40 in 40 - Dee Dustin Cole
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, wmubroncos.com takes a look at 40 key moments/females in the history of women's athletics at Western Michigan University. Though the selection process, an effort was made to highlight a moment and player/coach from each of our current women's sports programs, as well pay respect to our women's legacy sports. A different feature will be released each of the 40 days, July 24 through Sept. 1.
Dee (Dustin) Cole
Basketball 1966-68; Bowling 1964;
Field Hockey 1964-67; Tennis 1965; Volleyball 1966-68
WMU Athletic Hall of Fame: 1990
Dee (Dustin) Cole was an all-around athlete and virtually dipped her hand in every sport while at Western Michigan, lettering in five sports, basketball, bowling, field hockey, tennis and volleyball.
Inducted into WMU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, only one other Hall of Famer (male or female) lettered in as many sports as Dustin Cole - Sharon Miller, a 1991 inductee.
Dustin Cole and Miller's prowess was reflective of the time, opportunities in athletics were being opened to women, and these two took full advantage.
Many other women played multiple sports in this era, as putting together a roster was sometimes hard to do. Due to a lack of participation because of prior limitations, female athletes that stood out in one sport were recruited to play other sports (in the sense that they were asked to join other teams at the university, not "recruiting" as we know it today - going outside the university to find athletes).
Where Dustin Cole really made a name for herself was in field hockey, where she was selected to three Great Lakes Sectional All-Star field hockey teams and was a member of the 1966 US National Team. While on the Great Lakes Sectional teams, Dustin Cole also played in international matches from 1966-1973 and was the leading scorer for the United States on the Jamaican tour.
On the hardwood, Dustin Cole was the Bronco basketball team's leading scorer in 1968, earning her a Second Team ARMFCW recognition.
After her playing days, Dustin Cole went on to teach and coach four sports at Parchment High School. Her basketball teams won five KVA championships, three district titles and two regional finals, and she finished with an astonishing career record of 108-7. Her 1976 volleyball team won the first ever Michigan High School Athletic Association state championship.
In 1998, Dustin Cole was recognized by Western Michigan for her progress of girls and women in athletic endeavors.
"We want to note the achievements of women in the area of sports," said Dr. Debra S. Berkey, chairperson of the WMU Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at the time. "Usually when people think about these accomplishments, they think about the athletes. There are so many more dimensions, when you take into account the contributions made to the development of sports over the years by coaches, administrators, trainers, boosters and others."