West, Charlotte | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Charlotte West was the director of athletics for women from 1960 to 1986 and continued to work with the athletic department until her retirement in 1998. She was also a major influence on the movement for gender equity in sports due to her advocacy for Title IX.
Her career at Southern Illinois University began when she became a coach and instructor for the department of physical education in 1957. In 1973, she went on to become a full professor and developed the graduate program in sports management which she continued to direct until June 1991. While she was the women's athletic director, she managed to change the inadequate budget which was, at that time, $1 million for eleven sports teams. when the men's and women's athletic departments merged in 1986, she became an associate athletics director for a year, interim director for a year, then associate athletics director again for ten more years. She also became president fo the American Association of the intercollegiate Athletics for Women, a member of the United States Olympic Committee, the first women member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors and served for five years on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Council. During her time as a coach, she led the women's golf team to a national championship in 1969 and her women's basketball finished fifth in the nation.
During this time, she continued to gain national recognition and honors for her achievements. She was the first recipient of the Woman Administrator of the Year Award from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators, first recipient of the Honda Award, fifth honoree in the Valley's Lifetime Achievement Category, and inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame on March 4, 2005.