Debbie Powers grew up in Indiana in the ‘50s and ‘60s as a gifted athlete with an unrelenting passion for sports. She mastered her skills on the playgrounds against boys because there were no teams for girls. Playing basketball at Indiana University finally gave her a taste of organized competition, but also exposed her to the glaring inequities between men’s and women’s sports.

She led IU to the Final Four her senior season and was drafted to play in the first professional women’s basketball league. After the passage of Title IX, she redirected her passion into coaching. She faced a monumental and unprecedented challenge when her high school girls’ volleyball team was forced to play against boys in a dramatic state championship final. Her career in physical education and sports spanned thirty-three years, and included stints as a high school volleyball, basketball and tennis coach, the head women’s basketball coach at Ball State University, a collegiate volleyball and basketball referee, and a radio sports commentator.

She is a co-author of ten editions of a McGraw-Hill textbook titled: A Wellness Way of Life, and recently completed her inspiring memoir, Meeting Her Match, in which she recounts her journey in the world of sports. Her memoir was awarded First Place in the 2014 Royal Palm Literary competition by the Florida Writers Association, and is a 2015 International Book Award Finalist.


Read our Fierce Woman interview with Debbie!