Celebrating 50 Years | 1972 – 2022

June 23, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX affirms, “No person in the United States shall, based on sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Patsy Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress and is considered the pioneer of the passage of Title IX. Prior to the passing of Title IX, only 300,000 girls nationwide participated in high school sports every year, compared to the 3.5 million who do today.

Title IX is a lasting legacy of Mink’s determination as a tireless champion for girls and women. Her efforts have Influenced women sports worldwide.


“LET ME PLAY…was my thought as I sat along the fence in the playground watching the boys’ play. The game of basketball had captured me.” – Carol Plodzien, Heron Award Winner

Ms. Plodzien’s career was becoming the first ever basketball coach at the school and leading the team to win 50 consecutive games between 1972 and 1977, 12 conference championships, 17 regional championships, and five sectional championships. Under her tutelage, the William Fremd High School men and women came to hold the best record for conference championships in the mid suburban league for both men and women. They also notably played in the Sweet Sixteen finals five times and were in the Elite Eight in 1990.

“I have coached and fought for equity in the girls and women’s game for 51 years. I’m getting a little tired. Over the years we have worked so hard to develop their abilities into capabilities. Look at how they play the game today. It has brought entertainment, success, and self-fulfillment for those involved. The fight to maintain Title IX will never end. Stand up and be strong, and, LET The Girls Play.” – Carol Plodzien


A Legend on and Off the Court

No women’s coach in Illinois basketball has won more than Dorthy Gaters. At 24 years old, she took the job at Marshall after Title IX provided equal opportunity for girls to play varsity sports in 1972. She is a history-making high school basketball coach who taught some of the best women in basketball. Gaters coached five former WNBA players, including Cappie Pondexter, a two-time WNBA champion and Olympic gold medalist.

“To be a great coach, you got to love the game.” – Dorthy Gaters


Janet Harris played for Chicago Marshall H.S.

Janet Harris had an incredible career at (Chicago) Marshall High School. She is a four-time All-American and earned three gold medals winning the 1986 Goodwill Games, 1986 World Championships, and 1987 Pan American Games. In 2015 she was inducted into the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pam Gant

Pam played at Joliet East H.S. and was a 1st team all state player at Joliet East High School in 1981 where her 3,205 career points set the state scoring record at that time. Pam led the Techsters to 2 NCAA National Championships and was inducted into the LTU Hall of Fame in 2017.

Allie Quigley

Allie played at Joliet Catholic Academy and DePaul University and now plays for the Chicago Sky. She is a three time WNBA All-Star (2017, 2018, 2019). Allie also set a record for most shots made in an All-Star three-point competition across both the NBA and WNBA (29 points), sinking 20 of 25.

Charlotte Lewis

Charlotte played at Illinois State University and is an All-American. She was a member of the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team in 1976.

Cathy Boswell

Cathy played for Joliet West H.S. and Illinois State University. In 1984, she played for the U.S. Olympic Team.

Brittany Johnson

Played at Olney East Richland H.S. and became the 2nd leading scorer in Illinois History.