June 17, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State University alumna and former softball player Charlotte West earned major recognition on Saturday when she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame located in Knoxville, Tenn.
West, who played softball for the Seminoles in 1954, is known as a pioneer for women’s athletics who was an instrumental figure in the development of Title IX. It was West who became one of the driving forces to promote equity in both men’s and women’s collegiate athletics, which has allowed women’s sports to flourish so much today.
West graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Mathematics at Florida State in 1954. On Oct. 17, 1999, West was honored at a “Grads Made Good” Homecoming Brunch by the Seminole Boosters, where she had the chance to positively influence women’s athletes and coaches with her various accomplishments.
“I am thrilled to see Charlotte West honored for her tireless work as one of the pioneers of Title IX,” Florida State women’s basketball head coach Sue Semrau said. “As a result of her efforts, all of women’s athletics has grown tremendously over the years. I take a lot of pride knowing that Charlotte is connected to our great university and is now a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.”
West excelled at all different levels of athletics. One of the great national honors presented to her was the Honda Award, as she became the first recipient of the award due to her outstanding achievement in women’s collegiate athletics. She also was the first recipient of the Woman Administrator of the Year award from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.
Much of West’s great work came during her long tenure at Southern Illinois University. When the athletic department was split at SIU, she served as the Director of Athletics for women from 1960-86. Under her watch, the women’s side boasted 11 competitive sports that helped it earn national recognition.
Her administrative efforts at SIU were rewarded when she was named the 1986 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Administrator of the Year. West would also serve on several committees, including the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid and Amateurism as well as the NCAA Gender Equity Committee.
The Seminole alumna had the honor of participating on the US Olympic Committee in 1978, during the same time she was the Director of National Championships for the AIAW in 1975 before becoming president in 1978.
West’s impact on women’s athletics is felt everywhere. As a result of her great dedication toward bettering women’s athletics at SIU, the Saluki softball facility that opened in 2003 was named Charlotte West stadium in her honor.
West joined a prestigious group as members of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2014. They include Indiana Fever head coach Linn Dunn, who currently coaches FSU great Natasha Howard. The other members include former player Michelle Edwards, broadcasting legend Mimi Griffin, WNBA standout Yolanda Griffith and ACC basketball legend Jasmina Perazic.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball throughout the offseason, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).