With the twin goals of academic and athletic excellence, the Women’s Athletics Department continues to build, quite literally, upon its past record of achievements toward a bright future for female student-athletes. A separate women’s athletics department is only one part of the commitment at the University of Arkansas.
This forward-looking arrangement places the Lady Razorbacks among a handful of similarly minded progressive universities in the nation. It allows the staff and coaches of the Arkansas Women’s Athletics Department to address the unique needs of administration, promotion and organization of modern collegiate women’s sports.
An example of the University’s commitment to women in sport is its funding and sponsorships. Arkansas sponsors 11 varsity sports for women: basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, indoor track, swimming and diving, outdoor track, tennis, softball and volleyball. Each one is fully funded to compete at the national level.
But the most obvious example of the commitment of the state of Arkansas is the Bev Lewis Center for Women’s Athletics. The first major training facility constructed from the ground up for the exclusive use of female student-athletes, the 40,000-square foot Lewis Center provides Lady Razorback athletes with America’s premier collegiate athletic building.
Setting the tone is Bev Lewis, Arkansas’ Director of Women’s Athletics. During her tenure as AD, Lewis has instituted bold programs to promote awareness and community participation in Women’s Athletics. She guided the Lady Razorbacks through a period of unequalled expansion during the past decade and a half.
She has assembled a coaching staff that includes national champions, past presidents of collegiate coaching associations, members of NCAA selection committees, national team coaches and Olympic team staff members.
During the past decade, Lady Razorback student-athletes have received numerous awards including NCAA postgraduate scholarships, the Honda Award, national finalist selection for NCAA Women of the Year, earned numerous Verizon Academic All-American honors and received several prestigious postgraduate scholarship awards including the university’s first and second SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Awards.
In competition, Arkansas’ broad-based program has the distinction of ten of the 11 current varsity teams earning a national top 25 ranking at some point in the respective team’s history and 10 of 11 having reached the NCAA Championships during the past three seasons.