Former UNW faculty member and coach honored at National Girls and Women in Sports Day

By Greg Johnson on Friday, February 4, 2022

ST. PAUL – Former University of Northwestern-St. Paul (UNW) faculty member and academic administrator Barb Lindman was honored as part of a ceremony that commemorated National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) on February 2. Lindman, a past recipient of Northwestern’s Buckles-Hanna Distinguished Service Award a member of the UNW Athletics Hall of Fame since 2017, was recognized by the Minnesota NGWSD chapter with the Special Merit Award. The award is given to individuals who demonstrated the highest level of commitment to taking action that ensured opportunities for girls and women in sport.

As a female growing up in central Minnesota in the 1960s, Lindman was not entitled to opportunities to compete in organized athletic competition. Upon starting college, Lindman realized her ability to play and love for sports, prompting her to advocate for future opportunities for girls and women as an athlete, coach, and administrator. Barb, who would later become Dr. Lindman after earning a Ph.D. in Educational Administration, joined the physical education faculty at Northwestern in 1972 before starting (and coaching) three women’s sports—basketball, softball, and volleyball—later that decade. Lindman went on to serve as UNW’s women’s athletic director and department chair before rising to the ranks of dean, senior dean, and interim provost.

At the recognition ceremony at the Minnesota History Center, Lindman reflected on her experiences and the future opportunities that lie ahead for girls and women in sport. She shared a story of the single official leather volleyball that her first team had, and how it needed to be saved for use in games, rather than practice sessions. In her acceptance speech, Dr. Lindman also gave a nod to the network of coaches and athletics directors who advocated for women’s sports: “I’m just one representative of all of those people back then who helped to pave the way for the opportunities girls and women in sports enjoy today and that Title IX intended. We were working to gain respect and a seat at the table.”

The event was organized by the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership, a volunteer group whose mission is to advocate for Title IX, by celebrating and commemorating Minnesota individuals and organizations that inspire the participation of girls and women in sports. National Girls and Women in Sports Day is celebrated annually in all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies, and other celebratory activities. NGWSD was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1986 to recognize the achievements of girls and women in sports and to encourage all females to participate in sports and fitness activities. More information about the Minnesota chapter can be found at NGWSD-MN.com.


University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) is a nondenominational Christian university in St. Paul, Minn. With a biblical worldview integrated into all programs, UNW provides a unique educational experience for students who want to combine faith and education. Northwestern offers 75+ areas of undergraduate study, seven master’s degrees, and online and early college programs. Northwestern Media, a ministry of the university, owns and operates 23 Christian radio stations throughout the Midwest with a total listenership of more than 1.35 million listeners. Visit unwsp.edu for more information.