There was some good in 2020: Top women's sports stories in the Year of COVID
To 2020 I say good riddance ... but not before revisiting some important women's sports stories.
A big first: Kim Ng, first hired in baseball by the White Sox as an intern in 1990, was named the general manager of the Miami Marlins in November, becoming the first female general manger in Major League Baseball history.
Ng eventually became assistant director of baseball operations and held that position until she left Chicago in 1996. She moved to the American League offices to become director of waivers and records, where she approved all transactions.
By 1998, Ng was the assistant general manager of the New York Yankees and then moved across country in 2002 to take over as assistant general manager with the Los Angeles Dodgers. She was there until 2011 when she was named senior vice president of baseball operations for MLB. She was in that position until the Marlins called.
Said Dan Fabian, senior director of baseball operations for the Sox, who sat in the cubicle next to Ng during her early days with the White Sox: "You always knew that Kim had the ability for this, she just needed the right opportunity."
DePaul's Main Man: The late Ray Meyer, the longtime men's basketball coach at DePaul, was Doug Bruno's college coach and a formative mentor. Bruno, the longtime women's basketball coach, has passed Meyer on a very important list.
In December he became DePaul's all-time winningest basketball coach, men's or women's, when the Blue Demons upset Kentucky.
That gave Bruno, in year 35, 725 career wins, one more than Meyer had in 42 years.
"I don't really think of the numbers too much because I try to stay in the moment," Bruno said. "But all of those numbers are a function of a supportive administration, great assistant coaches and great players. We can't do it without the players."
End of an era: Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul's athletic director the last 18 years, announced her retirement in June as she engages in another fight against breast cancer. She was one of just 31 female ADs in Division I athletics.
Almost there: The Chicago Red Stars came away with a familiar result in 2020 -- runner-up in the National Women's Soccer League championship, just as they did in 2019. Maybe the third time will be the charm in 2021. A championship would be the first in franchise history.
Getting defensive: Known throughout her career for offensive prowess, former Naperville Central great Candace Parker got her defense on last summer in the WNBA's Bubble in Florida.
Parker was named defensive player of the year for the first time in 13 seasons in which she has won league MVP twice, rookie of the year and also the finals MVP.
"I took it (defense) as a challenge this year," Parker said. "The reputation thing ... I really don't want to be known as just an offensive player."
College basketball: Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw announced her retirement after 33 years and two NCAA championships. In her 33 years, Notre Dame had been to 10 Final Fours and finished national runner-up five times.
Villanova coach Harry Perretta retired after 42 years.
WNBA: In the Bubble in Florida, Seattle and Sue Bird swept Las Vegas 3-0 to win their fourth championship in franchise history.
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