Peninsula High School / Pacific Lutheran High School
When we look at the all-encompassing world of sports in 2017, it can be easy to forget things haven’t always been this way. It took the hard work, dedication and perseverance of a great number of pioneers to bring us to where we are today. Angie Eichholtz is one of those pioneers. Growing up pre-Title IX, she attended Ford Junior High and Peninsula High School. At each of those schools, she remembers playing a very primitive form of basketball through Pierce County Parks, with half-court rules, three players on the court per team and only two dribbles allowed. Eichholtz found her way into a variety of sports, including track and field meets at Lincoln Bowl hosted by Metro Parks, synchronized swimming and field hockey at Pacific Lutheran University. Her passion for sports – and the fact that fellow Tacoma-native Kaye Hall was competing – prompted her to travel to Mexico for the 1968 Olympics. There she became a huge volleyball fan, adding yet another sport to her lengthy resume of involvement. After graduating from PLU with a Health and Physical Education degree in 1969, Eichholtz took a job at Peninsula teaching swimming and PE and coaching track and swimming. Due to the condemned status of the gymnasium, she taught her PE classes in the old bus garage, yet another example of how hindrances never seemed to hold her back. Eichholtz proceeded to coach swimming, volleyball, track and field and basketball at a variety of schools, all while raising a family. She also found time to become a certified track and field official, helping form the TPCT&F Officials Association and acting as the assigning secretary for eight years. And we can’t forget that she also served as meet director for all high school and middle school track meets at Lincoln Bowl during that same period in the 1980s and served as co-meet director of Star Track WSHS Track & Field meets. Eichholtz’s resume in any one sport would stand out, but somehow she found the time to contribute pretty much everywhere. She became the first female member of the Tacoma Athletic Commission in 1986 and helped organize the Goodwill Games in 1990. She continued to teach at various schools, including a stint as a counselor at Bates Technical College, before taking over as a part-time bookkeeper at New Lumber & Hardware in Federal Way. In 2009 she made even more history with the Tacoma Athletic Commission as its first female president. Eichholtz’s contributions to South Sound athletics over the past 40-plus years would stretch pages and pages, but she has a few highlights. Perhaps the top one was the trip to the 1968 Olympics and witnessing Kaye Hall win gold and break the 100-yard backstroke record. All of her other highlights include coaching and creating new events and opportunities in sports: STAR TRACK, Double Dribble, Goodwill Games, etc. If you go looking through the history of athletics at numerous local schools and events, it’s a safe bet you’ll find Eichholtz’s name without digging too far. The Doug McArthur Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who capture the true passion for athletics, as demonstrated through participation, promotion or organization. Eichholtz excelled in all three areas as a true pioneer of local sports, and her legacy continues to grow today as a very deserving recipient of the Doug McArthur Lifetime Achievement Award.