The Ohio State Buckeyes athletics community is mourning the loss of a legendary figure on Monday.
Phyllis Bailey, one of the biggest driving forces in the advancement of women's sports, died peacefully over the weekend, Ohio State announced.
"By the time Bailey was named an Assistant Athletics Director in 1975 and shortly thereafter, Ohio State’s Department of Athletics featured 12 women’s sports: Basketball, Gymnastics, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Softball, Tennis, Cross Country, Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming and Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field," Ohio State writes.
"Bailey’s efforts in advancing female student-athlete participation did not just impact Ohio State student-athletes, but women nationwide. Bailey helped oversee the 1971 establishment of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, which organized and recognized female intercollegiate competition for the first time. The passing of Title IX in 1972 and the acceptance of women in the NCAA in 1981 resulted in a restructure of the Ohio State Athletics Department with Bailey appointed the first administrator over women’s athletics."
Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith paid tribute to Bailey on social media.
"RIP an icon. I thank her for all the tutoring she provided me when I was a young Athletics Director in 1986. She will be missed,' he tweeted.
Our thoughts are with Bailey's friends and family members on Monday.
May she rest in peace.