A former athlete herself, today Donna Lopiano is known for her leadership advocating for gender equity in sports. She grew up in Connecticut and at age eleven she had her first experience with gender inequality in sports, as she was the first pick on draft day at the Mickey Lione Little League fields in Stamford but was abruptly told last minute that girls were not allowed, according to the rule book. Lopiano would not give up, though, and went on to participate in 26 national championships in four sports and was a nine-time All-American at four different positions in softball.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California. Eventually she went on to serve as the Director of Women’s Athletics at the University of Texas at Austin for 18 years, and during her tenure she went on to construct what many believed was the country’s premiere athletic program. A strong supporter of Title IX, Lopiano has appeared as an expert witness in 28 court cases, served as a consultant to the US Office for Civil Rights Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Title IX Task Force, and has testified on numerous occasions, and she currently is the President and founder of Sports Management Resources.
- Six-time National Champion
- Nine-time All-American
- Three-time ASA Softball MVP
- Named one of the “The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports” as well as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Sports”
- Member of 13 halls of fame, including the National Sports Hall of Fame and National Softball Hall of Fame
- Former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation