The Wait is Over

DSC02550Former University of Texas Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Jody Conradt, returned to Baylor recently to receive something very special to her, an athletic letter award. Conradt, a 1963 graduate of Baylor, was a member of Baylor’s first intercollegiate women’s basketball team in the early 1960s. During the ’60s, female student athletes in various sports represented their universities and competed against each other in organized leagues throughout the country, but they were not given equal varsity status as men, rendering them ineligible to receive varsity letters. Women sports programs did not receive varsity status until the early 1970s.

After Coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears won the Women’s Basketball National Championship in 2005, the “B” Association, in partnership with Baylor Athletics and Baylor Women’s Basketball, hosted the first-ever All Women’s Basketball Reunion. Former players from as far back as the 1950s returned to Waco to participate in the reunion activities which included a pre-game ceremony to unfurl the Lady Bears’ national Championship banner in the Ferrell Center. Those who attended the reunion were given an opportunity to retroactively receive their athletic letter awards. Unfortunately, Conradt was unable to take advantage of the opportunity due to her coaching responsibilities at Texas.

That all changed on December 4, 2015, when “B” Association representatives along with Athletic Director, Ian McCaw, presented Conradt with her official athletic letter.  The presentation took place at a private lunch which was held in the Baylor Club at McLane Stadium.  “Of all the awards and recognition I’ve received during my lifetime, receiving my varsity letter from Baylor is the most special to me.  I want to thank the “B” Association and Baylor University for remembering those of us who played in those formative years of college women’s basketball, I will cherish this moment forever,” Conradt said.

Conradt was a member of the 1962 Bearettes team that finished the season with an 11-2 record and won the North Texas State Invitational for the second year in a row.  She was the leading scorer on the team averaging 29 points per game.  After graduating with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Baylor, Conradt entered the coaching profession.  She coached at Sam Houston State and the University of Texas at Arlington before being hired to establish the women’s basketball program at Texas. During her career at UT, she led the Longhorns to 27 post season appearances and a National Championship in 1986. Conradt retired in 2007 as one of the winningest coaches in collegiate basketball — men’s or women’s.

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