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"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by," wrote poet Robert Frost. "And that has made all the difference."
Even after more than 30 years of Title IX and women's explosion in athletics, female administrators are still navigating the road less traveled. They've had some success, but are still far from where they should be.
At the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) conference held in New York City in October, three administrators described their career journeys and how they've coped along the way. They were Gary Groth, AD at the University of Nevada-Reno, Lynda Tealer, associate athletic director/senior women's administrator (SWA) at the University of Florida and Tonia Walker, associate director of athletic at Winston-Salem State University NC, an historically black university.
Each woman is at a different stage of her career. Groth, the newly appointed AD at Reno, is one of only six female athletics directors in the country in NCAA Division 1-A (with football). Before moving to Nevada, she had been AD at Northern Illinois University for a decade.
Tealer has been with the University of Florida since 2003. Before joining the 'Gators, she was an associate commissioner with the Southland Conference for three years.
Walker also serves as SWA in addition to her position as associate director of athletics. She has been a member of the WSSU athletic staff since August 2000.
Why not me?
"When I first was asked to speak, a nervous energy came over me and a little voice spoke to me, asking 'Why me?'" said Tonya Walker. "But then I thought back over my career--the people I have been fortunate to learn from and the opportunities …