Athletic Hall of Fame
Dr. Laura Switzer, Women’s Athletics - 2011
Dr. Laura Switzer found ways to help in the growth and the development of women’s athletics during the years in which women’s sports were just beginning to come into their own. Switzer was recognized as a Pioneer both nationally and locally for her efforts during her 36-year tenure at SWOSU that ended with her retirement in 2001.
Switzer taught a full course load as a professor for the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation while successfully juggling her role as Women’s Athletics Coordinator. She would oversee more than 200 women who would annually take part in the sports of basketball, volleyball, field hockey, tennis, track and field, softball and badminton. Switzer would transport teams, often in her own car, to competitions across the state under the governance of the OAIAW, AIAW and later the NAIA.
Switzer helped coach many young women who went on to make a lengthy and successful careers as coaches or college administrators such as SWOSU Hall of Famer Debbie Bruner, Southeastern HPER Department Chair Vicki Hudson and SWOSU’s own Vicki Hatton, Chair of the Kinesiology Department.
“Dr. Switzer wanted us to have every opportunity to enjoy and learn from our athletic experiences,” Hudson said. “She gave of her time, energy, effort, and finances to prepare us to represent ourselves and Southwestern in the best possible manner.”Prior to arriving at SWOSU in 1965, Switzer was a star basketball player for the Wayland Baptist University Flying Queens. She was a three-time, All-American and played the USA team that competed in four Russian Cities (1961), the USA Gold Medal Team in the Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil (1963). She was inducted into the WBU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
Switzer currently lives in Edmond where she enjoys playing golf, reading and traveling. She is often a spectator at many football and basketball events and recently attended the NCAA Final Four Women’s Basketball Tournament in San Antonio, Texas.