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Fifty Years Forward Celebration Banquet Presenters Announced

Aug 23, 2022

Utah Athletics will honor women in sports at the University of Utah and the 50th anniversary of Title IX with a Fifty Years Forward Celebration Banquet on Friday, Sept. 30. The evening begins with a social hour and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. in the Kem & Carolyn Gardner Legacy Hall. A dinner and program will follow at 7:00 p.m. on the floor of the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
 
Former and current Utah administrators, coaches and student-athletes will be in attendance, joined by numerous friends and supporters of Ute women's athletics. The event will be emceed by KUTV-TV 2 morning news anchor Mary Nickles, who played volleyball at Lewis-Clark State College and competed professionally for the Utah Predators.
 
Charmelle Green, Utah's Deputy Athletics Director for Internal Operations and COO, will open the program. Green was a two-time All-American softball player with the Utes, leading the team to the 1991 College World series, before coaching at Utah, Colorado State, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. She transitioned into athletics administration at Notre Dame and worked 10 years at Penn State before returning to her alma mater.
 
Athletics Director Mark Harlan will close the program with his remarks and reflections on 50 years of Title IX. Harlan has guided Utah's 20-sport athletics program to comprehensive success in the classroom, competition and the community over the course of his four-plus years in Salt Lake City. He has nearly 30 years of intercollegiate athletics experience at five different universities, and was previously the A.D. at South Florida.

The program will feature an outstanding group of presenters.
 
Elaine Elliott
Head coach of the Utah women's basketball team for 27 seasons from 1983-2010. Had a 582-234 (.713) career record and led the Utes to the NCAA Tournament 15 times, including the Sweet 16 in 2001 and the Elite Eight in 2006. Also guided Utah to 14 regular-season conference titles. Four-sport athlete was the first woman inducted into Boise State's Athletics Hall of Fame.
 
Jo Evans
All-conference softball player at Utah from 1979-82 and returned as head coach from 1990-96 with a 222-143 (.608) record, four NCAA Tournaments and two College World Series appearances. Head coach at Texas A&M from 1997-2022 and recently took over at UC Santa Barbara. Ranks 11th in the NCAA for career wins with a 1300-714-2 (.644) record.
 
Maya LeBar
Senior on the Ute track & field team. Native of Spokane, Wash., majoring in political science with an emphasis in law and politics. Has been part of the school-record-setting 4x100 meter relay team. Also ranks second in the 55 meters, third in the 60 meters and third in the 200 meters indoors. Member of the athletic department's UTAH group (United Together Against Hate).
 
Beth Launiere
In her 33rd season as the Ute volleyball head coach and has taken the program to 18 NCAA Tournaments, including six in a row. Utah has advanced to the Sweet 16 four times under Launiere, most recently in 2019, and has finished third in the Pac-12 the past two years. Four-time AVCA West Region Coach of the Year. Graduated from Aquinas College.
 
Megan Marsden
The former Megan McCunniff was three-time national champion gymnast with the Red Rocks from 1981-84, winning two all-around titles. Remained with the program as a member of the coaching staff and was elevated to co-head coach in 2009. Competed for four national championship teams and has been a part of all 10 of Utah's national titles.
 
Utah Athletics has been producing a Fifty Years Forward content series over the summer months. To access the feature stories, social posts and more details on the Fifty Years Forward Celebration Banquet, click here.