Fran Becker Koenig
Fran Becker Koenig
Hometown: Great Neck, NY
Team: Special

Fran Becker Koenig '50
Great Neck, NY
Year Inducted:

Fran Becker Koenig ’50, associate athletic director anddirector of women’s athletics at Central Michigan University,has played a prominent role during the past decade in thedevelopment of women’s athletics in this country. Whilesitting on the National Rules Committee, she helped to phase out ofexistence the old there-court basketball game played by women, andshe then assisted in the development of the more wide-open gameplayed today. She was well aware of the problems associated withthe old game, having coached the women’s team at CentralMichigan for five years. Mrs. Koenig’s chief contribution towomen’s athletics, however, came during 1978-79 when sheserved as national chairwoman of the ethics and eligibilitycommittee of the AIAW, the women’s counterpart of the NCAA.“I think it is safe to say that while she was sitting on thiscommittee Fran’s Ivy League orientation toward support forstudent athletes was uppermost in her mind,” says ArleneGorton ’52, associate director of athletics and professor ofphysical education at Brown. “There are 900 member schools inthe AIAW and only seven elected officers, making Fran’s rolea pivotal one in terms of mapping policies and procedures forwomen’s athletics.” Mrs. Koenig was also among thefirst to blow the whistle on the move to make women’sathletics a carbon copy of the male collegiate rat race with itswinning-is-everything philosophy, emphasis on heavy recruiting, andconcern for maintaining a sports image over an academic image. Anative of Great Neck, NY, Fran Koenig earned a master’sdegree from Smith College in 1952 and a Ph.D. from Michigan Statein 1969. She served as president of the Pembroke AthleticAssociation as a senior, played lacrosse, and, according to MimssGorton, “could hit a softball out of sight.” Mrs.Koenig has been named Woman Professor of the Year by CMU’sAssociated Women’s Students and is currently serving as amember of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects ofSports Committee.