Marion High School
was the coach of all girls’ sports at Marion High School in the 1960’s. She
coached softball, volleyball, basketball and track and field during the Girls
Athletic Association days. Girls’ sports at that time were not recognized by
the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Title IV did not exist to
provide equal opportunity and finances for women athletes. However, Coach Baker knew the value of women
participating in competitive sports and developed one of the best girls’
athletic programs in Indiana.
to 1968, Coach Baker’s basketball teams compiled an 84-6 (93 percent) record
and from 1966 to 1968 she won 33 of 36 volleyball matches (92 percent). She also had outstanding seasons in softball
and track and field. Due to the lack of
coverage of girls’ sports in those years, her exact records are not known.
was constantly looking to upgrade her teams schedule by finding more
competitive teams to play. Even though
she had no budget, she would take her teams to Richmond and Warsaw to play the
best teams in the area. This was evident
by the fact that Warsaw won two of the first three IHSAA girls’ basketball
championships in 1975/76 and 1977/78.
believed women could be athletes and worked hard to provide competitive
opportunities for them. And many female
athletes benefited from her coaching and leadership.
left Marion High School in 1968 to pursue her Doctoral degree in Texas. Unfortunately after completing her doctoral
dissertation, she died from a brain tumor in the early 1970’s. She was a true visionary and leader for women
athletes at Marion High School, but did not live to see her vision realized and
her talents given a venue to achieve greatness.
But no doubt she inspired many girls in the early stages of women’s
sports to reach their full potential.