From 1991-2004 Barbara Hedges served as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Washington.
During that time Hedges was named the NACDA/Continental Airlines Athletic Director of the Year for the NCAA Division I West Region. She was presented the Honda Award for Merit and the Seattle/King County Sports and Events Council named her their MVP of the Year Award Winner.
Hedges led Washington in its highly-successful "Campaign for the Student-Athlete" that has helped to generate over $80 million in capital improvements on the Montlake Campus. In November of 2000 the newly renovated Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion will reopen to provide the Husky basketball, volleyball and women's gymnastics teams one of the best collegiate venues on the West Coast. The Arena's expanded lockerrooms, training room, equipment room and new breakout meeting rooms will help to benefit the entire athletic department.
The project also provided a much-needed home for the new $1 million Husky Hall of Fame. For the first time ever, Husky fans and campus visitors have the opportunity to relive Washington's rich athletic tradition with an exhibit room dedicated to documenting over 100 years of achievements. The Hall of Fame will span the entire length of the west end of Bank of America Arena.
She also led the effor tto build Washington's $29 million Indoor Practice Facility - the Dempsey Indoor . With over 100,000 square feet of competition space, Washington's student-athletes will have the nation's finest multi-purpose practice setting for year-round training purposes.
Also new on the Washington landscape during her tenure was the FieldTurf playing surface that has been installed in Husky Stadium. Hedges' relationship with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks resulted in a $1 million gift towards the installation of the new state-of-the-art playing surface.
It seems like Hedges' workload was never ending, but that is a reflection of her committment to making the Washington program one of the best in the nation. The results have been proven on the field of competition.
In just her first year on the job, in 1991, the Husky football team posted a perfect 12-0 season by defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl and winning the national championship.
Under Hedges' direction the Husky golf, baseball and tennis programs have emerged on the national scene. Men's soccer, women's rowing and softball have all been ranked No. 1 in the nation during the past few years. This season the Husky football team is among the favorites to win the Pac-10 and return to the Rose Bowl.
Hedges' efforts in gender equity have made Washington one of the national leaders in providing equal opportunities for both male and female student-athletes. In December of 1997, The Chronicle of Higher Education cited Washington as "the only Division I-A institution with an undergraduate enrollment that was at least 50 percent female to have achieved substantial proportionality in both scholarships and participation."
More important than just championships, under Hedges' guidance Washington has become one of the national leaders in participation for student-athletes and compliance. Last season over 700 student-athletes competed for Husky teams - the most in the Pac-10.
Hedges is similarly committed to a high level of academic achievement among Washington's student-athlete population. To this end, she has instituted a number of progressive measures < such as the Total Student-Athlete program devoted to leadership training, mentor programs and career nights < that she hopes will aid the student-athletes in more easily achieving all their non-athletic goals. The University's "U-Wired" program is unique in the nation, allowing student-athletes access to laptop computers to stay in touch with their classes while on the road.
Hedges is no stranger to the responsibilities of running nationally prominent athletic programs. In 1985, she assumed responsibility for the daily operation of 17 men's and women's sports, including the administration of a $4 million budget, as an associate athletic director at the University of Southern California. In June of 1989, Hedges was promoted to Senior Associate Director of Athletics at USC.
She joined the USC staff in 1973 when she was appointed Associate Athletic Director in charge of USC's nine women's sports. Under her guidance, USC built a winning tradition for its women's sports programs that reflected a commitment to high standards of athletic and academic excellence. During her tenure, 13 USC women's teams won national championships and 68 women earned individual national titles. More than 150 Trojan women were honored as All-Americans and 36 athletes reached the Olympic ranks.
Since 1985, when she assumed the administrative responsibility for eight men's sports, USC earned three more national championships and 12 individual titles. More than 100 USC men garnered All-American acclaim and 10 were Olympians during her tenure.
She took the welfare of her student-athletes to heart through her membership on the President's Task Force to Review Student-Athlete Academic Services, the USC Student-Athlete Review Task Force and the USC Student-Athlete Drug Testing Review Committee.
Her commitment to the field of college athletics makes her a familiar name on the national scene as well. Hedges has served as president of the Council of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators and the Western Collegiate Athletic Association and also served a term as president of the Division I-A Women's Athletic Administrators. She chaired the NCAA Women's Tennis Committee for eight years and the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Committee in 1988. She was one of a three-member NCAA Special Television Committee to negotiate the NCAA rights for all sports except football and basketball with ESPN, ABC, CBS and international television.
In 1996-97 she was the first woman to serve as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and in 1998 she was named the first woman to the Board of Directors for the National Football Foundation. She has served as the chair of the NCAA Honors Committee and the executive committee of the Division I-A Athletic Directors' Association and on the Blue Ribbon Task Force for College Football USA. She has also been a member of the NCAA Working Group to study basketball issues. She is currently the chair of the Pac-10 Athletic Director's Revenue Sharing committee, a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's administrative committee and she serves on the NCAA Championships Competition Cabinet. She will also serve on the regional selection committee for the College Football Hall of Fame.
Hedges is also experienced with the administration of championship events. She served as tournament director for the 1995 NCAA Men's Final Four, the 1993 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional and the 1984 West Regional Women's Basketball Championship. Hedges was instrumental in bringing the 1992 Division I Women's Final Four to Los Angeles. At USC, she was administratively responsible for the 1988 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship and the 1990 Division I Men's Tennis Championship.
Before going to Southern California in 1973, Hedges coached gymnastics and taught physical education at the University of Arizona. During her five years with the Wildcats, Hedges coached her team to three conference championships and assisted in integrating women's athletic programs into the University's athletic structure. She developed a community education program for high school students in the area, helping them become more knowledgeable about Arizona's athletic programs.
From 1967-68, Hedges coached and taught gymnastics at Carey Junior High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming. As part of her responsibilities, she established a gymnastics program for the entire school system, including the training of student-athletes, judges and meet officials. She also headed fund-raising efforts to acquire equipment for the program and organized a parents' support group.
Hedges began her career as the head of the West Denver High School girls' physical education department. Her responsibilities included coaching and teaching gymnastics, tennis and coordinating various fund-raising efforts.
Hedges received her bachelor's degree in physical education from Arizona State University in 1963 where she was honored as the University's outstanding physical education major while also being named to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. She received her master's from the University of Arizona in 1971.
Hedges was born on August 23, 1937, in Glendale, Arizona. She and her husband, John, have two grown children, Mark and Gregg.