We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law supporting female participation in education-based programs. The passage of Title IX led to a movement here in Tennessee, where now more than 51,000 female athletes compete annually in 10 sanctioned TSSAA and TMSAA sports. During the last school year, 43 girls’ teams and 269 female individuals claimed state championships in these 10 girls’ sports. Yet on June 23, 1972, when the law was passed, there were only two sanctioned TSSAA girls’ sports with state championships: basketball and tennis. Almost immediately, the TSSAA Board of Control and Legislative Council began rapidly expanding access to girls’ sports by sanctioning and subsequently adding state championships in the following: track & field (1974), golf (1975), cross country (1975), volleyball (1976), softball (1979), soccer (1986), bowling (2002), wrestling (2015), and most recently, dual wrestling (2022).

During our state championships this school year, TSSAA would like to honor the women who played and coached for the first-ever state championships in their sport. We need the membership’s help in locating these teams and individuals. If you represent one of the schools that won, or if you have contact with someone from one of these teams, we would encourage you to let us know by emailing titleix@tssaa.org or asking those individuals to complete this form. We aim to collect photos and stories from these first girls’ championships to share with the student-athletes competing for championships today. We would also like to invite these first female champions to their sport’s state championship this school year. We appreciate your help in this undertaking and look forward to honoring these true TSSAA Trailblazers during our 2022-2023 state championships.

List of First TSSAA Girls' State Champions

First TSSAA Girls' State Champions Contact Form

Because the opportunities for today’s athletes were built on the perseverance of those who came before, the TSSAA asked its member schools to help us identify the important Title IX figures in their own communities. We collected stories of female leaders from both past and present that helped expand opportunities for female athletes, particularly for middle and high school girls. These women were celebrated in the TSSAA Title IX Trailblazers articles below: