Get ready to be inspired! Women’s History Month is a time for which we reflect on the courage of women and celebrate their efforts. We are inspired daily by the four women who founded Caris Sports Foundation: Roxi McNabb, Jenn Kruse, Nicole Hawkins, and Ashley Schugg. The women that follow are the women who inspired them.
Cheryl Miller: Miller had a prolific collegiate career, averaging 23.6 points and 12 rebounds per game at USC from 1982-86. During that time, she competed on the U.S.A. National Team, helping to lead the team to a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics. While injuries prevented her from continuing her career as a player professionally, Miller developed into one of the game’s best coaches, leading USC to two NCAA Tournament appearances in the mid 90s and leading the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from 1997 to 2000. She has also served as a sideline reporter for the NBA on TNT and was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.
Brandi Chastain: One of the world’s most famous soccer players, Chastain helped the U.S. women’s soccer team win two world cups (1991 and 1999) and two gold medals and one silver at the Olympics (1996, 2000 and 2004). Arguably the most famous goal in all of U.S. soccer history came in the 1999 World Cup final. Chastain scored the deciding goal during a shootout against China. Her subsequent celebration has also become one of the most iconic sports photos ever.
Mia Hamm: One of Chastain’s teammates on the 1999 World Cup squad, Hamm played for the women’s national team from 1987-2004, helping the U.S. win two world cups and two Olympic gold medals. She has scored the third most international goals in U.S. history and was the face of the Women’s United Soccer Association from 2001-03.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Joyner-Kersee is one of the most prolific Olympic athletes in the history of track and field. She won three gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals during four different Olympics. Two of her three gold medals cam e in the Heptathlon in 1988 and 1992 (she also won silver in the event in 1984). She won a gold medal in the long jump in 1988 and bronze medals in the long jump in 1992 and 1996. Sports Illustrated for Women named her the Best Female Athlete of all time. She is also an active philanthropist and founder of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.
Mary Lou Retton: Retton etched her place in U.S. Olympic lore with one of the best performances in a single Olympics. She won five medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics. She won gold in the individual all-around competition, silver medals in the team event and vault and bronze medals in the uneven bars and floor exercise. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.
Felisha Legette-Jack: Legette-Jack has become one of women’s college basketball’s top coaches. Legette-Jack’s head coaching career began at Hofstra from 2002-06, culminating in a WNIT appearance in 06. During her tenure at Indiana from 2006-12, she led the Hoosiers to three WNIT appearances, including making the quarterfinal round during the 2008-09 season. Since she’s arrived at Buffalo in 2012, she’s led the Bulls to four NCAA tournament appearances and three Mid-American Conference tournament titles.
Didn’t get enough? Check out last year’s story on inspirational women who made an impact in sports in 2021. Read it here.