Oct. 3, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Pam Gill-Fisher, former senior associate athletics director at UC Davis who championed Aggie athletics and was a national leader in Title IX compliance, will be honored with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletics Administrators at the organization's national convention in San Diego on Oct. 14.
According to NACWAA, the award is bestowed annually to administrators who have dedicated their professional careers to advancing women in sport, rendered meritorious service and are retired from or are no longer directly involved in the profession. Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by past Lifetime Achievement award recipients.
Gill-Fisher's association with UC Davis covers more than 40 years as an accomplished five-sport student-athlete, successful basketball and tennis coach who earned a historical national championship, and devoted member of both the athletics administration and campus faculty. She also served as UC Davis athletics' senior woman administrator.
With inspiration from her mentor and longtime friend, the late Dr. Marya Welch, Gill-Fisher devoted much of her career to promoting and providing opportunities for women as both student-athletes and administrators. That commitment led to her being named as the NCAA Division II Administrator of the Year by NACWAA in 2001. Gill-Fisher was named the organization's District 8 Administrator of the Year in 1994 and later served as president during the 2003-04 academic year.
Gill-Fisher served national leadership roles with the NCAA as well, including as a member of the Division II Management Council, and the Competitive Safeguards Committee. Additionally, she was a member of the selection committee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, a highly prestigious honor which three UC Davis student-athletes have won.
"Pam was a champion for women's athletics but was committed to all student-athletes," said Terry Tumey, director of athletics. "Our program is where it is today in large part because of Pam's leadership both on campus and on a national basis. She has also been a model and mentor for many other women administrators across the country."
Gill-Fisher's 28-year tenure as an administrator followed careers as a highly successful student-athlete and as a coach. She excelled in basketball, softball, volleyball, tennis and field hockey from 1967-72 and has been inducted into the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame twice; the first time in 1984 as a participant and then as a non-participant in 2012.
She later coached the women's basketball team to a then school-record 164 wins and was women's tennis coach as well, winning the NCAA Division II Championship in 1990 and leading the Aggies to the national semifinals the following two years. She also coached volleyball at UC Davis.
Gill-Fisher's devotion to women's athletics helped result in eight NCAA Div. II Championships, six Directors' Cups as the most successful Div. II athletics program in the country, and helped provide the framework and opportunities for Jamila Demby (1999), Tanisha Silas (2002) and Kelly Albin (2004) to capture NCAA Woman of the Year honors. UC Davis was also named the top Div. II school for women athletes by Sports Illustrated for Women in 1999 and 2000.
UC Davis also expanded its competitive opportunities for female student-athletes continually during her service. The Aggies currently have 23 sports, 14 of them for women.
Also being honored by NACWAA with Lifetime Achievement Awards are Linda Moulton (Clark University), Sharon Taylor (Lock Haven University) and Sandy Weeden (Stony Brook University). Former Olympic athlete Anita DeFrantz will receive the Honor Award while Jane Betts, former athletics administrator and NACWAA Executive Director, will be presented with the Legacy Award.