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Kinesiology alum Linda Wells receives U of M Outstanding Achievement Award

Linda Wells, Kinesiology master's graduate, has recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award by the U of M Board of Regents. This prestigious award is the highest non-academic honor that can be conferred on University graduates for their exceptional accomplishments in their chosen fields with respect to public service, or outstanding leadership and achievement on a community, state, national or international level.

Wells' groundbreaking achievements in women's intercollegiate sports began in 1974 at age 21, when she became the U of M's first full-time head coach in three women's sports: basketball, softball, and volleyball. During her tenure at the U of M she obtained her master's degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology) and coached Gopher women student-athletes until 1989, when she took over the softball program at Arizona State University. Wells played professional softball from 1975 to 1979, earning a Hall of Fame induction with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. She retired in 2005, having achieved international acclaim and respect for her unfailing commitment to creating and supporting opportunities for all women in sport.

Mary Jo Kane, Director of the School of Kinesiology, co-wrote a letter of support for Ms. Wells' nomination with Joel Maturi, Director of U of M Athletics. Rayla Allison, Kinesiology lecturer and long-time colleague and friend of Linda Wells, was also instrumental in securing support for her award. Professor Kane commented, "In addition to being a legendary coach, Linda Wells has been a pioneering role model and inspiring mentor to countless women and girls. She has transformed individual lives and opened avenues in society that would not have been possible except for her courage and effort. We are all in her debt."

For more information about Linda Wells and the University's prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award, read Alumni Larkin, Wells earn regents' most prestigious award.

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