and procedures that equitably benefited all student participation. Ms. Masterman retired from the MPSSAA in 2020.
Thank you to all these and the many other athletic administrators that have been so instrumental in the growth of female participants.
The MPSSAA will publish more stories, history, artifacts as the MPSSAA celebrates Title IX at 50, including some highlights from MPSSAA Sport and Tournaments.