Washington, Marian

Year Inducted: 
Marian Washington
  • Posted a 560-363 ledger in 31 seasons as the women's basketball coach at the University of Kansas
  • First African American woman to play on a United States national team
  • First African American woman to coach a United States international team
  • Served as the first and only Athletics Director for Women’s Athletics at the University of Kansas (1974-79)

          Marian Washington was born on August 26, 1946 in West Chester Pennsylvania. She attended Henderson High School and graduated from West Chester (Pa.) State College in 1970. She then went on the graduate with her MS from the University Of Kansas in 1976.  Washington excelled in seven sports while in high school and was a two-time AAU All-American at West Chester State. She helped lead the Golden Rams to a national title in 1969, the first-ever in the history of collegiate women’s basketball and was also an outstanding track and field athlete and handball player.

          Marian E. Washington was the face of women’s basketball at the University of Kansas for over 30 years, leading the Jayhawks to the NCAA Tournament 11 times and the AIAW Tournament (pre-NCAA) another four times. Washington led the Jayhawks to 17 seasons of 20 or more victories and seven conference and six conference tournament championships, finishing her career at KU with a record of 560 wins and 363 losses for a .607 winning percentage. But, Marian Washington was more than just wins and losses. She not only pioneered the women’s athletic program at KU, but also paved the way for black women in athletics. She was the first of two black women to play on a United States national team (1969-71); the first to serve as the head coach for a U.S. international team (1982 U.S. Select) and the first to coach on an Olympic women’s basketball staff (assistant on 1996 gold-medal winning team).

          Washington was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004 and is also a member of the West Chester State University Hall of Fame.

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