Women Leaders in College Sports Announces 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

June 27, 2018

Rachel DeSchepper
Women Leaders in College Sports

Kansas City, Mo.—In recognition of outstanding achievement and dedication to the advancement of women in intercollegiate athletics, Women Leaders in College Sports, the nation’s premier women’s athletic leadership association that develops, connects, and advances women working in intercollegiate athletics, announced today the 2018 recipients of the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Awards: Peg Bradley-Doppes (retired vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and RC ops at the University of Denver); Dr. Beth Miller (retired senior associate athletic director and SWA at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); and Dr. G. Ann Uhlir (former dean of the College of Health Sciences, overseeing athletics, at Texas Woman’s University; awarded posthumously).

The honorees will be celebrated Monday, October 15 at the NIKE Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon—featuring special guest Ibtihaj Muhammad, U.S. Olympian and first Muslim female medalist and emceed by LaChina Robinson, ESPN basketball analyst—in conjunction with the 2018 Women Leaders National Convention Atlanta, Georgia.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed annually to administrators who have dedicated their professional careers to advancing women in sport, rendered meritorious service, and 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.

“Peg, Beth, and Ann tirelessly dedicated their lives to helping women achieve greatness in sport and athletics administration,” says Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports. “Thanks to their passion and tenacity, they opened many doors for the women who came after them. We are proud to recognize and honor them for their outstanding achievements at our National Convention this October.”

View other Women Leaders 2018 award winners and past Women Leaders award winners.

About the Honorees

Peg Bradley-Doppes guided the Denver Pioneers to eight NCAA Championships, 10 NCAA I-AAA Directors' Cups, 109 conference titles, 75 conference coach of the year honors, five national coach of the year honors and numerous national rankings in her 13 seasons in charge of the Division of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Denver.

An energetic leader of collegiate athletics as a student-athlete, head coach and athletic director, Bradley-Doppes is recognized nationally as one of the nation's most effective athletic administrators. Her career in intercollegiate athletics spanned several universities whose NCAA Division I programs competed successfully in several conferences. Bradley-Doppes' 22 years of NCAA committee service includes Management Council, Division I Women's Basketball, the Committee on Women's Athletics, Division I Volleyball, Division I-AAA, Peer Review Team, Olympic Sports Liaison Committee, NACDA Treasurer and Executive Committee, and the prestigious NCAA Division I Leadership Council. Most recently, she was named the president of the ADA I-AAA Executive Committee for the 2013-14 season after serving as second vice president the season prior.

The Crimson and Gold claimed their 10th I-AAA Directors’ Cup in the last 11 years in 2017-18, led by the skiing program’s 24th National Championship. Denver became one of five programs in the country to win at least one National Championship in each of the last five years.

Denver's hockey team completed its #SkateFor8 under Bradley-Doppes in 2016-17,and DU brought home its ninth I-AAA Directors' Cup in the last 10 years, earning its highest overall Directors' Cup finish in history, placing 35th in the country, ahead of more than 30 schools from Power 5 conferences. Of the 22 NCAA team bracketed sports, Denver reached the national semifinals in three of them, tied for the fifth most in the country in 2016-17.

In 2015, the DU men's lacrosse team won its first national championship, and the Division's 30th overall, becoming the first school west of Chapel Hill, N.C. to hoist the trophy.

Bradley-Doppes accepted bids in her time at Denver to join The Summit League (started in 2013-14), Western Athletic Conference (2012-13), the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (2013-14) and the BIG EAST (MLAX in 2014 and WLAX in 2017)

The Cincinnati, Ohio, native received her Bachelor's Degree in health and physical education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1979, and completed her Master's Degree in health and physical education from Miami (Ohio) in 1981. She was the first inductee into her high school's athletic Hall of Fame at St. Ursula High School in Cincinnati and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Mount St. Joseph College.

Bradley-Doppes was director of athletics at the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 1999 to 2004. She joined UNCW following a successful stint at Michigan, where she served as senior associate athletics director and senior women's administrator, overseeing 130 employees.

As a successful volleyball head coach at Michigan, North Carolina and Miami University, Bradley-Doppes compiled a 304-144 (.679) overall record with four conference championships and three Coach of the Year honors.

Dr. Beth Miller retired as the Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at the University of North Carolina in 2015.

Miller spent the majority of her career in college athletics, serving in various roles including head volleyball coach, softball coach, business manager, assistant and associate athletic director and Senior Woman Administrator. She served 31 years supervising North Carolina’s highly successful Olympic Sports program and was the department’s senior woman administrator since 1981, and the senior associate director of athletics since 1995.

Miller worked with the administration to transition Carolina’s women’s sports program from AIAW to NCAA status in 1981-82, a move that created increased scholarship opportunities for female student-athletes at UNC. She also helped develop a policy for creating an intercollegiate varsity sport at UNC, which resulted in the addition of women’s lacrosse in 1995 and rowing in 1997.

The Tar Heels’ Olympic Sports program was long considered one of the best in the country because of her leadership.

In February 2015, Miller was recognized by CollegeAD.com as one of the top 10 senior woman administrators in the country.

A native of Landis, N.C., Miller is a 1968 alumna of Appalachian State University with a B.S. degree in health and physical education. She has a master’s degree from ASU and earned a Doctor of Arts degree in physical education at Middle Tennessee State University in 1974.

From 1969-72, Miller served as the head volleyball and basketball coach at Appalachian State. She then came to UNC in 1974 where she served as assistant professor of health and physical education, assistant volleyball and assistant basketball coach. She became head volleyball coach at UNC in 1975 and led the Tar Heels to four consecutive ACC titles from 1980-83 and five postseason tournament appearances. She also coached softball at Carolina from 1978-79.

In 1979, Miller was named UNC’s Athletic Business Manager. She retired from coaching volleyball after 1983, but continued to handle the financial affairs for the department through 1987. She has overseen UNC’s Olympic Sports program since 1985.

During her career, Miller served on several NCAA committees, Volleyball, Olympic Sports Liaison and Committee on Women’s Athletics. She served on a number of Atlantic Coast Conference committees, including those for women’s basketball, volleyball and women’s golf. She also served on the ACC SWA Committee, Awards Committee, Committee on Committees and Officiating Committee.

In recognition of her outstanding service to Carolina, Miller was honored in April of 2008 as a recipient of the 2008 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award, one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the University of North Carolina. In 2015 she was recognized by the Governor of North Carolina as a recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, a highly selective award presented by the Governor for extraordinary service to the state. Also, in 2015, Miller was honored by the Athletic Department and University with a Priceless Gem Award, the highest honor given to employees of the UNC Athletic Department.

Dr. G. Ann Uhlir spent her early years in the Midwest and fostered her love of recreation and outdoor education with her inquisitiveness and fascination with nature. Her life was dedicated to the professions of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance with special emphasis on promotion of opportunities for women, especially in sport. She has served these professions for 40 years, 30 of those years as an administrator.

She received her baccalaureate degree in 1955, from Ball State University, her master's (1956) and doctoral degrees (1962) from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her career began at the State University of New York, Brockport, 1956-65, and continued at Eastern Kentucky University where she served as chairperson of the Department of Physical Education/Women,, 1965-1979. From 1979-1982 she was the Executive Director of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. In 1983 Dr. Uhlir came to Texas Woman's University as Dean of the College of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, overseeing those academic departments as well as the athletics and wellness programs. When the University administrative structure was reorganized in 1989 she was chosen as the founding Dean of the College of Health Sciences, adding responsibility for the programs in communication sciences and disorders, dental hygiene, health care administration, nutrition and food sciences, and kinesiology.

During her tenure at TWU she chaired the University Self Study for re-accreditation by the southern Association of Colleges and Schools, established the Center for Research on Women's Health, implemented the University's first distance learning program, secured approval and funding for the $17 million Pioneer Hall, and obtained entrance of TWU and its all-women’s sports program into the co-educational Lone Star Conference. As President of the Conference from 1993-1995 she championed legislation that resulted in an additional women's sport in each school and provided opportunities for several hundred more women to participate in collegiate sports.

Dr. Uhlir's leadership and dedication to opening doors for women in sports and many other areas of life were recognized by many honors and awards, including Distinguished Alumni from Ball State University in 1990, Honors for outstanding service from SUNY Brockport in 2001, and the TWU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. Dr. Uhlir’s influence on expanding participation opportunities for women in collegiate sports competition escapes standard means of measurement. Setting aside visible administrative skills she gathered over the years, a prominent personal trait should be underscored: Her belief in the professional worthiness of those people she worked with at all levels was a hallmark of her life and career. So many feel so much gratitude.

In 2000, she received the Honor Award, the highest recognition given by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Her accomplishments were also recognized by her inclusion in 34 biographical listings (i.e. World's Who's Who of Women). Following her retirement in 1996, Dr. Uhlir enjoyed national and international travel, in particular her work with Earthwatch Research Expedition Teams to the Czech Republic, Estonia, Costa Rica, and Kenya.

Dr. Uhlir passed away Nov. 28, 2007, in Dallas. A memorial service was held Dec. 7, 2007 in TWU's Little Chapel-in-the-Woods.

About the Women Leaders National Convention

The Women Leaders National Convention is the premier conference for women working in intercollegiate athletics. Attended by athletics directors, conference commissioners, coaches, administrators, and staff from all divisions of intercollegiate athletics, this annual gathering provides three days of unparalleled education, leadership training and networking. The 2018 event will be held October 14-16 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

About Women Leaders in College Sports

Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA; womenleadersincollgesports.org) is the only nationally recognized collegiate professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect, and advance women leaders working in intercollegiate athletics. More than 3,500 members strong, Women Leaders promotes the growth, leadership, and success of women as athletics administrators, conference commissioners, professional staff, coaches, and student-athletes. Follow Women Leaders on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @WomenLeadersCS.