Lorene Ramsey - ICC Women's Athletic Pioneer

Apr 22, 2018

Credit Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

This episode honors premier athletic achievements not always recognized, but impossible to ignore.

The records of the top ten coaches in women's college basketball history, range from Pat Summit's 1098 wins, to Robin Selvig's 865.

Lorene Ramsey would be number eight, having led teams to 887 basketball wins. Ramsey coached junior college, so her name does not appear on that list.

Lorene Ramsey began coaching in 1968 at Illinois Central College, in East Peoria. Ramsey is the founder of ICC's women's athletic programs. Before retiring in 2003, Ramsey led the ICC women to four National Junior College Athletic Association Basketball Championships.

Lorene also led ICC women to 840 wins and two national titles in softball. In 1998, Ramsey became the only coach in the history of the NJCAA to win a national championship in both basketball and softball in the same year. The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame named Ramsey to its second group of inductees in 2000. Ramsey is in a total of ten athletic halls of fame, and led teams, to 1,734 wins against only 510 losses.

Lorene Ramsey, however, did not begin on the coaches' bench. Ramsey posted 401 wins against only 90 losses pitching for the Pekin Lettes and is a member of both the National Softball Hall of Fame, and the National Fast Pitch Coaches Hall of Fame.

In 2004, the gymnasium at ICC was named in her honor. Twenty one hundred and thirty-five wins do not lie.

Until next time, for Stories Beyond the Scores, I'm Chris Reynolds.