50 Years of Title IX: Tanica Jamison

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This month of June The University of Houston Department of Athletics recognizes, celebrates, and promotes the 50th anniversary of Title IX on its social media platforms and website with features, highlights, and accomplishments from and by female coaches and administrators.

Tanica Jamisson, head coach of the Houston swim and dive team, has spent much of his life in sports. Having been around the pool since her youth and student-athlete years, Jamison arrived in Houston with a massive and outstanding resume. In her freshman year with the Cougars, Jamison led Houston to its sixth straight American Athletic Conference tournament title while also winning the All-American Female Swim Coach of the Year award. Prior to Houston, Jamison spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M from 2011-2015 before being promoted to associate head coach from 2016-2021. A native of Monongahela, Penn., Jamison earned a scholarship complete to swim at the University of Texas from 2000 to 2003, garnering 11 All-American honors and winning two NCAA championships with a Team MVP award in 2003. While at College Station, Jamison managed to help 133 swimmers and divers to achieve NCAA qualifying, including six becoming NCAA Individual Champions. To celebrate and reflect on the last half-century of Title IX, we reached out to Jamison to learn more about the impact the bill has had on his life.



Houston Athletics: What does Title IX mean to you?

Tanica Jamisson: When I think about what Title IX means to me, it means opportunity and equality. I recently read Pat Summitt’s book, “Sum it Up”. It was a glimpse into the start of her successful coaching career, but also a glimpse into her experiences as they embarked on their early years playing with the Title IX. It really put into perspective where women’s athletics started, how it has developed and how much growth is needed.

UH: What do you think are the misconceptions about Title IX?

TJ: I think some of the misconceptions I’ve heard are that Title IX only applies to athletics, that Title IX requires men’s athletic programs to be scrapped (this is at the discretion of each university , I believe), and that Title IX only protects the rights of women. Title IX protects all genres.



UH: How would you describe the effect of Title IX on your life?Phil Hansel Invitational - University of Houston

TJ: Title IX gave me the opportunity to receive a full scholarship to continue competing at the highest level in the sport I loved, while providing an education and ultimately an undergraduate degree. Without Title IX, when it comes to athletic scholarships, it would have been difficult for me to afford college, let alone be able to continue competing.



UH: What impact did sport have on your childhood?

TJ: I am an athlete, although I am not defined by my athletic abilities, it is part of who I am. Growing up, I loved watching and playing a lot of sports. My twin sister and I played and competed all the time, there weren’t many days in our youth when we weren’t active doing something outside, on the court or in the pool. Sport has helped me gain confidence, it has helped me learn from my successes and my failures, it has taught me how to communicate with my teammates and my coaches and, above all, it has helped me to become the leader I am today.



2022 S&D Conference ChampionsUH: How important was teaching you Title IX when you were younger compared to how it is emphasized and taught today?

TJ: Title IX, I believe, matters more today than ever, highlighted by our student-athletes across the country. We understood what Title IX was like as a student-athlete, and the paths others have laid down for us as we compete. As I mentioned earlier, Title IX has opened doors for women’s athletics, but there’s still a long way to go.



UH: How much do you think women’s sports and opportunities in this area have increased as a result of Title IX?

TJ: When it comes to my role and other women who are head coaches of their programs, I believe there are more opportunities for women to lead more than ever. I really hope this trend continues and we see more women leading programs in all sports and all divisions. I am a firm believer in representation. Representation matters!

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