Northwest graduates who have taken business and coaching by storm

The increase in participation and investment in women’s sports since the passage of Title IX in 1972 has prompted many women to take up leadership positions in the professional world.

Despite institutional barriers in the world of sports recruitment and promotion, Many alumni from the Northwest have had extremely successful careers in coaching and sports business.

Here are some of Northwestern’s most prominent alumni in the sports and business worlds.

Karen Stack circulation

When Stack Runde was a student-athlete at NU, her mother encouraged her to study speech and language pathology. But a year playing basketball abroad reaffirmed Stack’s passion for the sports world and launched a long-term career with the Chicago Bulls that began in 1984 – coinciding with Michael Jordan’s rookie season.

“They became so popular,” said Stack Schweden. “I got in at the right time and was able to build on that.”

She spent over 30 years with the Bulls, including three as the first female assistant coach in franchise history. It was initially overwhelming to take on the role, she said. Even after decades in the basketball world, she was “bombarded” with new vocabulary and concepts every day.

Stack Runde said the experience also taught her about the risky nature of coaching. She was on the staff for just a few years before the Bulls’ current coach, Billy Donovan, arrived and replaced her and several other assistants.

Now director of operations for NU women’s basketball, Stack Runde continues to live her love for the sports world.

“It doesn’t feel like work when you come to work like this (dressed up),” said Runde, who wore sweatpants and a track jacket. “It’s pretty cool.”

Anucha Browne

Browne enrolled at NU in 1982 — just a decade after Title IX was passed — and quickly became one of college basketball’s brightest stars. A dynamic offensive threat, Browne earned multiple All-America and Big Ten honors during her time at Evanston. She finished her career as the top scorer in the Big Ten and ranks seventh in career scoring average in NCAA history.

Browne has since held leadership positions in several organizations including NCAA, IBM and UNICEF. In one of her most prominent positions, she was the NCAA vice president for women’s basketball, where she worked on the development of the Divisions I, II and III women’s basketball championships.

Browne also worked for the New York Knicks but was fired in 2006 after raising complaints of workplace sexual harassment with management. After her departure, she sued Madison Square Garden and then-Knicks coach Isiah Thomas for the harassment. Browne won in a breakthrough victory.

Lindsey Munday

By the time Munday graduated in 2006, she had accomplished feats that made her not only a contender for Northwestern’s greatest lacrosse player, but also one of the greatest collegiate players in history.

With two NCAA championship wins and a wealth of national awards and program records, Munday has stayed true to the sport, serving four years as an assistant coach at NU and one year as head coach at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Munday now trains at USC, where she was hired at the age of 26 to lead the university’s first-ever women’s lacrosse team in 2011.

Since then, she has received multiple Coach of the Year awards, five NCAA tournament appearances and the honor of being named Lacrosse Magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year.

Kathie Krall

A developmental coach for the Portland Sea Dogs — the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox — Krall is not your typical baseball coach.

Having held various analytical jobs at MLB, the Cincinnati Reds and Google before the age of 25, Krall has already proven herself as a trailblazer in the sports world.

“As a woman in a male-dominated industry, you carry two burdens,” Krall said. “The first thing is to do your job and do it well. And second, especially when you’re in a high-profile role like a trainer or front-office executive, you’re a role model for other young women and the embodiment of what’s possible for them.”

Last June, Krall not only earned her MBA from the University of Chicago, but she was also featured on the cover of an issue of Sports Illustrated commemorating 50 years of Title IX. Krall was pictured with Red Sox coach Bianca Smith, who, along with Krall, made the Red Sox the first MLB organization to have two women coaches.

It was particularly strong for Krall, whose mother was a tennis player and an immediate beneficiary of Title IX. Krall’s mother competed as a junior on her high school’s first-ever women’s tennis team.

“You and I both cried when we saw that I was on the cover for Title IX and what it did for both of us,” Krall said.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @lucaskim_15

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @charvarnes11

similar posts:

The athletic mother-daughter duo reflect on the Northwest and the impact of Title IX

‘Compete and Win’: Former women’s athletes from the Northwest talk about the early years of Title IX

Q&A: Former Northwest tennis player, USTA Chair Katrina Adams speaks about Title IX and NU Athletics


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