June 16, 2014

West inducted into Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Southern Illinois University Carbondale legend Charlotte West was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville, Tenn. West was a part of a six-member class that included Lin Dunn (coach), Michelle Edwards (player), Mimi Griffin (contributor), Yolanda Griffith (player) and Jasmina Perazic (player). 

A pioneer in women's athletics and Title IX, West served as a coach and administrator with Saluki Athletics for a combined 41 years. She helped transform women's athletics at SIU from a largely club-based system to a nationally recognized program hosting 11 varsity sports. 

West coached five different sports at SIU between 1957 and 1975, including serving as the first women's basketball coach in program history. West led Saluki women's basketball for 15 seasons while compiling a 113-51 record and winning three state titles. 

Following her coaching career, West served as the SIU women's athletic director from 1974 to 1985 before becoming an associate athletics director when the Saluki men's and women's athletic departments combined prior to the 1985-86 season. She held her associate AD post for 13 more years, including serving as the acting director of athletics for 10 months during the 1987-88 season before her retirement following the 1997-98 season. 

During her 41 years in Carbondale, West represented SIU nationally in several capacities. West was the first female member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and served a term as president of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). She also served on various committees for both the Missouri Valley Conference and the NCAA, including serving on the prestigious NCAA Council.  

West was among the first group of women inducted into the SIU Hall of Fame in 1982 and was a 2005 inductee into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame. SIU named its new softball stadium after West in 2003 and the NCAA named a room in its new national office building in Indianapolis in West's honor in 2012.