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    SEC 40/40: Missouri and Texas A&M Women’s Athletics History

    By: Sean Cartell
    Twitter: @SEC_Sean
    SEC Digital Network


    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- –
    In joining the Southeastern Conference, both Missouri and Texas A&M bring with them a storied history and a rich tradition. Included in that lore is a strong track record of success in women’s athletics that fits perfectly with the broad-based excellence that has become a trademark of the SEC.

    Both the Aggies and the Tigers have established a wide variety of successful women’s athletics programs.

    Texas A&M, which captured the 2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, has made nine all-time NCAA Tournament appearances in basketball and has claimed three all-time national championships in the sport of softball. The Aggies also have two national titles to their credit in equestrian, as they become one of four SEC programs to sponsor the sport of equestrian, the conference’s 21st sport beginning this upcoming academic year.

    Missouri has made six appearances in the Women’s College World Series in softball, including three consecutive appearances from 2009-2011. The Tigers also have appeared in nine NCAA Tournaments in women’s basketball and 10 such appearances in volleyball. Missouri will become the eighth member of the SEC in the sport of gymnastics this year.

    Below is a timeline looking at the storied women’s athletics history of both Missouri and Texas A&M.

    Sponsored Women’s Sports

    Missouri: Basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball.

    Texas A&M: Basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball.

    Missouri and Texas A&M Women’s Athletics Timeline

    1974: Texas A&M begins competing in the sport of women’s basketball.

    1975:
    Missouri begins competing in the sport of women’s basketball.

    1978: Under the direction of head coach Dr. Joann Rutherford, the Missouri women’s basketball team wins the Big Eight Conference Championship for the first time in program history. The Tigers went on to win three league titles during their time in the Big Eight (1984 and 1990), all under Rutherford’s direction.

    1982: Missouri makes its first of five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship after posting a 24-9 overall record. The Tigers have made nine all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

    1982: Missouri makes its first of 23 NCAA Regional appearances in the sport of gymnastics. Since 2002, the Tigers have advanced to NCAA Regional action every season.

    1982: Texas A&M wins its first national title in the sport of softball, claiming the AIAW National Championship in its fourth try at the AIAW World Series.

    1983: Just a year after claiming its first AIAW national title in softball, Texas A&M captures the 1983 NCAA Championship in the sport. It would be the first of two NCAA Championships for the Aggies in softball, as they also won again in 1987.

    1983: Missouri softball makes its first of six Women’s College World Series appearances. The Tigers also would participate in the WCWS in 1991, 1994, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

    1993: Texas A&M began competing in the sport of women’s soccer.

    1994: Texas A&M makes its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, finishing as regional semifinalists and tallying a 23-8 overall record. It would be the first of nine all-time NCAA Tournament appearances for the Aggies.

    1995: Under the direction of first-year head coach Candi Harvey, the Texas A&M women’s basketball program posted a 21-9 overall record and captured the National Women’s Invitation Tournament Championship.

    1995: Texas A&M makes its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship and the Aggies have appeared in the NCAA Tournament every season since then.

    1996: Missouri began competing in the sport of women’s soccer.

    1998: The Texas A&M women’s golf program won its first of four Big 12 Championships. The Aggies would win again in 2006, 2007 and 2010.

    1999: Texas A&M begins competing in the sport of equestrian.

    1999: Missouri makes its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.

    1999: The Texas A&M volleyball team advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history. It was a feat that the 2001 team also matched the program’s best-ever NCAA finish.

    2000: Texas A&M women’s basketball player Kera Alexander is named a First-Team Academic All-America selection by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

    2000: Former Texas A&M volleyball player Stacy Sykora became the program’s first-ever Olympian, competing in both the 2000 and 2004 Games.  

    2000: The Missouri volleyball program made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It would be the first of eight consecutive NCAA appearances for the Tigers and the first of 10 overall.

    2002: Texas A&M captures its first national title in the sport of equestrian, winning both the overall title and the Western national title. It would be the first of two overall national titles for the Aggies, who also won in 2012.

    2003: The Texas A&M women’s tennis program won its only Big 12 Championship.

    2004: The Texas A&M women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 after winning its first-ever Big 12 Tournament Championship. The Aggies tallied a 24-8 overall record.

    2005: Gary Blair, then the head coach at Arkansas, is hired away from the Razorbacks to lead the Texas A&M women’s basketball program. It would be the spark of a brilliant resurrection of an Aggies program that had not experienced a winning season since 1995-96.

    2005: The Missouri women’s golf team made its first-ever appearance at the NCAA Championships, placing 16th overall.

    2007: The Texas A&M women’s basketball team wins its first-ever Big 12 Conference Championships, recording a 25-7 overall record and a 13-3 tally in league play to tie Oklahoma for the crown.

    2009: The Texas A&M women’s track and field team won what would be the first of three consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships, claiming their first such title in Fayetteville, Ark.

    2009: The Missouri women’s soccer team won its first-ever Big 12 Championship. It was the first league crown for the Tigers since the softball program won in 1997.

    2011: Head coach Gary Blair directs the Texas A&M women’s basketball team to its first-ever national championship, defeating Notre Dame 76-70 in the title tilt in Indianapolis. Danielle Adams and Tyra White are named to the All-Final Four Team.

    2011:
    Texas A&M’s Jessica Beard claimed The Bowerman, the highest honor for a collegiate track and field athlete. As a senior, she completed a sweep of the 400m NCAA title, indoor and outdoor, and anchored the Aggies to school-record victories in the NCAA 4x400m relays.