I think he kind of had a new respect for women's athletics, at least women's basketball, and what we were trying to do and that we were really trying to accomplish the same kinds of things that he was. Not only would he bring in these big cakes when we won a big game or something but, when we lost, he would be the first one in my office the next day, close the door and sit down and have a heart-to-heart chat. In fact, I got a phone call from him about three days ago wondering how my new job was going and what was happening.
But, yes, it really developed over the course of the time that we were here together.
Description: Karen Langeland graduated with a BA in 1970 from Calvin College in physical education and received a Masters in athletic training from MSU after being hired as women’s basketball coach during the 1976-77 season. Langeland’s coaching, the team won the Big Ten Championship in 1997. In high school, I was a little bit pre-women's sports. I kind of followed her career in teaching and coaching. But I also was kind of, I guess, maybe a little uneasy, maybe, teaching at the middle school. She said she needed a basketball coach and wondered if I'd be interested, and I said, "Absolutely." I had already applied to grad school here and had been accepted.
She was instrumental in recruiting athletes who were serious about getting an education and as a result, members of her teams had a high graduation rate. So for the most part, we didn't have a lot of programs in high school. Charnley: Did you maintain any contacts with them later? I just wanted something a little bit more, especially coaching-wise. So I thought about just coming to Michigan State and getting my master's degree in athletic training. So I came down for an interview and she hired me on the spot. Nicki Baile [phonetic] had been coaching for a number of years, and she had left, and the year before I got here a gentleman by the name of Dominic Marino [phonetic] had coached.
One, the NCAA took over the AIAW, and also at that time women's basketball became an official part of the Big Ten Conference.