Kent State trailblazer Judy Devine to be inducted into MAC Hall of Fame

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Staff and wire report

One of the Kent State University athletic department's most recognizable names, Judy Devine, received a high honor on Friday when the Mid-American Conference included her name for induction into the league's Hall of Fame.

Devine was a champion for student-athletes throughout her career and fought for equity in sports -- a passion that helped shape the culture and policies that are still found within the KSU athletic department today.

The matriarch of Kent State athletics will be officially inducted during a ceremony on May 13. She joins a list of six others that will be enshrined, including the late Charlie Coles (Miami and Central Michigan men's basketball), Harry Houska (Ohio wrestling), Jim Lessig (Bowling Green administrator), Caroline Mullen-Kearney (Western Michigan track and field and cross country), Sally Northcroft (Ball State field hockey) and Joe Novak (Northern Illinois football).

Devine will be inducted as an administrator, but her playing career was impressive as well. She played five sports in college and earned 18 letters before graduating Summa Cum Laude from Colorado State (Class of 1969). She earned her bachelor's degree in health and physical education, then earned her master's in the same field from Kent State in 1970.

Devine served as Kent State's assistant coach in women's basketball (1969-72), field hockey (1969-70) and softball (1969-70) before becoming women's head basketball coach (1972-77), head field hockey coach (1970-80) and head women's athletic trainer (1969-75).

When the men's and women's athletic programs merged in 1975, Devine was selected as an Assistant Athletic Director and was elevated to Associate Athletic Director in 1978. She retired from her post as Senior Associate Athletic Director in 2000 following 31 years of service in numerous roles within the athletic department. Her Emeritus status was conferred by the Kent State Board of Trustees in 2000, as at the time of her retirement she coordinated all student-athlete services, including financial aid, housing, awards, academic performance, compliance and eligibility.

Devine also served on many institutional, conference and NCAA committees during her career including: the Kent State National Athletic Development Committee (1998-2013), Kent State Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee (1984-present), Co-Chair Kent State Women's Athletic Centennial Celebration (2009-10), Kent State Women's Center Advisory Board (2011-present), Kent State Title IX Compliance Self Study Committee (2012-present), Chair of the MAC Senior Administrators Committee (1995-2000), Vice Chair of the NCAA Academics/Eligibility/Compliance Cabinet (1997-2000), Chair of the NCAA ACE Cabinet Subcommittee on Continuing Eligibility (1997-2000), NCAA DI Working Group to Study Basketball Issues (1998-2000), NCAA DI Working Group to Study Eligibility and Financial Aid (1998-2000) and Founder and Emcee for the Kent State Athletic Academic Honors Dinner (1982-2000) and was honored as the Kent State Commencement Speaker in August, 2010.

Devine was inducted in the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society and was awarded the National Association for Sport and Physical Education Inspiration Award in 1992. She received the Ohio House of Representatives Special Recognition Award (2000) and Ohio Senate Special Recognition Award (2000), was named the first female recipient of the Kent State Varsity K Alumni Association 'Person of the Year' (2000) and inducted into the Kent State Athletic Hall of Fame (2003).

In 2012, Devine was one of 25 candidates nationwide for the Title IX Trailblazer Award, which honored individuals who made significant contributions in the area of gender equity. In 2014, she was awarded Kent State's Diversity Trailblazer Award for her contributions of diversity to the university community.

Devine has provided a permanent endowment for the Kent State Athletic Academic Honors Dinner and provided the lead gift for the Athletic Academic Resource Center expansion. In addition, her creation of the Athletic Equity Endowment brings her contributions to Kent State to more than $1.4 million.

Devine currently is the Senior Association Athletic Director and professor, Emeritus at Kent State and adjunct professor at Malone University. She lives in Uniontown.

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