QUEENS COLLEGE NAMING FITZGERALD GYM COURT AFTER WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PIONEER AND FORMER HEAD COACH, LUCILLE KYVALLOS
Queens College is embarking on a project to name its basketball court in Fitzgerald Gym “Lucille Kyvallos Court”
Kyvallos, one of the foremost coaches and pioneers in women’s basketball, served as the Queens College women’s basketball coach from 1968-79 and 1980-81, compiling a career record of 239-77, consistently seeing the team ranked among the nation’s best, and helping the sport gain increased attention. Prior to its absorption by the NCAA, the AIAW was the governing body for women’s collegiate sports. Under Coach Kyvallos, Queens College hosted the 1973 AIAW National Championship, finishing second to defending champion, Immaculata College (now University), in front of a standing room only crowd in Fitzgerald Gym.
The event was a breakthrough for the sport, gained national attention, and led to an invitation for Queens to be “home team” for the first women’s collegiate game in Madison Square Garden (before a crowd of 12,000). A “Dean” of women’s basketball, Kyvallos served on committees for the US Olympics, Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), and National Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) organizations. She was the Lady Champion Sportswear “Coach of the Year” in 1976. She also served as the U.S. team’s head coach at the 1977 World University Games. Her collective accomplishments earned her induction into the Queens College Athletics Hall of Fame, West Chester University Hall of Fame, and New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. The 1972-73 women’s basketball team likewise was inducted into the Queens College Athletics Hall of Fame and was the first women’s team inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.