Vignettes about Events & People


Linda Hargrove, a 1970 graduate of Cowley, was one of the winningest coaches in our history.

Linda Hargrove

Linda Hargrove, a 1970 graduate of Cowley, was one of the winningest coaches in the school’s athletic history, compiling a 316-112 (.738) record in 17 seasons as head women’s basketball coach (1972-1989). During her tenure, the Lady Tigers won 20 or more games in each of 10 seasons, captured 10 Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division titles, and won four Region VI Championships. In 1987, she was named National Coach of the Year. She also was named Region VI Coach of the Year four times. Hargrove’s 1988-89 squad (25-8 record) was the last Cowley women’s basketball team to qualify for nationals.


Hargrove also coached four basketball All-Americans during her career at Cowley: Peaches Harris (1988), Pam Fritz (1987), Barb Rausch (1982), and Pam Mattingly (1980).


But basketball wasn’t the only sport she coached at Cowley. She coached the volleyball team from 1972-1985. She guided the Lady Tiger spikers to a Region VI Championship in 1978, and a Sub-Region VI Championship in 1979, as well as division titles in 1981 and 1985. Hargrove also was the first softball coach at Cowley as the program began in 1977. During her Cowley coaching career, she also served as cheerleading sponsor.


From Cowley, Hargrove jumped to NCAA Division I, becoming only the fourth head women’s basketball coach in the history of Wichita State University. There, she quickly became the most successful WSU coach ever. Compiling 113 wins at WSU, Hargrove (113-136, .454) became WSU’s all-time winningest coach during the 1994-95 season. In her nine seasons at the helm of the Shockers, WSU qualified for five Missouri Valley Conference Tournaments after joining the conference in 1992, a feat never accomplished by the previous three coaches. During the 1996-1997, Hargrove led the Shockers on a memorable run as they rose to the occasion en route to a 17-12 record. Despite a 9-9 conference record and a sixth-place regular-season finish, the Shockers put together a string of wins and played in their first-ever Valley Tournament championship game, falling to Drake 78-59. Like her predecessors, Hargrove coached several of WSU’s 1,000-point scorers.


After nine seasons, Hargrove resigned during the spring of 1998 to become the head coach of the Colorado Xplosion of the now-defunct American Basketball League.


Most recently, she served three years as general manager and head coach of the Portland (Ore.) Fire of the Women’s National Basketball Association.


As an athlete, the former Linda Adams, a Udall, Kan., native, was a standout. Track and field was her specialty. She competed in the long jump, 80-meter hurdles, and the 4x100-meter relay at the 1964 Olympic Trials in Los Angeles. She also established a national high school record in the hurdles that she didn’t find out about until her high school coach told her nearly three years later. She is credited with starting the women’s track program at Cowley during her freshman year, 1968-69. With the financial backing of then President Dr. Gwen Nelson, Adams and about seven other athletes fielded a track team. In fact, those eight individuals went to a meet at Oklahoma State University and won.


Adams also chaired the drive for a bond issue to build a new campus, and she served Cowley as director of admissions. In February 2000, Hargrove and nine other former Cowley athletes and coaches were inducted into the first class of the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame.

[Back to History Table of Contents]