Kathy Hemion
Pacific Lutheran University  
Coach Basketball/ Volleyball/ Softball 
Kathy Hemion has earned the Doug McArthur Lifetime Achievement Award for
her body of work as an elite athlete and coach in multiple sports.

Kathy’s knack for coaching began well before she stood on the sidelines whether it
was in basketball, volleyball, softball and even tennis and synchronized swimming
in college. A Lakes High School and Western Washington University graduate,
Kathy tried just about any sport available and turned out to be one of the best all-
around female athletes in Pierce County history. In her spare time, she even found
time to referee collegiate basketball for several seasons.

It was on the basketball court where she made her biggest impact. During four
seasons at WWU, Kathy, a forward, helped the Vikings advance to the AIAW
National tournament in 1973 and ‘74. She held the school records for most
rebounds in a game (24) and season (12.3 avg.), and earned a tryout with the U.S.
Women’s Pan American Games team. Her success on the court resulted in her
induction into the WWU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982. She was later named to
the WWU All-Century Women’s Basketball team in 2000.

Upon graduating in 1974, Kathy returned to her hometown and picked up
slowpitch softball, playing the outfield for Spud’s Pizza, McKnight’s Foods, and
B&I Sports. While playing for McKnight’s, Kathy earned the Women’s Region 31
tournament MVP honors when she finished with an .875 batting average, seven
home runs and 18 RBIs. In 1994, Hemion was honored with her induction into the
USSSA Slowpitch Hall of Fame in Washington.

Along with softball, Hemion was active in volleyball and basketball leagues. She
came by her athletic prowess naturally as brothers, Whit, Jr., and Dave, were also
top local slowpitch players who also played basketball at WWU.

Kathy taught PE classes at PLU and also built a strong coaching resume with the
Lutes where she guided the women’s basketball program from 1975-85, coaching
the team to a national tournament berth in 1980 and an 18-win season in 1982. She
also coached the volleyball team for 10 years and softball for two seasons. She also
served as the Women’s Athletic Director at PLU for one year.

Kathy said she is “grateful for all the opportunities and all (the) people I played
with and against,” and for the love and support of her family.
Kathy did not limit herself to playing and coaching. As a special education teacher,
she had the compassion and training to work with children who needed a special
touch. She spent 28½ years teaching special education at self-contained sites not
on school campuses for middle school and high school students in the Tacoma
School District prior to retirement.