Arriving at the University of Arizona in 1920 as assistant professor of women’s physical education, Ina Gittings claimed she “came to Arizona to teach and find a free environment for my ideas of education. They were ‘advanced’ for my profession and all later accepted as new and valuable.”
Born on Jan. 14, 1885, in Wilbur, Nebraska, Ina Estelle Gittings said her mother’s exasperated efforts to make a lady of her were undermined by her four older brothers, who kept drafting their little sister to participate in baseball games.
In high school, she played on the girls’ basketball team and won a state championship. At the time, girls played sports in long skirts until bloomers were allowed. Ina graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1906 with a degree in physical education.