Lynette Woodard’s AIAW Large School Scoring Record is Surpassed by Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark officially surpassed former Kansas Jayhawk Lynette Woodard (3,649 points), the AIAW large-school best scorer, in the collegiate basketball scoring rankings on Wednesday night after hitting 33 points in Iowa’s 108-60 victory against Minnesota.

In the Hawkeyes’ game against the Golden Gophers in the third quarter, Clark made her 155th 3-pointer of the season, shattering the NCAA women’s single-season record. She went 8 for 14 from 3 at the end of the competition on Wednesday, raising her career total to 156.

Although there was a lot of attention on Clark as she attempted to break the NCAA Division I scoring record set by former Washington guard Kelsey Plum, there was also a lot of criticism around this endeavor because Woodard’s total was still greater. But because Woodard played at Kansas from 1978 to 1981—just before the NCAA admitted women’s athletics in 1982—the NCAA does not recognize her scoring record in its own record books. Female collegiate athletes competed in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), a distinct organization that oversaw championships in 19 different women’s sports from the late 1960s until 1982.

The NCAA does not include non-NCAA statistics for women’s collegiate basketball players who competed during the AIAW days, despite included them in several totals and records. For instance, the NCAA honors individual coaching achievements from the AIAW era and features college football championships that extend back to the organization’s founding in 1910. With 1,203 victories overall, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer surpassed former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski earlier this season. VanDerveer’s NCAA record victory total is nevertheless adjusted for the 42 victories she earned at Idaho during the AIAW era.

In an email sent earlier this month to The Wall Street Journal, VanDerveer stated, “I think the overall record by Lynette Woodard is THE RECORD.”

After receiving recognition at Kansas this past weekend, Woodard said on the ESPN broadcast that she wanted to welcome Clark to the celebration after she eventually scored a point, adding, “Welcome to the party.” She also wanted her own and her fellow AIAW athletes’ accomplishments to be recorded in the annals of NCAA history. “I want the NCAA governing body to know that they should respect the players, they should respect the history — include us and our accomplishments,” Woodard stated. “This is the era of diversity, equity and inclusion. They should include us. We deserve it.”

Additionally, Woodard told The Washington Post, “Caitlin is having a wonderful, sensational career, and when there is a high tide, all boats float.” “There are so many things she is making people aware of, and I think it’s a great thing. But I just hope that if the call letters ever changed on ‘NCAA,’ her records might be blended.”

Woodard’s career scoring average of 26 points per game is especially noteworthy considering it was achieved before the 3-point line was implemented. She was a four-time All-American and the first female player to have her jersey honored at Kansas. She is inducted into both the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Clark is currently 17 points behind Pete Maravich (3,667), the NCAA men’s all-time leading scorer, and 411 points behind Pearl Moore (4,061), the AIAW small-school leading scorer, with one game remaining in the regular season, which is against No. 2 Ohio State at home on Sunday.