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UMD to Recognize 50th Season of Women's Athletics with Year-long Celebration

UMD volleyball players 2014-15 season
Volleyball team members from the 2014-15 season

The 2015-16 season will mark the 50th year of women's athletics at UMD. The UMD athletic department, in partnership with maurices, Northland News Center's My9 Sports Network, and Essentia Health, and in conjunction with UMD Commission for Women, will mark the occasion with a year-long celebration.  Some of the exciting elements of this special celebration will include:

· "maurices moments" – A series of snapshots highlighting Bulldog women's athletic achievements and accomplishments that will be showcased at over 100 UMD athletic home events this year.

 · Unprecedented Television Coverage on My9 Sports Network – The My9 Sports Network will broadcast a record setting number of Bulldog women's athletic games/matches in 2015-16. (visit a for complete schedule)

· Women's Health Awareness – Through its partnership with Essentia Health, UMD athletics will work to heighten awareness of women's health and care issues.

 · Women's Leadership Forum – As part of the second annual Goldfine Leadership Institute, a forum on women in leadership roles will be held for UMD's female student- athletes.  It will be presented by prominent women in the Duluth community serving as role models and leaders.

· $50 for 50 – A comprehensive fund raising effort entirely focused on the eight Bulldog women's programs to increase support and programmatic enhancement with gifts ending in $50 (go to and note the "$50 for 50 Fund")

Visit for updates and more information on this special year-long celebration.

In the mid-1960's UMD athletics began to sponsor varsity competition for a handful of women's programs. These women were pioneers and helped create the opportunities, scholarships and experiences that the Bulldog women student-athletes have today.  Today, UMD Athletics currently sponsors 8 women's varsity sports of a total of 14 UMD athletic programs, has nearly 175 female student athletes and committed over $1 million to women's scholarships in 2015-16.

"It is truly an honor to be a part of this 50-year celebration," said UMD Athletic Director Josh Berlo. "The history and legacy of the women whom have competed as Bulldogs over the past half century is impressive and this is a great opportunity to celebrate their dedication and achievements as student athletes and beyond.

"We sincerely appreciate the partnership of Laura Sieger and George Goldfarb of maurices, Kristi Schmidt of Essentia Health, Jessi Eaton and the UMD Commission for Women, as well as Dave Jensch of Northland NewsCenter to help make this yearlong celebration meaningful, impactful and special," Berlo said.

Next April at the conclusion of the 2015-16 academic year, a video encompassing and celebrating the 50-year history of UMD women's athletics will be shown at the 2016 Dinner with Champions.  The annual event that honors the successes of the Bulldog student-athletes and community partnerships will also feature UMD women's tennis alumna Dr. Stephanie Carlson, a radiologist at the Mayo Clinic, as the guest speaker.

What people are saying about 50 years of UMD women's athletics:

"I started working at UMD in 1975 as coordinator of women's athletics and also coached the women's volleyball, basketball and softball teams.  We continued to work toward being in compliance with Title IX throughout my 27 years at UMD.  I think it's important to thank the UMD women coaches and student-athletes who built a strong foundation years ago for our current Bulldog athletic program to continue to provide quality experiences 50 years later."
          - Linda Larson, coordinator of women's athletics and volleyball, women's basketball and softball head coach (1975-2002).

 "I have so much pride in having been a part of the history of UMD women's athletics.  The time I spent competing as a Bulldog are some of the most special and treasured moments of my life.  I have nothing by great memories of my experiences with teammates, coaches and staff.  I will forever be linked positively to Bulldog athletics."
         -  Dina Kangas, UMD women's basketball student athlete, three-time All-American and the leading career scorer in Minnesota collegiate basketball history (1987-91).  Is       currently a special education teacher in Kingsville, Texas.

 "I was fortunate to step into a women's program at UMD that had strong women in leadership roles who put me on a national level path for opportunities with USA Basketball and a leadership role in NCAA Division II governance.  It has been a privilege to create a positive competitive experience and to pay the honor forward for our Bulldog student athletes."
          - Karen Stromme, UMD associate athletic director, senior women's administrator and 21- year women's basketball head coach. St. Olaf University women's basketball student-athlete (1978-1982).

"Women's athletics has empowered me through competition and competitive spirit.  It has helped open doors to women on all levels and given us a voice to be heard on an equal playing field. I am proud to say that women's athletics has made me a better person."
          - Joanna Warmington, UMD women's cross country and track & field head coach. Drake University track & field student-athlete (1990-94).

 "Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work with, be inspired by, and learn from some of the best female athletes and coaches in our sport.  It is a privilege to have the opportunity here at UMD to help ensure our Bulldogs develop into strong and determined student-athletes who will continue to push our sport to new levels and motivate the next generation to reach their potential. I am proud to be a Bulldog."
          - Maura Crowell, UMD women's hockey head coach.  Colgate University women's hockey student-athlete (1998-2002).

"My four years as a Bulldog have been the most influential of my life thus far.  I was exposed to so many opportunities to grow as a student, competitor, community member, and most importantly as a person.  I feel so honored to have had this experience and I hope future Bulldogs continue to take advantage of all of the opportunities made possible by the strong women who came before us."
          - Amelia Maher, UMD track & field student-athlete (2011-15). Current University of Mary track and field graduate assistant coach. Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Representative for 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award.


Written by Bob Nygaard, August 2015.

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