Dorothy Middaugh Wallace.jpg

Dorothy Middaugh Wallace (Memorial Scholarship)

In 1941, Dorothy McAdams graduated from Salinas Junior College (SJC) but returned in 1955 as Mrs. Dorothy Middaugh then raising three young children. Much had changed (including the name of the college to Hartnell). Yet much still needed to change for the Women’s Athletic Program and Middaugh was up to the task. For several years she was the only woman in the athletic department but she said that Ed Adams, Athletics Director, was very supportive of efforts to advance women’s sports.

At Hartnell, she taught and coached field hockey, softball, basketball, tennis, archery, dance, badminton, swimming, and diving. During her tenure at Hartnell, she was never paid a stipend for all the extra hours put into coaching women’s teams. “I did whatever was needed to help women athletes compete,” Middaugh said. “Never really thinking about doing [it] for money.”

She even taught the first Water Safety Instruction (WSI) courses at the YMCA pool for Hartnell. For over a decade she taught the only courses in the area to certify Lifeguards. When the men’s swimming and diving team started a qualified coach was needed and Middaugh came to the rescue. But because she could not go into the men’s locker room, a male coach had to attend swim meets and it was he, not she, who was paid.

During an era when women’s sports were ‘allowed’ but not officially sanctioned, Middaugh often had to ‘beg’ the Board of Trustees, not for funds, but simply for ‘permission’ to go to another college to compete. In spite of all this, Middaugh’s field hockey and basketball teams were at one time or another NorCal champs. One year she was recognized as NorCal Coach of the Year for Women’s Basketball and with help from Helga Buss, she organized the California Field Hockey Association.
She is a Salinas native, graduated from Lincoln Elementary, Central Grammar School (now Washington Middle School), Salinas High, and SJC/Hartnell. At SJS she was awarded the American Legion Award for citizenship and was SJS yearbook editor in 1940-41 among other accomplishments. She went on to earn a BA and MA in education from Stanford University. To top it off, all 3 of her children (Michael, Mary, and Marcia) attended Hartnell.

A tireless worker both at the college & statewide, Middaugh was instrumental in decision making for the ‘new’ gym and Olympic-size pool (completed in 1973). She was the first PE/ Athletic individual to serve on Hartnell Academic Senate. After Hartnell, she briefly worked at Mills High School in Millbrae where she helped institute Title IX mandates throughout San Mateo County. In 1988, she was inducted into the California Association of Community Colleges Sports Hall of Fame. “Dorothy was truly a dedicated pioneer in women’s sports who inspired women to become coaches and educators,” said Coach Carolyne West, who worked with Middaugh from 1970-72.

Read more from Hartnell College President’s Weekly Report here:


The Dorothy Wallace Scholarship was created by her children, Mike Middaugh, Mary Church and Marcia Maloney, to support student athletes majoring in physical education.