KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kathy Beauregard, Western Michigan University's director of intercollegiate athletics, will serve on a newly formed state task force designed to bring together local and national leaders to develop strategies that support and promote opportunities in Michigan for girls and women in sports.
Beauregard joins 13 other local and national leaders on the Task Force on Women in Sports formed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and charged with examining "systematic problems" in equality in sports and developing recommendations to the governor on legislation, policies, investments and programs.
Female athletes receive less attention and investment than male athletes, despite the passage of federal civil rights law Title IX nearly 50 years ago, a news release from the governor's office stated.
"Young girls and women who are participating in sports in Michigan deserve the same opportunities as their male counterparts. These possibilities extend well beyond time on the playing field," Whitmer said in the release.
"This is a chance for Michigan to become a national model for advancing opportunities for all women to lead in every arena. Sports is a great equalizer in our society, and research shows that women who play sports are more likely to seek and fill leadership positions in other sectors," added Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who will chair the new task force.
With 22 years in her current position at WMU, Beauregard is the longest-serving director in the country serving the same university and one of just nine women directors out of 136 Division I Football Playing Institutions.
She is joined on the task force with:
- Penny Allen-Cook, commissioner of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association who has worked for more than 30 years as a coach and administrator at the youth, high school and collegiate levels
- Dr. Ketra Armstrong, an associate dean, professor of sport management and faculty athletics representative at the University of Michigan
- Keri Becker, director of athletics at Grand Valley State University
- Lorin Cartwright, retired athletic director and athletic trainer from Pioneer High School
- Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO of Michigan Women Forward, a statewide origination that focuses on increasing access to capital for women, creating the next generation of young women leaders and creating measurable equity for women
- Dr. Judi Brown Clarke, diversity director for the BEACON Center at Michigan State University
- Cali Crawford, who commencing July 1 will be appointed director of athletics at Schoolcraft College
- Joanne C. Gerstner, an award-winning author and multi-platform sports journalist for outlets such as The Detroit News, USA Today, ESPN and The New York Times
- Jennifer Grange, an advocate for nonprofit and charitable causes, having served her communities for over 12 years as a volunteer, fundraiser and voice for families and children in need
- Mike Guswiler, who leads the West Michigan Sports Commission, a nonprofit that serves to promote health and wellness through sport and acts as an economic engine in the region by generating sport tourism
- Carol Hutchins, who has spent 35 years as head coach for softball at the University of Michigan and is the winningest coach in National Collegiate Athletic Association history
- Sam Mullet, who was a three-sport athlete while attending high school at Bear Lake and now serves there as the offensive coordinator for the varsity football team
- Erika Swilley, senior director of community and social responsibility for the Detroit Pistons
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