40 in 40 - Dr. Christine Hoyles
Dr. Christine Hoyles
WMU Associate AD: 1976-1988, Co-Interim AD: 1984
Tennis Coach: 1974-76
One of the first senior women's administrators at Western Michigan, Dr. Christine (Chris) Hoyles was at the forefront of the enactment of Title IX at WMU, and largely responsible for molding the structure of women's athletics as we know it today.
Hoyles got her start at the university working in the intramural program in the Physical Education Department in 1973, a year after the Title IX bill passed. She later would be appointed Associate Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1976, and served as Co-Interim Athletic Director in 1984. She also served as the head women's tennis coach from 1974 to 1976.
In 1973, then-Athletic Director Dr. Joseph T. Hoy set up a committee to oversee the merger of the athletic department and physical education departments in an attempt organize women's varsity athletics and become Title IX compliant. After sitting on the committee, Hoyles' insight (at the age of 26) impressed Hoy enough to offer her the post of Associate AD in 1976, putting her in charge of the women's varsity programs.
From there, Hoyles carved out objectives as WMU moved towards equality between male and female sports. These objectives included the hiring of full-time women's sport coaches, greater visibility and acceptance of women's programs within the university and community, budget increases, facility accommodations and expansion. Hoyles' efforts helped establish initial aid programs and tuition grants for female athletes (scholarships).
Following a change at the top of the WMU's athletic department in the mid 1980's, Hoyles spent one year as a Co-Interim Athletic Director, alongside Dave Corstange and Pat Clysdale in 1984.
"The move to bring women's sports on an equal basis with the men's program was done more slowly than some would have preferred, but with great care," Hoyles said in a 1988 interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette.
"The first major decision was to name full-time coaches. Funding was placed on the back-burner temporarily. Some schools hired part-time coaches and implemented funding programs, most notably scholarships, and it didn't work out so well.
"When our coaching staff was in place, we then implemented the grant-in-aid program. The first year we awarded tuition-only grants with room and board added the following year."
During her career, Hoyles sat on the National Association of Collegiate Woman Athletics Administrators Board of Directors and the NCAA Academic Requirements Committee and held posts as the former chair of the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee and Commissioner of the Midwest and Michigan Associations for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.
She served as a mentor to current Western Michigan Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard, whom Hoyles first hired as WMU's gymnastics coach in 1976.
Hoyles' tenure at WMU spanned 15 before she left WMU to join the PAC-10 Conference as an Associate Commissioner in 1988.