Interview with Sue Feamster, February 10, 2021
Project: University of Kentucky Athletics: Women's Basketball Oral History Project
Interview SummarySue Feamster was the University of Kentucky's Women's Varsity Athletics founder, Athletic Director for Women's Sports, and the first head coach of the UK women's basketball team. In this interview, Feamster discusses former UK women's basketball player Laura Schwager who recently passed away as of the time of this interview. Feamster discusses whether she and the 1974-1975 women's basketball team were aware at the time of their historical significance as the first women's varsity team at UK. Feamster discusses her mentality as the athletic director for women's sports. She talks about her decision to hire the first full-time women's basketball coach at UK. She says that Pat Head Summitt was her only choice. She talks about the process she went through attempting to convince Summitt to come to UK and her disappointment when Summitt ultimately decided to remain at Tennessee. She talks about why she decided to hire Debbie Yow for the position. Feamster retells a story from a previous interview of hiring their first certified trainer, Mimi Porter. She talks about driving some of her players down to Tennessee to try out for the 1976 U.S. women's Olympic basketball team. Feamster talks about the 1976-1977 season, her first not coaching the women's basketball team and working full-time as the athletic director. Feamster talks about her work increasing publicity for the women's basketball team. She talks about the merger of men's and women's athletics at the University of Kentucky. Feamster discusses Gloria and Otis Singletary's impact on athletics at the University of Kentucky. Feamster talks about the 1979-1980 women's basketball team, which she says was one of the greatest recruiting classes of all time. She discusses the impact of issues like sexual orientation, race, and gender on sports and on women's sports in particular. Continuing the discussion of how gender roles impact sports, Feamster discusses Debbie Yow's sudden resignation as coach of the women's basketball team because she had to choose between marriage and her career.
Interview KeywordLaura Schwager 1974-1975 (Basketball season) 1976-1977 (Basketball season) Lady Kats 1977-1978 (Basketball season) 1979-1980 (Basketball season) Budgets Women's basketball Athletic directors Debbie Yow Gloria Singletary Gender Sexuality Sexual orientation Mimi Porter Scholarships Pat Head Summitt Head coaches Female basketball players Female coaches Athletic trainers
Interview LC SubjectBasketball Basketball players Basketball players--Kentucky Basketball teams College athletes College sports--Kentucky College sports. University of Kentucky Women in higher education. Women--Education (Higher) Coaches (Athletics) Coaching (Athletics) Basketball coaches--Kentucky Basketball--Coaching University of Kentucky--Basketball College administrators Universities and colleges--Administration. Universities and colleges--Finance Women basketball players Discrimination in sports Sexism. College facilities.
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Feamster, Sue Interview by Valerie R. Still. 10 Feb. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Feamster, S. (2021, February 10). Interview by V. R. Still. University of Kentucky Athletics: Women's Basketball Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Feamster, Sue, interview by Valerie R. Still. February 10, 2021, University of Kentucky Athletics: Women's Basketball Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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