Montana State announces endowment for WBB Head Coaching position

Montana State University and the Bobcats Athletics department announced the Ellen Kreighbaum Women’s Head Basketball Coach endowment, permanently naming the women’s basketball coaching position in Kreighbaum’s honor on Thursday.
Kreighbaum will be recognized for her generosity and support of Bobcat women’s basketball prior to tipoff of Thursday night’s game against Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. in Worthington Arena.
“Ellen has been a leader her entire life,” said Chris Murray, CEO/President of MSU Alumni Foundation. “This gift is an investment that will ensure outstanding leadership in our women’s basketball program going forward. It is a tremendous legacy for Ellen and will have a lasting impact on MSU.”
The endowment, which will produce $40k of support annually, will provide resources to the women’s basketball program to help student-athletes excel both in the classroom and during competition. Funds will be used to recruit, retain, and support the Ellen Kreighbaum Women’s Head Basketball Coach and support the University’s women’s basketball program and activities.
“Ellen has meant so much to MSU and Bobcat Athletics as a trailblazer for women’s athletic opportunities,” said Leon Costello, MSU Director of Athletics. “This generous gift will provide support for MSU women’s basketball student-athletes in perpetuity.  We are all benefiting from her leadership still today and I am grateful for her friendship and passion for MSU.”
Kreighbaum came to the University in 1965 and for more than 40 years has inspired and created significant opportunities for advancing women faculty and students. She also built an outstanding and inspiring record of research, scholarship, leadership and teaching during her tenure. Kreighbaum started women’s basketball at Montana State and then expanded to volleyball and gymnastics, coaching all three. She guided the creation and development of a women’s athletic department and became its first director. 
“The women’s program began in the latter sixties when there was little to no intercollegiate athletics experiences for women,” said Kreighbaum. “Being prohibited from competition myself, I wanted to provide a program to enable young collegiate women the opportunity- five years before Title IX. 
“Current Coach Binford has taken the program to amazing levels of competition and has recruited the best MSU student-athletes,” she added. “This gift will assist the program above and beyond what the university is able to do for years to come.”
Kreighbaum founded the Women’s Intercollegiate Sports Association and the Bobcat Fast Break Club to support women’s basketball. In 1992, she was inducted into the Bobcat Athletics Hall of Fame. Her teaching and research in the College of Education, Health and Human Development influenced careers of generations of students in fields of biomechanics, physical therapy and sports medicine. Kreighbaum played a pivotal role in a sex discrimination suit resulting in dramatic changes for campus women’s salaries, promotion, tenure and administrative positions.

“We continue to be overwhelmed with Ellen’s commitment to our university and specifically our women’s basketball program,” said MSU head Coach Tricia Binford. “Her generosity and encouragement are second to none. I am beyond grateful for Ellen’s friendship, and her support of our student athletes and program. She inspires me to be a better mentor, teacher, and learner every day. Ellen continues to raise the standard of excellence and this gift will impact our program for years to come.”

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