Pat Newman, LSU’s first women’s tennis coach and a pioneer in the university’s women’s athletics programs, died over the weekend at the age of 81.
Pat Newman Cause of death
Unfortunately, her cause of death has not been shared publicly, we will share with you once we get an update on her exact cause of death.
Who was Pat Newman?
Newman was the head women’s tennis coach at LSU from 1973 to 1979, bringing the Ben-Gals to a top 10 ranking by 1977, the year the AIAW national tennis championships were held for the first time.
She was also named Coordinator of Women’s Athletics in 1977, and when she was named Assistant Athletics Director in 1980, she relinquished her coaching duties to give full-time focus to that position. She handled ten sports as the Coordinator of Women’s Athletics, helping to propel basketball, tennis, and gymnastics to national prominence.
Newman finished her coaching career with a 71-24 record and three consecutive Louisiana AIAW titles. Kay McDaniel and Ebie Taylor, the first two singles All-America tennis players in LSU history, were her students.
Her 1978 tennis team finished 10th in the AIAW National Championships with a 19-5 record.
“It is appropriate that we also celebrate a true trailblazer for women’s sports at LSU – Pat Newman,” LSU Hall of Fame coach D-D Breaux said. “In the year that we celebrate the 50th year of Title IX and the 40th year of women’s sports joining the NCAA, it is appropriate that we also celebrate a true trailblazer for women’s sports at LSU – Pat Newman.”
“Pat not only opened but also kept the door open for so many of us, often at tremendous personal expense.” Pat took on any and all tasks that were required for LSU’s women’s sports programs to be successful. She served as a mentor to the staff’s younger coaches, ensuring that we all understood what was required of us in order to be successful. Pat Newman will be remembered for the lessons she taught me, her fearless leadership, and everything she did to improve women’s athletics at LSU.”
She was key in bringing the 1980 national championships in gymnastics and tennis to the Baton Rouge campus, as well as the Region IV basketball and tennis tournaments, as Assistant AD under Athletics Director Paul Dietzel. At the time, the LSU Assembly Center also hosted one of the early SEC women’s basketball tournaments as well as the AIAW regional volleyball championships.
Newman graduated from Gibsland High School in Gibsland, Louisiana in 1957 and was a three-time all-state basketball player. She lettered three years on the rifle team at Louisiana Tech. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1961 and her master’s degree in education from Louisiana State University in 1971.
Before coming to LSU as a counselor for freshmen women in 1964, she worked as a public relations expert for the Boys Club of America. She was hired as a staff intern in the Chancellor’s office and worked as the Title IX coordinator for one year.