Auburn Women

Lisa Hoffman-Ross ’76

Lisa Ross and first swim team

It was the fall of 1972, my freshman year at Auburn University that I began to swim to counteract my homesickness. Being from St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, I did not get to go home every weekend as most of my friends did living in Alabama. Being a competitive swimmer in high school, I found it comforting to go and work out at the swimming pool on campus two to three times per week. At the pool, I met several new friends who shared a common interest in swimming. One friend in particular was a high school swimmer from Kentucky. She and I became interested in swimming competitively again and began to discuss possible local opportunities.

After returning to campus in the fall of 1973, our sophomore year, we both began to swim with the local AAU Swim Team. Eddie Reese, Auburn University Men’s Swimming Coach, coached this team. During this year we approached Coach Reese about starting an Auburn University Women’s Swim Team. He teased us about “women only go to college to find a husband”. I don’t think he realized that this statement along with a new law, Title 9 added “fuel to our fire” about starting a women’s swim team.

After much persistence, in 1974, my junior year the first Women’s Swimming and Diving team was started at Auburn University. I was honored to be voted as a co-captain and thrilled to be a part of this historical event. I remember swimming in several swim meets both at Auburn and away on other school campuses. A highlight that year was participating in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Swim Meet held at the University of Alabama.

Swimming continues to be a part of my life today. I swim with my local US Master’s Swim Team. I remain a proud pioneer on the first Auburn Women’s Swimming and Diving Team.