Auburn Women

Leah Hoffman ’75

By August 18, 2017 No Comments
Leah Hoffman '75

Growing up I was involved with sports and most memorable was my participation in the Girls Little League. As a 7th grader, girls could play sports, but the next year all girls sports were taken away and in High school the only sports available were tennis and swimming and they were both offered in the same season.

In 1971, I made my debut at Auburn University and started my journey towards maturation while gaining an education and participating in Women sports. Knowing I was unable to travel home each week I needed to find an outlet for my time. Auburn did offer a few opportunities to participate in Women’s sports with the fall semester offering volleyball. While the only volleyball I remembered from gym class was having 15 or more girls on a side slugging or throwing the ball over the net. Going out for the Woman’s team in the fall of 1971 was a learning experience as I discovered a whole new way to play and make the game interesting. That first year we received an invitation to the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) National Tournament where I really experienced the many different levels of competition. While Auburn provided the opportunity to play, the players had to come up with funding for travel expenses and uniforms. I remember selling candy and note cards to purchase a uniform. I can remember Coach Newkirk and a couple assistant coaches taking their vehicles to the Tournament while we stayed in a team member’s Uncle’s house and slept on the floor. At that time it was just a thrill to be able to go to a National Tournament. In 1972 Title IX was adopted and while it was positive for women desiring to play sports and having equality, Auburn was not one of the first universities to implement Title IX. Yet each year the women who played sports continued to play their best as they loved Auburn and loved sports. Our volleyball team was always in the running for the State Tournament and provide Auburn with several state tournament wins. During my senior year, Dr. Moore provided me an opportunity to play on the Auburn women’s golf team. I loved to play but never played in competition before. I learned the rules and etiquette and to this day still enjoy playing golf when I get a chance.

I look upon my journey in collegiate athletics as forming the foundation for those talented women who after I graduated, chose Auburn to bring their talents in athletics and make Auburn one of the best institutions not only in the SEC but also the entire NCAA for women in sports. I am forever grateful for my time at Auburn and am proud to shout out WAR EAGLE!