Intramurals celebrate history with trophy display, alumni reunion at Homecoming
By Danielle Brown
The Department of Recreation received the retired Intramural All-Sports trophy from a Class of 1975 alumnus and members of Dorm 26 plan to attend homecoming for the display.
The display of the trophy from over 40 years ago gave current faculty and alumni the chance to look back on their own journeys with intramurals.
The first and current director of recreation at the university, William “Bill” Healey arrived after graduating from the University of Illinois. During his interview for the position in 1972, he had an argument with the chairman of physical education about the lack of a women’s intramural department.
“[The chairman] said ‘We’re in the south, there’s a southern belle ethic, and they don’t want to sweat,’” Healey said. “I suggested to introduce co-rec where the men will go out and recruit the women to play on their team and he said ‘no, it won’t happen.’”
When intramurals moved from Physical Education to Student Affairs, Healey was able to combat the challenge by starting up the women’s division. Participation from the women at the university was instant and successful.
Jerry Kidwell joined Dorm 26 in the fall of 1973 and was the captain of the softball team. He took pride in the talent his team had and their success against their rivals.
“I want to put that team up against any team I’ve ever been around in my life,” Kidwell said. “Those guys are really exceptional softball players.”
Beating fraternity teams back to back in every sport, Dorm 26 was the most successful independent team at the university.
“If it was a sport, we entered it,” Kidwell said. “And nine times out of ten, Dorm 26 won it.”
Healey told the members of the team that if they won the All-Sports trophy three years in a row, then he would retire the trophy to them.
Jessica Coleman, current assistant director of recreation, started playing intramural sports in her freshman year at UWF in 2005. Her team won the national and co-rec national titles which gave her unforgettable memories.
“The experience was one that I will never forget,” Coleman said. “It gave me time to unwind, my best friends that I still have today, and a student on-campus job that led me to my career.”
Coleman said she hopes the display of the All-Sports trophy and the journey associated with it will have an effect on both current students and alumni.
“I hope that the display will encourage current students to get out and play intramural sports and make memories and for alumni to remember the fond feelings that they have from playing at UWF,” Coleman said.
The trophy along with pictures of Dorm 26 will be in the display case at the bottom of the stairs in the HLS facility on campus.