December 7, 2011

Judy Sweet to Highlight 2012 Saint Leo University Girls & Women in Sports Day

SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo University Department of Athletics will pay tribute to the 26th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Thursday, February 2, 2012.  The Lions have also announced that former NCAA President, and current Co-Director for Alliance of Women Coaches Judith (Judy) Sweet, has been selected as the recipient of the Saint Leo Women in Sports Achievement Award and will be the guest speaker for the evening’s ceremony.

Saint Leo, which has one of the longest-running Girls and Women in Sports Day celebrations in the state of Florida, is honoring Sweet as the 17th recipient of the award on the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX.  A groundbreaking individual who was the first female President of the NCAA, as well as a long-time Director of Athletics at the University of California, San Diego, Sweet personifies everything the National Girls & Women in Sports Day celebration stands for.

On National Girls and Women in Sports Day, thousands of sports educators, coaches, athletic directors, recreation directors, association members, sponsors, students, and parents across the country will show their support of the Day and of this year's theme, "Title IX at 40: In it for the Long Run."  It is through various scholarships and awards that Saint Leo honors and thanks those who have so generously offered guidance in their quest for achievement.

In recognizing Sweet, the Lions will honor one of the first women in America to administer joint men's and women's athletics programs. Sweet was named Athletics Director at UC San Diego in 1975, and over the next 24 years supervised 23 sports programs. The program received the Sears Directors Cup for Division III in 1998 in recognition of the school's athletics success in NCAA championships for both men and women.

Sweet served on over 20 NCAA committees, including the NCAA Council and Executive Committee. In 1986, she was elected to a two-year term as Division III vice-president, and then to a two-year term as NCAA Secretary-Treasurer. In 1991, she became the first (and because of governance restructuring in 1997), and only female to serve as NCAA President - the Association's highest membership post. Sweet's other committee appointments include chairing the NCAA Council and Executive Committee in 1991-92, the Budget Subcommittee in 1989-90, the Special Advisory Committee to Review Recommendations Regarding Distribution of Revenues in 1990-97, and the Review and Planning Committee 1996-97 and the NCAA Foundation Board of Directors.

She has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) and the Board of Trustees for the United States Sports Academy. Sweet served as national president of the Athletic and Recreation Federation of College Women from 1968-69, was a member of the United States Olympic Committee's Task Force on Minorities from 1994-96, and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for National University. Most recently she is the co-director of the Alliance of Women Coaches which she helped initiate in 2011.

In her 35-plus year career in athletics Sweet has received over 40 awards including being named Division III Athletics Director of the Year for 1998-99 by NACDA. She won the Honda Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women's Athletics in 1998, was named Administrator of the Year in 1992 by NACWAA, among numerous other awards. In 2006, she was included among the NCAA's 100 most influential student-athletes and awarded the NCAA James J. Corbett Memorial Award for service. In 2007, she was named by the Institute for International Sports as one of the 100 most influential sports educators. In 2009, she was inducted into the Wisconsin State Sports Hall of Fame and was a 2011 inductee in the University of Wisconsin Hall of Fame.

The evening will begin with a 6 p.m. reception, followed by a dinner and awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.  Both events will take place in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms.  Tickets are priced at $35 and seating is limited.  Those interested in purchasing a table sponsorship can now do so for $200, a cost that includes four tickets and additional recognition.

For more information on Saint Leo University’s celebration of the 26th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day, or to purchase tickets, please contact Saint Leo Associate Athletic Director John Semeraro at (352) 588-8223 or via email at john.semeraro@saintleo.edu.