Women's Athletics at Clemson...

Clemson College was founded in 1889 as an all-male military institution, and seven years later, began its athletics program in 1896.

Since that time more than 125 years ago, Clemson University has undergone many changes, especially to its athletic department. One of the biggest changes Clemson has made is the implementation of Title IX in 1972. June 23, 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX, which states that:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of 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.”

Title IX’s impact on Clemson’s athletic department cannot be understated…

Now in its 47th year, women’s varsity athletics at Clemson has enjoyed a rich tradition of success at the local, national and international levels.

When Hall-of-Fame Athletic Director Bill McClellan took over the athletic department in 1971, Clemson had no women’s varsity athletics teams. Just four years later (and three years after the passing of Title IX), McClellan announced in September of 1975 the elevation of basketball, fencing, swimming and tennis as the first women’s varsity sports. By 1977, Clemson had also added volleyball and field hockey, enhancing facilities and infrastructure quickly. Six of the first eight programs had a final top 20 ranking within their first five years of existence.

The first varsity women’s athletics competition was a women’s swimming tri-meet against Brenau and Appalachian State on Nov. 11, 1975. Mary K. King was the first woman to earn a head coach title at Clemson, as she led both the tennis and basketball programs in their first seasons (1975-76). Women’s tennis finished its first season 10-2, and women’s basketball finished with a 13-11 mark that season. Fencing finished its inaugural season 2-6 overall, and swimming was 6-5. Over the next two decades, Clemson would add cross country, track and field and diving. Soccer joined the offerings in 1994, rowing in 1999, golf in 2013 and softball in 2020.

Clemson’s first individual national champion was Tina Krebs, who in 1983 won the indoor 1000-meter race. She would add NCAA titles in 1985 (indoor 1500m) and 1986 (indoor mile). Overall, Clemson has 18 individual national championship performances, (13 in track, four in swimming, and one in Rowing), 39 ACC team championships, and ten Olympic medalists.

Each year, more than 275 women suit up in the orange and purple. Thousands of women’s athletes have called Clemson home and participated in a total of 16 sports throughout the years. In addition to the student-athletes, Clemson presently has women in head coach roles for eight sports – basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, tennis, volleyball, golf, lacrosse and gymnastics.

And while the history of the program is strong, it’s the future that is brightest. Clemson has added four women’s sports in the past decade – golf, softball, lacrosse (2022-23) and gymnastics (2023-24).

We’re just getting started…

SportFirst SeasonLast SeasonFirst Coach
Basketball1975-76Mary King
Fencing1975-761982Charles Poteat
Swimming1975-762012Carl McHugh
Tennis1975-76Mary King
Volleyball1977Grace Lyles
Field Hockey19771982Joanne Baines
Cross Country1981Sam Colson
Track & Field1986Wayne Coffman
Diving19862016Bob Boettner
Soccer1994Tracey Leone
Rowing1999Susie Lueck
Golf2014JT Horton
Softball2020John Rittman
Lacrosse2023Allison Kwolek
Gymnastics2024Amy Smith

 June 23rd, 2022Title IX 50th Anniversary 

  • ESPN FIFTY/50 Doc. premiers June 21 & June 28th – 8 pm-10 pm.
  • ACCN Title IX Special @ 8pm
  • Launch of Hub (website on clemsontigers.com)

July 15-16, 2022

  • POWER Women’s Leadership Summit
  • Hear Her Roar Launch Party

August 2022 

  • Clemson University hosts Title IX Turns 50 Panel
  • 48th year of women’s athletics begins (Aug. 18 – Women’s Soccer)

Sept. 7, 1975 (47-year anniversary)

  • Bill McClellan announces the elevation of basketball, fencing, swimming and tennis as varsity sports.  

Fall 2022 

  • October- RISE Educational Session. Topic: Equality vs. Equity
  • In-venue recognitions and presentations for home athletic event

 Winter 2022/23 

  • National Girls and Women in Sports Day 
  • February – RISE Educational Programming – Equity vs. Equality
  • Recognitions and presentations for respective sports 

 Spring 2023 

  • Women’s History Month
  • Women’s Lacrosse Inaugural Season
  • Recognitions and presentations for respective sports 

 March 12th, 2023 

  • Barbara Kennedy-Dixon scores first basket in NCAA Tournament on this day 41 years ago.

 April 2023 

  • Clemson University Women’s Roundtable
  • Clemson University Book Club with Chanel Miller, author of Know My Name- Survivor in the Stanford swimmer sexual assault

 Summer 2023 

  • POWER Women’s Leadership Summit 

2024-25 Athletic Year – 50th Year of Clemson Women’s Athletics

39 ACC Team Titles

18 NCAA Champions

10 Olympic Medalists

The Best is Yet to Come...

The women’s leadership academy is a three-pronged women’s leadership program with curriculum developed by Assistant AD for Student-Athlete Development Tori Niemann and Dr. Janna Magette Butler, Clemson Athletic Leadership Graduate Program Lecturer.  


The Clemson University Board of Trustees Finance and Facilities Committee reviewed and approved a $27.5 million expansion plan for new and upgraded lakefront facilities for lacrosse, gymnastics and rowing.


ClemsonPlus: The POWER Podcast with Tori Niemann

Meet our Coaches and Student-Athletes


Women in the Ring of Honor

MemberSportYears at ClemsonYear Inducted
Barbara KennedyWomen's Basketball1978-822000
Tina KrebsWomen's Track & Field1982-862003
Susan HillWomen's Tennis1977-802011
Deliah ArringtonWomen's Soccer1999-022019














Rollins wins NCAA Title, Bowerman and Olympic Gold…





Clemson’s first three-time NCAA Champion; First women’s Ring of Honor Inductee.





Softball’s first ACC Rookie, Player of the Year and All-American.



Hear Her Roar, a fundraising initiative led by IPTAY,  raises awareness and financial support for Clemson’s women student-athletes, providing them a premier collegiate experience both athletically and academically.

Supporters of IPTAY and Hear Her Roar play an integral part in:

  • Providing scholarships, a nationally acclaimed academic experience, and state-of-the art training facilities and competition venues ensuring success both academically and athletically.
  • Empowering and developing female student-athletes to become leaders in their workplace, family, and community.
  • Recruiting exceptional women to be part of the Clemson Family.
  • Ensuring an elite student-athlete experience that is unrivaled across the country.

Learn More About Hear Her Roar

Quick Notes on Women’s Athletics at Clemson

  • The first varsity women’s programs at Clemson were Swimming, Basketball, Tennis, and Fencing.
  • Barbara Kennedy-Dixon scored the first points in the first NCAA women’s basketball tournament, a two-point field goal against Penn State in 1982. Kennedy remains as the ACC’s leading scorer and rebounder more than 40 years later.
  • Clemson presently sponsors ten NCAA Division I women’s sports, and announced the addition of lacrosse and gymnastics to begin in coming years after adding women’s golf and softball within the past eight years.
  • Clemson women’s sports have claimed 39 ACC regular-season or tournament team championships.
  • Fifty-nine women are enshrined in the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.
  • Former Clemson women’s athletes have earned ten Olympic medals.
  • Most recently in 2020, goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan earned gold with Canada, and Patricia Mamona earned silver in the triple jump for Portugal.
  • In 2021, Clemson softball became the first ACC women’s program to earn a regular season conference championship in its first full season.
  • Women currently serve as head coaches for eight sports at Clemson – Basketball, M/W Cross Country, Tennis, Volleyball, Golf, Gymnastics, and Lacrosse.

Clemson's Olympic Medalists

Athlete Team Country Event Medal
1984—Los Angeles, California
Michelle Richardson Women’s Swimming United States 800 Free Silver

1988—Seoul, South Korea
*Mitzi Kremer Women’s Swimming United States 4X100 Free Relay Bronze

1992-Barcelona, Spain
Gigi Fernandez Women’s Tennis United States Doubles Gold

1996-Atlanta, Georgia
Kim Graham Women’s Track United States 4X400 Relay Gold
Gigi Fernandez Women’s Tennis United States Women’s Doubles Gold

2004—Athens, Greece
Michelle Burgher Women’s Track Jamaica 4X400 Relay Bronze

2016-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brianna Rollins Women’s Track United States 100 Hurdles Gold
Kailen Sheridan Women’s Soccer Canada Goalkeeper Silver

2020-Tokyo, Japan
Patricia Mamona Women’s Track Portugal Triple Jump Silver
Kailen Sheridan Women’s Soccer Canada Goalkeeper Gold

Notable Alumnae

NameSportYears at Clemson
Barbara Kennedy-DixonBasketball1979-82
Kelly GramlichBasketball2011-14
Erin BatthBasketball1997-01
Nikki Blassingame WestBasketball1996-99
Brianna Rollins-McNealTrack2010-13
Michelle Thieke YoungVolleyball1995-98
Jodi SteffesVolleyball1999-02
Jane FormanTennis1980-84
Gigi FernandezTennis1982-83
Julie CoinTennis2002-05
Ashlan RamseyGolf2013-14
Alice HewsonGolf2015-19
Itoro Umoh ColemanBasketball1995-99
Sam StaabSoccer2015-18
Mariana SpeckmaierSoccer2017-20
Kailen SheridanSoccer2013-16
Sandra AdeleyeVolleyball2009-12
Natoya GouleTrack2013-14
Josipa BekTennis2008-12
Marisa MessanaGolf2014-18
Deliah ArringtonSoccer1999-02
Tina KrebsCross Country/Track1982-86
Susan Hill-WhitsonTennis1977-80
Jill BakehornSwimming1986-89
Sheri Beuter HauserSoccer1994-98
Lucy DoolittleRowing1998-02
Michelle BurgherTrack1999-01
Robin KibbenVolleyball1991-94
Mitzi KremerSwimming1986-89
Aliute UdokaRowing2017-20