Howl For Her
Equity Leads to Equality
Established June 23,1972
Celebrating 50 Years of Women in Sports
The Lobo Club's Howl For Her initiative, supported by the LIFE Program and Rio Grande Credit Union, raises awareness for UNM women's athletics programs and additional financial support in order to achieve and maintain an athletics program of excellence and inclusivity. Contributions are distributed equally between each of UNM's women's athletics sport enhancement funds and are used to help offset their annual operational expenses.
Lobo student-athletes who represent UNM women's athletics programs are strong, resilient, and persistent. They are competitive and courageous, and they strive to excel in the classroom, in competition, and in the community. Howl For Her ensures UNM Athletics keeps its promise to remain committed to Title IX, continue expanding opportunities for underrepresented groups, and fully accommodate the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex. It ignites their dreams for continued excellence and safeguards UNM Athletics' core value of preparing Lobos for Life.
Supported programs include:
- Women's Basketball
- Cross Country/Track & Field
- Women's Golf
- Swimming & Diving
- Women's Tennis
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Howl For Her exists to:
- Raise additional financial support UNM women's athletics programs in order to maintain an athletics program of excellence and inclusivity.
- Help UNM women's athletics programs offset the annual operational expenses they incur each year with the funds raised.
- Raise awareness about and provide opportunities for open dialogue regarding gender equity.
- Demonstrate the importance, value, and need of UNM women's athletics programs.
- Honor, recognize, and celebrate the impact of past, present, and future Lobos who represent UNM women's athletics programs.
- Women's basketball
- 8 Mountain West Conference Titles
- Women's Cross Country
- National Champions - 2015 & 2017
- 14 Mountain West Conference Titles
- Women's Golf
- 9 Mountain West Conference Titles
- Women's Track & Field
- 2 Mountain West Conference Titles
- Women's Tennis
- 2 Mountain West Conference Titles
- 6 Mountain West Conference Titles
Title IX Lobo Trailblazers
- Former UNM Softball catcher, Balkovec became the first woman to be a full-time minor league strength and conditioning coach and the first woman to serve as a full-time hitting coach in the minor leagues.
- On April 8, 2022, Rachel became the first woman to manage a Major League Baseball affiliated team.
- 2004 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- Prior to setting a national high school discus record with Albuquerque Olympette Club, Butler found odd end jobs in order to earn money for bus tickets to and from Portales, NM, where she was born and raised.
- After graduating from highschool, Barbara attended UNM and played varsity volleyball and basketball. She also participated in track and field as the only female.
- Because women's athletics were not fully funded at UNM at the time, Butler waited for the men's track team to finish practicing and would climb the fence so she could practice throwing the discus. She was often caught by the security guard and had to negotiate a limited amount of practice time.
- Butler became UNM's first female track and field National Champion in the discus as a freshman. The following year, she placed second at the AAU Championships.
- In 1971, Butler regained the title of National Champion for discus and went on to qualify for the 1972 Olympics, and placed eighth in trials.
- During the early 1970s many women's coaches also acted as athletic trainers since women's programs were not allowed access to employed athletic trainers.
- After graduating from UNM in 1973, Butler became the head track and field coach at West Mesa, Cibola High School, and UNM until 1978.
- Butler joined the Army Reserves in 1979 and returned to UNM as a student where she earned another degree in physical therapy. After graduating, she joined the Navy full-time.
- Butler created experimental programs in physical therapy to treat soldiers injured on the USS Constellation in 2001. As a result of this success, all aircraft carriers now have physical therapy clinics.
- While in the Navy, Butler coached at the Naval Academy, traveled to VietNam to train doctors in rehabilitating burn victims, earned a master's degree in orthopedic physical therapy and planned to complete a doctoral degree in physical therapy. At the time of her induction to the UNM Athletics Hall of Honor, she was one of only 300 board certified manual therapists in the country.
- 2002 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- Linda took UNM women's athletics further than anyone could have dreamed in her 31 years as a professor in the health, physical education, and recreation department, and as an administrator in the UNM athletics department.
- When Estes arrived at UNM in 1968, women played intramural sports in starched white gym clothes and rode to competitions in any station wagon they could borrow.
- When Title IX was passed into law in 1972, Estes approached then UNM President Ferrel Heady concerning the women's athletics programs. President Heady immediately declared the expansion of women's athletics as a top UNM priority.
- During the 1972-73 academic year, the budget for women's athletics was $4,300.
- The budget for women's athletics was increased for the 1973-74 academic year to $35,000.
- By 2000, UNM women's athletics grew to 11 programs with a budget of $2.96 million.
- Linda was the first woman to serve on the NCAA Executive Committee and the New Mexico Governor's Commission on Higher Education.
Jean Rostermundt Gurule
- 2000 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- Jean was the first woman to be awarded a full athletic scholarship for four years at The University of New Mexico. She attended UNM from 1976-80 and participated in basketball, track and field and cross country.
- Became the first UNM woman basketball player to score 1,000 career points, and shot 86.7% in her career from the free throw line.
- As a basketball player, Jean was a four-time team Most Valuable Player.
Marie Jenson Hays
- 1986 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- From 1932-36, Marie excelled as an all-star intramural athlete in whatever sport was in season. After graduating from UNM, Hays enjoyed a lifetime of service in public schools as a teacher, counselor, sponsor and coach. She worked at Albuquerque Valley High School for 25 years until her retirement in 1979.
- In 1981, Hays was the first woman selected to the New Mexico Activities Association Hall of Fame.
- On December 25, 2002, UNM's junior place-kicker, Katie Hnida, attempted to kick an extra point in a game against UCLA becoming the first woman to play in a Division 1 football game.
- August 30, 2003, Hnida kicked two extra points against Texas State to become the first women in NCAA history to score in a Division 1 football game.
- Softball Center Fielder
- Competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for Italy
- In 2022, became the first two-time, first-team All-American in UNM Softball History
- Program record holder for career homes runs with 47
- Program record holder for career total bases with 380
- Program record holder for in-base percentage in a single season with .531
- Four-time Mountain West All-Academic Team
- Four-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete
- Completed the 2022 season with
- 18 home runs - a Mountain West Conference best
- Third all-time in UNM program history for a single-season
- 57 hits which included eight doubles and three triples
- 43 walks, 21 of which were intentional
- .403 batting average
- .875 slugging percentage
- Second all-time in UNM program history for a single season
- .531 on-base percentage (126 bases)
- Third all-time in UNM program history for a single-season
- 57 RBIs, which ranked second in the Mountain West
Laurel Brassey Iversen
- 2001 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- Laurel spent 17 years as UNM's head women's volleyball coach from 1983-2000, and finished with a record of 280-193. During her time as head coach, Laurel led the Lobos to the NCAA Championship six times and won a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles, including a 12-0 mark in 1991.
- In 1990 and '91, Iversen was named WAC Coach of the Year.
- Iversen was the first woman to play on a men's intercollegiate team (volleyball) in any sport at San Diego State at the age of 19, and was inducted into the SDSU Hall of Fame in 1988.
- In 1988, Iversen was a member of the US Olympic volleyball team at the Seoul Olympics.
- During her international volleyball career, Laurel played in more than 350 matches including World Cups and in the Pan American Games.
- Iversen later served as president of the International Olympic Academy of Participants Association along with other committees.
- She has also carried the Olympic torch in Greece and in her hometown of San Diego.
Sue Vigil MacEachen
- 1994 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- A middle distance runner for UNM
- Three-time All-American in the 800 meters, including the 1979 women's collegiate national champion.
- Held school records that she set in 1979: the indoor 800 meters (2:09.3) and the outdoor 800 (2:04.1).
- Member of the US Junior Olympic team in 1973 and 1974 and the US Junior National team in 1975.
- One of her amateur highlights was winning the 800 in a dual meet against the Soviet Union while a member of the US Junior National Team.
- Sue later served as an assistant track coach and staff member of the UNM Alumni Association.
- 1991 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- Prior to her retirement in 1975, Dr. McGill spent 30-years as a professor of health, physical education and recreation at UNM.
- In 1945, McGill joined UNM's physical education department as a full professor, and then became the de facto director of women's athletics. In this role, McGill inaugurated multi-sport competition for Lobo women with other university teams from Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Wyoming and Utah, as well as other New Mexico teams. The formation of the High Country Athletic Conference, later absorbed by the Western Athletic Conference, was a result of McGill's efforts.
- Dr. McGill authored and published more than 40 studies and research articles connected with women's sports and served as the national chairperson for several boards.
- Prior to the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Dr. McGill organized and chaired the world's first international symposium on altitude physiology in 1966 which was a “breakthrough” conference held at UNM.
- 2003 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- Multi-sport letterwinner at UNM - participated in basketball, volleyball, softball, track and field, and field hockey. She also performed with the UNM Chaparrals Dance troupe.
- As a pro bowler, Dana has won two US Championships and 16 Professional Bowling Association (PWBA) titles, and has been ranked in the top-10 nationally.
- Inducted into the Indian Hall of Fame in 1982; inducted into the Women's International Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 1999; inducted into the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
- 1999 UNM Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee
- First swimming coach for UNM Athletics. Piper also taught at UNM as a part-time physical education instructor during a time when women had to wear skirts to competition.
- Piper formed the swim team in 1957 when UNM competed in the Intermountain Conference for College Women's Physical Education.
- Pioneered the field of adaptive aquatics in New Mexico
- First woman to chair the UNM Athletic Council
- In 1973, Piper served as team leader and assistant swimming coach of the United States delegation at the World University Games in Moscow in which four UNM swimmers competed, including Olympic gold medalist Cathy Carr.
- Recorded their first competitive game on December 22, 1898. Originally an intramural game played between teams called the Gladiators and the Olympians made up of UNM students. Shortly after this first game was played, the women played in the first game of what is now known as the Rio Grande Rivalry where they defeated Las Cruces College 4-2 at the First Street Armory. The following season, the women's team would begin extending invitations to colleges through New Mexico. However, in 1912, the UNM faculty refused to allow the women to travel outside of the city.
- With the introduction of Title IX, UNM reinstated the women's basketball program as a club team for the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons. After the 1972-73 season, UNM established the basketball team as an official interscholastic athletic team.
- After the 1987 season, UNM cut the women's program due to budget issues.
- Since the program was reinstated in 1991, the program has won 8 conference championships.
Use the resources below for additional information about Title IX.