by Dennis Dalman – firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to sports and Title IX women’s rights, Janna LaFountaine has achieved a long-time steady series of goals that brought her this year’s “Breaking Barriers Award” from the College of St. Benedict.
LaFountaine and others will be recognized during the CSB Blazer basketball game vs. Concordia at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Claire Lynch Gymnasium on the CSB campus. Feb. 6 is “National Girls and Women in Sports Day.” All girls and women wearing a sports jersey will be admitted free to the game.
LaFountaine is an associate professor and coaching-education advisor for CSB. She is also the coordinator for the sports management of the Coventry, England University Exchange Program. She has served at CSB since 2000.
LaFountaine has a long and distinguished, award-winning career in sports and education. She received a bachelor’s degree in physical education, health education and coaching from Gustavus Adolphus University in 1981 and a master’s degree in health education from St. Cloud State University in 1990.
Her fields of study and expertise include coaching methods, sports administration, gender and sports, sport ethics, and culture and sports. She has participated as a speaker in dozens of conferences throughout the nation and has written many scholarly articles on virtually every subject that impinges on sports and women in sports. She is an authority on the importance of Title IX, a law passed in 1972 as part of the federal Opportunity in Education Act that greatly expanded school athletic programs to participation by girls and women.
LaFountaine has 19 years of high school coaching experience, 11 years as an adjunct professor at SCSU and five years as a college coach.
LaFountaine excelled as a high school and college gymnast. She was a gymnastic’s contender for the 1976 Olympics but was deemed “too tall” to make the team. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus, she coached gymnastics at Apollo High School for 15 years, as well as other coaching duties that included swimming and softball. During those years, LaFountaine was a tireless supporter of girls’ sports, mentored many gymnastic judges and advocated often for equal sporting opportunities for girls and women.
At CSB, starting in 2002, she taught and coached the tennis program for five years and was recognized by the MIAC as “Coach of the Year,” with her team having finished second place and one other player making “All-American” status.
As a professor, LaFountaine has expanded a curriculum that includes a study of the interrelationships among gender, culture and sports. She presented a short-course program on those subjects for a class in London, England. LaFountaine is also known for her research into wellness factors in first-year collegiate female student-athletes.
LaFountaine and her husband, Mike, have three children. They live in St. Cloud.