Birthdate: May 10, 1926
Birthplace: Painesville, Ohio
High School: Harvey
College: Earlham College (1948)
Died: October 1, 2022
Year Inducted: 2009
Phyllis Bailey was a pioneer in women’s intercollegiate sports whose administrative work during a long career made thousands of other careers possible. When she became the first women’s varsity basketball coach at The Ohio State University in 1956, there were six players on the court – three on the offensive end and three on the defensive side and none could cross the center line. She oversaw the transition of the school’s women’s athletics from a handful of club teams to more than a dozen varsity programs. She was head basketball coach from 1956-69. Her 1969 team played in the first national invitational tournament held at West Chester State University. She was involved in the 1971 formation of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), which organized female competition for the first time and led to women’s participation in the NCAA 10 years later. Phyllis Bailey retired from Ohio State in 1994.
In 1993, she was a member of the first class of women inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Bailey continues to be synonymous with the advancement of women’s sports at Ohio State to this day. And because of her work, countless female student-athletes across the country have achieved successful collegiate athletics careers.