n the early 1980’s, women finally got their chance to compete in the same league as other Southwest Conference legends as Earl Campbell, Sam Braugh and Doak Walker. But, did you know that women’s athletics existed since the early 1900s? In the 1960s, Texas even had a regional women’s amateur athletic organization that worked similar to the NCAA. It had, however, a different philosophy approach.


The history of how women joined the southwest conference is a dramatic story filled with fear, opportunity and excitement. In the 1970s and 80s, especially after the passage of Title IX, parties in the athletic community feared what the future would hold. Men’s athletic departments expressed apprehension that the inclusion of women's programs would financially drain their athletic programs. Most women embraced the new attention and opportunities for women's athletics, but some worried that women would lose power over their programs. This exhibition examines how women came into the Southwest Conference and how they transitioned into the NCAA.





Member universities of the historic Southwest Conference: University of Houston, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Baylor University, Texas Tech University, Rice University, University of Arkansas.