GCC Women’s Athletics Celebrates 50 Years of Title IX

Passage of law created more opportunities for female athletes

For the past 50 years, GCC has become a springboard for many notable female athletes. Women of GCC have been recognized for their athletic achievements since 1972, when Title IX was passed.

Title IX changed the way society viewed athletics. The passage of this law meant that women could have their own organized teams, leagues, and other extracurricular activities. Programs such as women’s volleyball, softball, tennis, cross country, track and field, soccer, and beach volleyball were created to give the women of GCC an equal opportunity in sports. However, these opportunities were not always available to women.

Karen Sartoris, a GCC alumni and student-athlete from the early 1970s, described the nature of women’s athletics prior to Title IX. According to Sartoris, GCC only had co-ed volleyball until the mid-1970s. “I didn’t realize what was missing,” she said in an interview. “I was just happy to play.” At the time, Sartoris wasn’t aware of the many progressive changes in women’s sports that would be made over the next 50 years.

The passing of Title IX brought numerous female athletes to GCC, and many left a legacy in the Hall of Fame, which was created in 2002. Most notably, 2002 inductee Cathy Ferguson, who won two gold medals for swimming in the 1964 Olympics.

Numerous improvements have also been made to GCC’s sports facilities. As of 2018, renovation to the Verdugo Gym has been in progress. According to the GCC Alumni News, this new gym facility will consist of an auxiliary gym, both men and women’s locker rooms, new athletic offices, a weight room, an activity classroom, and a lecture hall. This upgrade will provide both male and female student athletes with a well-rounded training environment.

Presently, both women and men have their own sports programs in which they compete. One primary example being men and women’s cross country and track. Eddie Lopez, head coach of both men and women’s cross country and track, pointed out that GCC has been known for their endless support of student-athletes, regardless of gender. “We recruit as a family. I see Glendale College as a family. Working with both men and women, athletes are athletes,” Lopez said. Lopez also gave credit to the women that inspired him throughout his years of coaching. Terry Coblentz, former women’s tennis coach and Athletic Director, as well as Dianne Spangler, former cross country and volleyball coach, were both sources of inspiration for Lopez. Coblentz and Spangler have also been inducted into the Hall of Fame for their contributions to women’s sports.

After 50 years of Title IX, there has been an uphill progression toward student equity in sports. Many successful athletes have come out of GCC, all of whom are proud to be Vaqueros.


To learn more about the impact of Title IX on GCC, visit:


To read about the Verdugo Gym Renovation, visit:



Carly Pellot can be reached at [email protected].