DURHAM, N.C. – Former Duke women’s basketball and ACC Legend Lorraine “Woody” Woodyard passed away May 17 at the age of 89.
Woodyard arrived at Duke University in 1954 as an instructor in the women's physical education department. During her 40-year tenure she reached the rank of associate professor in physical education, assistant director of athletics and coordinator of women’s athletics. Woodyard was the first woman to hold this title at Duke University.
Later Woodyard and Calla Raynor, also a member of the physical education department, founded the Duke women’s basketball program in 1968.
Both Woodyard and Raynor were honored in 2008 as ACC women’s basketball legends as the duo are credited as driving forces in the growth of women’s athletics, not only at Duke, but throughout the state of North Carolina.
Woodyard was born in 1929 in Washington D.C., later living in Arlington, Va., where she attended public schools. She attended Madison College, now James Madison University, where she graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. Woodyard taught at Waynesboro High School in Waynesboro from 1951-53.
She attended Women's College, now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and received her Masters of Education in 1954 prior to arriving at Duke.
Woodyard served on the Lakewood YMCA Board for several years. As a member of the Duke University Retiree's Outreach Program, she was a volunteer tutor at Lakewood Elementary School. She was also a member of the James B. Duke Society.