'Pioneer For Girls' Athletics in Indiana' Dies

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(Image courtesy of the IHSAA) Pat Roy -- October 3, 1938 - May 23, 2017. (Image courtesy of the IHSAA) Pat Roy -- October 3, 1938 - May 23, 2017.
AVE MARIA, Florida -

An influential figure in advancing and growing the presence of girl's high school sports in the state has died. Pat Roy, who served the Indiana High School Athletic Association Inc. longer than any other executive staff member, retired as an assistant commissioner in 1999. In the mid-1950s, she played for the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Pat Roy was 78.

During her time with the IHSAA, she worked with four of the first six commissioners and in 2000, the annual Mental Attitude Award presented at the Girl's Basketball State Finals was named in her honor.

Merrillville High School Director of Athletics Janis Qualizza, a former member of the IHSAA Board of directors and a friend of Roy's said "Pat Roy was certainly a pioneer for girls' athletics in Indiana. She was a hard-nosed gal who wouldn't take no for an answer. She and (retired assistant commissioner) Mildred Ball were very instrumental in making certain Title IX was embraced in our state. Thanks to both of these ladies for their courage and most importantly their fortitude. Because of their efforts the young ladies in Indiana have been able to excel in the sports of their choice."

Title IX involved gender discrimination prohibitions in high schools and was signed into federal law months after Roy became the IHSAA's first director of girls athletics in 1972. The organization says opportunities for female athletes increased "dramatically" under Roy's leadership.

Read more about Roy's career:

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