Distinguished Alumni 2004
Jan Watson graduated from Winthrop College in 1964 and took her first teaching job in Newport News, Va. In 1966 she enrolled in the masters of arts program at Appalachian State University completing the degree in 1967. Boone, N.C. and Appalachian State would be her home for the next 32 years. While coaching and teaching at ASU, Jan completed her Ed.D. degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1980. Dr. Watson was a pioneer in women’s athletics. She was a founding member of the North Carolina Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women and the Deep South Field Hockey Association. A successful field hockey coach at ASU, Jan provided leadership to the U.S. Field Hockey Association holding several offices and acting as site director for the U.S. Olympic Development Camp. Thousands of young women were influenced by her leadership and coaching on her teams, at camps, at clinics, and in classrooms. Her service to AIAW included North Carolina State President, chair of the Ethics and Eligibility Committee, and membership on the national Budget Committee. In 1984, Dr. Watson received the Fanny Homer Memorial Award from the Deep South Field Hockey Association in recognition of her contributions to women’s sports and the USFHA honored her in 1993. Governor James Martin honored her in 1987 for her contributions to women in sport. Jan Watson’s professionalism and dedication are exemplified by her teaching career at ASU. She provided leadership and guidance in the professional preparation program and in recognition of her contributions ASU named her the Outstanding Teacher in 1998. She was active in the Southern Association of Physical Education for College Women, Southern District of AAHPERD, and North Carolina AAHPERD. She received an ASU Presidential Citation in 1989 and an Honor Award from NCAHPERD in 1985. As noted on her retirement – “Jan C. Watson has truly been a professional in the teaching and coaching fields, and her energy, wisdom, and dedication have left their mark on these professions. Words alone can not adequately describe her unselfish service to Appalachian and its students.” Dr. Watson’s unselfish service to generations of young women seeking sporting opportunities had a national impact. She was indeed a pioneer, breaking barriers in the sporting world.