Lynda Goodrich Elected To NACDA Hall Of Fame
Lynda Goodrich served Western Washington for four decades as a coach and adminsitrator. She is a member of five other halls of fame.
Lynda Goodrich served Western Washington for four decades as a coach and adminsitrator. She is a member of five other halls of fame.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
by Western Washington Athletic Communications

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – After building a legacy at Western Washington University for more than four decades as a trailblazing athletic administrator and coach, Lynda Goodrich is set to receive one of the biggest honors of her legendary career.

Goodrich, perhaps the most iconic figure in the school’s rich athletic history, was a unanimous selection for induction into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by NACDA today.

Joining Goodrich, 76, in the NACDA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 are Dan Guerrero (UCLA), Jeanne Lenti Ponsetto (DePaul), Craig Littlepage (Virginia), David Roach (Brown), Cathie Schweitzer (Springfield College) and Julie Soriero (MIT). The ceremony will be held virtually, July 27-28.

“Lynda was raised at a time when opportunities for females in sports were limited and during her lifetime she became a legendary figure in pioneering a new era of women’s athletics, serving as a role model and mentor,” said current WWU athletic director Steve Card, who was Goodrich’s top assistant for 20 years.

“Her goal was to make Western Athletics into a force while placing an emphasis on academic excellence. She achieved both.”

It is the second national hall of fame honor and the sixth overall for Goodrich, who retired on May 6, 2013, after 26 years as Western’s athletic director and 42 years overall in intercollegiate athletics, all at WWU. For 19 seasons, she was the head women’s basketball coach for the Vikings.

“I just feel blessed that I had such a great place to work and people to work with and was able to have that sense of accomplishment,” said Goodrich. “I’ve been very fortunate.”

In 2014, Goodrich received the Division 2 Athletic Directors Association (D2ADA) Lifetime Achievement Award. It is the most prestigious honor given by the D2ADA, an organization administered by NACDA, being presented to athletic directors who have exemplified superior achievement during a career at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level.

A member of the NACDA Executive Committee from 2003-05, Goodrich was recognized as Athletics Director of the Year at the 2006 NACDA & Affiliates Convention. She also is a past member of the NCAA II Championships Committee.

It was during Goodrich’s tenure as athletic director that Western made the transition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to NCAA Division II in 1998.

During that 15-year stretch as a Division II athletic director, the Vikings won eight national championships, one in men’s basketball (2012) and seven in women’s rowing (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011). They were national runner-up four times, three in women’s rowing (2002, 2003 and 2012) and once in volleyball (2007); and were national semifinalists in men’s (2001, 2013) and women’s basketball (2000, 2013), twice each.

Western ranked in the top 100 among over 300 schools in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings in all 15 of Goodrich’s NCAA Division II years, among the top 50 in each of the last 10, and had top 15 finishes in each of the last five.

With Goodrich at the helm, the Vikings took nine all-sports championships in the first 12 years of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, which began in 2001. She retired with a string of five straight.

Under Goodrich’s direction, Western student-athletes graduated at rates well above the national average for NCAA Division II.

Goodrich became WWU’s director of athletics during the spring of 1987. In 1998, the Vikings were NAIA champions, the school’s first national team title, in softball; after reaching the NAIA Division II national championship football game in 1996.

An interesting note was Goodrich’s uncanny ability to hire outstanding head coaches. Eight of her hires had one thing in common, never having been a head coach at the college or high school level. Yet, all went on to enjoy incredible success at the league, regional and national levels.

Goodrich also enjoyed unmatched success as a coach at WWU.

While directing the Western women’s basketball program from 1971 to 1990, Goodrich never had a losing season in posting a 411-125 record (76.7 winning percentage). The Vikings reached post-season play 18 times and won 20 or more games on 13 occasions.

A finalist for National Division II Coach of the Year honors in 1981 and 1982, she led the Vikings to two quarterfinal finishes at the NAIA National Tournament, and three regional titles and subsequent trips to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Championships.

Goodrich was a pioneer in women’s athletics and was one of a handful of women to direct an intercollegiate athletics program for both genders from 1970 to 2010.

Goodrich was the WWU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award winner in 1988, Whatcom County Sports Person of the Year in 1986, WWU Sports Impact Person and Female Coach of the Century in 1999, finalist for Whatcom County Business Woman of the Year in 1992 and served as an assistant coach at the 1985 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival.

Goodrich’s days as a player, coach and administrator paralleled the women’s movement. During her lifetime, major changes came about and when just a sliver of opportunity presented itself, she was prepared to make the most of it.

The five other hall of fames of which Goodrich is a member are those for WWU (1999), NAIA (1996), Northwest Women’s Sports Federation (2000), Snohomish Country Sports (2011), and Lake Stevens High School (2004).

Born in Everett and raised in Lake Stevens, Goodrich transferred to Western in 1963, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1966. She taught and coached at West Seattle High School for five years before returning to WWU as a graduate assistant, receiving her master’s degree in 1973.