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University of Iowa Women's Softball records

Identifier: IWA1046

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Scope and Contents

The University of Iowa Women’s Softball records date from 1989-2011 and measure 3.5 linear feet. They are arranged into two series: Photographs and Artifacts.

The Photographs series (1989-2009) contains materials donated by former Head Coach Gayle Blevins in 2011. The series includes photographs of Iowa teams and games from Blevins’s career. Oversize items in this series include mounted photos of key players, teams, and post-season appearances, as well as large mounted photo collages from the team’s NCAA post-season appearances.

The Artifacts series (1996-2011) includes a cap from the program’s 1996 NCAA College World Series appearance, three Iowa jerseys, a Louisville Slugger mini-bat, 1997 team season pins, commemorative softballs from Blevins’s 300th and 400th career wins, and College World Series balls autographed by the team.


  • Creation: 1989-2011


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

The University of Iowa’s varsity women’s softball program began in the 1970s, after the 1973 federal Title IX legislation that mandated equal opportunities for men and women in collegiate sport. Head Coach Gayle Blevins joined the program in 1989, drawn by the leadership and activism of the then-contemporary women’s athletic director, Dr. Christine Grant.

During Blevins’s twenty-three head coaching career, the Hawkeyes made four trips to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Women’s College World Series (1995-1997 and 2001), sixteen NCAA tournament appearances (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995-1998, 2000-2006, 2008, 2009), four Big Ten regular season championships, and two Big Ten Tournament titles.

In that same period, the University’s softball team finished each season ranked top-five in the Big Ten Conference and did not experience a losing season. The 1995 season put the Hawkeyes in the national limelight, beating top-ten ranked teams to earn the program’s first NCAA College World Series appearance and advance to the semifinal round of the Series.

Iowa teams during this period featured sixteen players with all-American honors, fifty four first team all-Big Ten players, and 109 all-Big Ten performers. The student-athletes on these teams also received a variety of academic honors, with seventy six academic all-Big Ten appearances, fifteen all-district honorees, and nine academic all-Americans.

Blevins also oversaw the 1998 construction of Pearl Softball Field at the University of Iowa Softball Complex, and during her time at Iowa, the University was selected to host eight NCAA regional tournaments. She received National Coach of the Year honors in 1991, Big Ten Coach of the Year (1989, 1997, 2000), and Mideast Region Coach of the Year (1989, 1991-1992, 1996-1997). The entire Iowa coaching staff was the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Coaching Staff of the Year in 2003, and Blevins was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 1999.

When Blevins retired in 2010, the 1,245 wins she had amassed during her coaching career were the second-most in NCAA Division I softball history.


3.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Photographs and related ephemera from Gayle Blevins’ tenure as the University of Iowa women’s softball head coach.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1244) were donated by Gayle Blevins in 2010.

University of Iowa Women’s Softball records
In Progress
Katherine Walden, 2018
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)