In 1998 one of the greatest women in the history of area athletics passed away, Bunny Daugherty. Despite her passing Daugherty’s legacy remains with us and will forever. I know this undoubtedly because of not only the work that she did but the lives that she touched.
A standout coach at Sacred Heart Daugherty made a name for herself as one of the biggest and most respected champions for girls’/women’s athletics not only regionally but nationally as well.
Daugherty worked to establish positive athletic opportunities for girls in a number of sports, despite the inherit prejudice that she faced. Armed with the simple philosophy that girls should be able to compete just as boys, Daugherty’s coaching record remained impressive winning thirteen state championships in four different sports.
More than that though, Daugherty meant so much to so many female athletes and to the athletic community. This is typified by The Girls’ Louisville Invitation Tournament (basketball) and the Apple Tournament (field hockey) both of which came out of in large part the sweat and determination of Daugherty. In fact Daugherty and Joyce Seymour paid out of their own pockets many of the initial fees associated with the Girl’s LIT in those early years.
In a 49-year coaching career Daugherty worked with basketball, field hockey, volleyball, track and field, golf, tennis, gymnastics and swimming, with all of these sports Daugherty coached over two hundred seasons of athletics.
In 2011 Daugherty was posthumously inducted into the Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame, and with her legacy it’s easy to see why.
Image courtesy of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame