Lu Wallace Staff Bio | Gymnastics Coach

Lu Wallace

1998 Hall of Fame Inductee

Through 39 years of service to the university, Lu Wallace has demonstrated a quiet efficiency and an unwavering determination to improve athletic opportunities for female athletes.

Lu came to BYU as a physical education teacher in 1956 and continued to teach a wide variety of classes through the early 1990s. She also coached the women's gymnastics team from 1963 to 1976, leading the Cougars to eight ICCWPE titles.

A national judge of local, state, and regional U.S. Gymnastics Federation meets, she designed numerous judges' tests for national certification in gymnastics. She has also served on committees at conference, regional, and national levels, including the NCAA Division I Volleyball Committee and the USGF Test Administrator and Certification Committee.

As an administrator of women's athletics, Wallace became the chief architect in building BYU's sports program to national prominence. Since the early 1970s when Title IX began its impact on intercollegiate athletics, she had helped to lead and develop BYU's emerging program with discernment, integrity, and humor.

During her administration BYU has dominated the Intermountain Athletic Conference, the High Country Athletic Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference. Each of the nine sports under her supervision placed in th enation's top 15 at least once, with several teams regularly placing in the top 10 and the top five.

The coaches Lu supervised during her time at BYU received national, regional, and league honors; more than 100 athletes were named to athletic and academic All-America teams or won national academic awards or scholarships; and eight athletes won national individual titles.

Wallace herself has won many accolades. In 1965 she received the Utah Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Service Award. In 1980, 25 years of volunteer service brought her the Red Cross commemorative pin. In 1986 she was chosen to light the Y, and in 1994 she was inducted into the Utah Summer Games' Hall of Honor.

In the spring of 1995, shortly after announcing her retirement from BYU, she was honored with the prestigious Dale Rex Memorial Award for her contributions to amateur athletics in the state of Utah. Later that year she was inducted into the Utah Network for Girls and Women in Sport Hall of Fame and was named the District IV Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.

A desire for accuracy and organization led Lu to begin compiling the historical records for each women's sport at BYU. It is a project she continues to work on now, even though she has retired.

An Idaho native, she received a bachelor's degree from Utah State University and an MS from Washington State University, and she has done postgraduate work at the University of Nevada-Reno. She holds the rank of full athletic professional at BYU, a title that describes Lu Wallace perfectly.