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 and director of women’s athletics at Central Michigan University, has played a prominent role during the past decade in the development of women’s athletics in this country. While sitting on the National Rules Committee, she helped to phase out of existence the old there-court basketball game played by women, and she then assisted in the development of the more wide-open game played today. She was well aware of the problems associated with the old game, having coached the women’s team at Central Michigan for five years. Mrs. Koenig’s chief contribution to women’s athletics, however, came during 1978-79 when she served as national chairwoman of the ethics and eligibility committee of the AIAW, the women’s counterpart of the NCAA. “I think it is safe to say that while she was sitting on this committee Fran’s Ivy League orientation toward support for student athletes was uppermost in her mind,” says Arlene Gorton ’52, associate director of athletics and professor of physical education at Brown. “There are 900 member schools in the AIAW and only seven elected officers, making Fran’s role a pivotal one in terms of mapping policies and procedures for women’s athletics.” Mrs. Koenig was also among the first to blow the whistle on the move to make women’s athletics a carbon copy of the male collegiate rat race with its winning-is-everything philosophy, emphasis on heavy recruiting, and concern for maintaining a sports image over an academic image. A native of Great Neck, NY, Fran Koenig earned a master’s degree from Smith College in 1952 and a Ph.D. from Michigan State in 1969. She served as president of the Pembroke Athletic Association as a senior, played lacrosse, and, according to Mimss Gorton, “could hit a softball out of sight.” Mrs. Koenig has been named Woman Professor of the Year by CMU’s Associated Women’s Students and is currently serving as a member of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports Committee.