Written by Shelly Poe
Coach Kittie Blakemore was the first women's basketball coach in WVU history and a pioneer in the establishment of Mountaineer women's athletics. Starting the women's basketball program in 1973, she compiled a career record of 301-214 over 19 seasons, including the 1989 Atlantic 10 tournament championship, the 1992 regular season A-10 title and NCAA berths in 1989 and 1992.
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The 1984 and 1992 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, Blakemore was a member of numerous regional, conference and NCAA committees. She brought in co-head coaches Bill Fiske and Scott Harrelson to work with her in improving the basketball program, which produced All-American Rosemary Kosiorek, all-conference players Donna Abbott, Alexis Basil, Olivia Bradley, Jenny Hillen, Cathy Parson and Georgeann Wells, the first player to dunk in a women's collegiate game.
Following her retirement from coaching, she served as WVU's assistant athletic director for sports development and senior women's administrator until her retirement in 1997. She was the 1989 recipient of the Morgantown Touchdown Club's Proficiency Award, the 1992 recipient of the Mary Catherine Buswell Award in recognition for service to WVU women and the 1993 recipient of the Celebrate Women Award from the West Virginia Women's Commission in the field of sports.
Blakemore holds a bachelor's degree from James Madison (1950) and a master's degree from WVU (1961). She started her career at Stratford Junior High in Arlington, Va., then spent six years as a teacher and basketball coach at Fort Meade (Fla.) High before coming to WVU in 1960 as a physical education instructor. Eventually gaining the rank of associate professor, she was named Outstanding Teacher in the School of Physical Education five times. Blakemore has lived in her hometown of Manassas, Va., since her retirement.