Laurie Priest Recognized Nationally

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Oct. 18, 2007) - Laurie Priest, Chair of Physical Education and Director of Athletics at Mount Holyoke College since 1989, has been named one of "The 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America" by the Institute for International Sport.

The Institute for International Sport was founded in 1986 by Daniel E. Doyle, Jr. More than two decades after its founding, it remains guided by international leaders in the academic, business, government and athletic communities. The IIS has fostered an extraordinary number of global friendships through sport, culture and education, connecting tens of thousands of people.

When Doyle administered a series of "coach and athlete" surveys for his forthcoming book, The Encyclopedia of Sport Parenting, a common theme among both present and former surveyed athletes emerged. Many pointed to the profound impact of the sports experience in shaping their views and practices regarding teamwork, self discipline, fair play, diversity- and a term Doyle employs throughout the book - competitive self restraint. Many also pointed to former coaches and athletic administrators as key mentors in their lives.

As a result, Doyle had the Institute embark upon a three year project - the selection of two categories of distinguished sports educators - "The 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America" and "The Fifteen Most Influential Sports Education 'Teams' in America."

The core criterion for selection in each category was the effective use of sport as a means to educate.

"In America and in many other countries, we honor elite athletes, winning coaches, wealthy team owners and media moguls. We praise sports educators yet we really do not honor them in a manner befitting their admirable impact on society," said Doyle. "This project is aimed at honoring individuals and organizations who have creatively and effectively used sport in the very best way - as a means to educate and shape positive values," he concluded.

From the time the Institute announced the project in 2004, the organization received over 1500 nominations for individuals and "teams." After reducing the list to 200 individual finalists and 30 "team" finalists, the Institute appointed a final selection committee made up of coaches, athletic administrators, journalists and academicians. David Bloss, former Sports Editor of the Providence Journal, chaired the committee.

Priest, who was among those selected, has been active professionally on the state, regional and national level for over 20 years. She served as President of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) in 1989-1990 and has consistently donated her time and energy to accomplished committees, including the NCAA Women's Committee on Committees (1991-1994), the Executive Council of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (1993-1996), the Executive Board of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) (1996-2000) and the Board of Governors for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) (1999-2002).

In addition to her numerous responsibilities at Mount Holyoke, Priest has also published many articles and is a frequent presenter at conferences. She has also received several awards for her contributions to women's athletics. In 1991, she received the Mabel Lee award from AAHPERD and in 1992 was inducted into the Northeast New Agenda Hall of Fame. In 1997, she was awarded the Massachusetts Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Merit Award for outstanding leadership. Most recently, Priest was named the 2002 Woman of the Year for Division III athletics by NACWAA, and was recognized by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport as their Honor Award recipient that same year.

Priest received her B.S. in physical education from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and her M.S. in exercise physiology from the University of Maryland-College Park. Prior to coming to Mount Holyoke, Priest served for seven years as director of athletics, assistant professor, and swim coach at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

Priest joins a great and prestigious list compiled by the organization. The entire list includes:

Acosta, Vivian PhD - Professor Emerita at the City University of New York's Brooklyn College and co-author with Dr. Linda Carpenter on Title IX issues and statistics on women in sports.

Agassi, Andre - Former World No. 1 tennis player and founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation.

Alford, Diane - Executive Director of The Miracle League.

Bayh, The Honorable Birch - Former U.S. Senator from Indiana and author of Title IX of the Higher Education Act.

Beaney, Bill - Head Men's Hockey Coach at Middlebury College.

Begay, Notah - The only Native American ever on the PGA Tour, and founder of the Notah Begay III Foundation.

Bettis, Jerome - Former NFL all-star, and Founder of the "Cyber Bus" program.

Bigelow, Bob - Former NBA player and youth sports author and speaker.

Bowen, William - Co-author of "The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values" with James Shulman.

Brand, Dr. Myles - Executive Director of the NCAA.

Burnett, Dr. Darrell - Clinical Psychologist specializing in Youth Sports Psychology.

Burton-Nelson, Mariah - Speaker, author and Executive Director of the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation.

Campbell, Myles - Athletic Director at Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Tenafly, New Jersey.

Carpenter, Linda Jean PhD - Professor Emerita at the City College of New York's Brooklyn College and co-author with Dr. Vivian Acosta on Title IX issues and statistics on women in sports.

Coakley, Jay - Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, author and journal editor.

Conradt, Jody - Former Head Women's Basketball Coach at the University of Texas and the second woman inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Costas, Bob - Emmy award winning sportscaster, commentator and sports historian.

Curry, Bill - Former NFL player, head college football coach and sportscaster, and Executive Director of Leadership at the Baylor School.

Deford, Frank - Author and commentator and a Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated.

DeFrantz, Anita - Former two-time Olympian and the first woman to be elected vice president of the International Olympic Committee. President of the Amateur Athletic Foundation in Los Angeles.

Edwards, Dr. Harry - Activist, professor, sports consultant and author on issues of race in sports.

Ehrmann, Rev. Joe - Former All-American and professional football player, author and speaker.

Engh, Fred - Founder and President of the National Alliance of Youth Sports.

Epperson, Dave PhD - Co-founder of Parents for Good Sports.

Farrey, Tom - Senior Writer with ESPN the Magazine and

Garrison, Zina - Professional tennis player, Olympic Gold Medalist and founder of the Zina Garrison All Court Tennis Academy.

Gerdy, John PhD - Former professional basketball player, author and professor.

Gould, Dr. Dan - Vice Chairman of the Sport Science Committee and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports.

Grant, Dr. Christine H.B. - Athletic administrator and Title IX advocate.

Greene-Chamberlain, Lillian PhD - International physical fitness and sports consultant and motivational speaker.

Greenspan, Bud - Eight-time Emmy award winner, winner of the Olympic Order Award in 1985, producer, writer and director of Olympic films.

Griffin, Pat - Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts and currently director of the Women's Sports Foundation program "It Takes a Team!"

Haney, Jim - Executive Director, National Association of College Basketball Coaches.

Hesburgh, Father Dr. Theodore - Former President of the University of Notre Dame.

Hillman, Charles PhD - Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Psychology at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Hoberman, Dr. John - Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of numerous books and articles on sports, specifically on performance enhancing drugs and the cultural impact of sports.

Holland, Terry - Athletic Director at East Carolina University.

Hooton, Don - Educator with focus on prevalence and dangers of performance enhancing drugs.

Jackson, Phil - Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson, Melissa - Executive Director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Johnson, Stacey - Co-founder of the Community Olympic Development Program.

Josephson, Michael - Founder and President of the Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics.

Joyner-Kersee, Jackie - Olympic Gold Medalist and Founder of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.

Kamm, Dr. Ronald - Sports Psychiatrist and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Kanaby, Bob - Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Kane, Mary Jo PhD - Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota.

Kennedy-Shriver, Eunice - Founder and honorary chairperson of the Special Olympics.

King, Billie Jean - Retired tennis professional and Founder of The Women's Sports Foundation.

Krzyzewski, Mike - Head Men's Basketball Coach at Duke University.

Lapchick, Dr. Richard - Director for the DeVos Sports Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida.

Lauer, Dr. Larry - Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth in Sports with particular focus on aggression and violence in ice hockey.

Lewis, Guy PhD - Author, Fulbright Scholar and pioneer in Sports Management programs.

Lipsyte, Robert - Sports Journalist and Author.

Lopiano, Donna PhD - Former Executive Director of the Women's Sports Foundation.

Lucas, Dr. John - Olympic historian and author.

Martens, Rainer - President and Founder of Human Kinetics Publishers.

Messner, Michael - Author and former President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.

Mitrano, Chuck - Commissioner of the Empire 8 Conference.

Mourning, Alonzo - NBA player and founder of the Alonzo Mourning Charities, which concentrates on building youth centers.

Murphy, Mark - Former NFL player and Director of Athletics and Recreation at Northwestern University.

Padwe, Sandy - Associate Professor at Columbia University and former senior editor at Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.

Paterno, Joe - Head Football Coach at Penn State University.

Phillips, Terry Don PhD. J.D. - Athletic Director at Clemson University.

Priest, Laurie - Chair of Physical Education and Director of Athletics at Mount Holyoke College.

Prouty, Dick - Author and Administrator of Project Adventure.

Ravizza, Dr. Ken - Author, lecturer and sports psychologist.

Ridl, Jack - Sports poet and professor at Hope College.

Ripken, Cal Jr. - Hall of Fame baseball player, author and Head of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

Roby, Peter - Former Director for the Center for the Study of Sport in Society and Athletic Director at Northeastern University.

Rotella, Dr. Robert - Author, lecturer and sports psychologist.

Rowe, Donald - Special advisor for athletics at the University of Connecticut, former Head Men's Basketball Coach at UConn and Head Boy's Basketball Coach at Worcester Academy.

Russell, Bill - NBA Hall of Fame Basketball Player, author and lecturer.

Selleck, Dr. George - Sports psychologist and lecturer.

Shropshire, Kenneth J.D. - Professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative.

Shulman, James - Co-author of "The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values" with William Bowen.

Simon, Robert - Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton College.

Speer, Dr. Kevin - Former Director of the Duke University Sports Medicine Center, and former football academic All American.

Spillett, Roxanne - President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Staley, Dawn - Head Women's Basketball Coach at Temple University.

Stoll, Sharon PhD - Professor and Director of the Center for Ethics at the University of Idaho.

Stratten, Ron - Former NCAA Vice President for Education Services.

Stringer, Vivian - Head Women's Basketball Coach at Rutgers University.

Summitt, Pat - Head Women's Basketball Coach at the University of Tennessee.

Summons, Susan - Associate Professor and Head Women's Basketball Coach at Miami-Dade College.

Sweet, Judith - Former NCAA President and former Athletic Director.

Thompson, Jim - Founder and Executive Director of the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University.

Tuohey, Brendan - Co- Founder of PeacePlayers International.

Tutko, Dr. Tom - Professor Emeritus at San Jose State University and Founder of the Institute for the Study of Athletic Motivation.

Vanderzwaag, Dr. Harold - The first Head of the Sports Management Program at the University of Massachusetts.

Wadler, Dr. Gary - Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, author with specific focus on drug use in sports.

Walker, Dr. Leroy - Former President of the United States Olympic Committee.

Walters, Gary - Athletic Director at Princeton University.

Westbrook, Peter - 6-time Olympian and a bronze medalist, author and Founder of the Peter Westbrook Foundation.

Wilson, Chuck - Award-winning radio broadcaster and interviewer.

Wolff, Alexander - Author and Senior Staff writer for Sports Illustrated.

Wong, Glenn J.D. - Professor, Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts.

Wooden, John - Former Head Men's Basketball Coach at UCLA.

Woods, Tiger - Professional golfer and the founder of the Tiger Woods Foundation and the Tiger Woods Learning Center.

Yow, Kay - Head Women's Basketball Coach at North Carolina State University.

Zimbalist, Andrew PhD - Author and Professor of Economics at Smith College with specific focus on the Economics of Sport.

For more information, please visit the Institute for International Sport webpage