Wayne State College

G.I. Willoughby

Inducted: 1984

G.I. Willoughby was a pioneer in northeast Nebraska women's sports in the late 1960's and early 1970's. 'When I came to Wayne State College in 1968, there really wasn't such a thing as women's intercollegiate athletics as we know them today,' said Willoughby. Willoughby, just the second woman to be inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame, used hard work and some fund raising in Wayne to help start women.s athletics at Wayne State College. Gradually over the years, the college provided some financial help and other support. The basketball team under Willoughby had a great deal of success. The first team in 1968-69 was second in the Midwest AAU Tournament and won the tournament the next two seasons. In 1972, the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was formed. In the following six seasons, the Willoughby led WSC teams were first or second in the Nebraska AIAW Tournament each year. In her last season at Wayne State, the women.s cage team went 25-7 and won the only Central States Intercollegiate Conference title ever in the sport. In all, her basketball teams at Wayne State were 156-60. In softball, her squads were 91-44, including the 1974 team that was 24-4 and was third in the national AIAW Women.s College World Series. That gave her an astounding 247-104 record at WSC for a winning percentage of .704. Following her years at Wayne State, Willoughby coached at Missouri Southern and racked up winning records in both basketball and softball. She took a career change in January of 1982 when she went to work for Southland Life Insurance in Dallas, Texas where she served as supervisor for the Group Claims Department. Willoughby was inducted into the WSC Athletics Hall of Fame in the fall of 1984.