All Guts, No Glory: The Trailblazers of Women's Basketball, produced by Legacy Documentaries, has been in development for more than a year as a feature length documentary or multi-part special event series presenting the complex and emotionally charged 130-year history of Women's Basketball.
Audiences will be thrilled by richness of human aspiration that defines the women and men whose unwavering commitment has built basketball into America's most popular team sport for women. Yet, at all levels there is little agreement among and about those who built the game. But despite all the social, economic, and even medical barriers they faced, they played on -- from 1892 to the present.
All Guts, No Glory: The Trailblazers of Women's Basketball will feature former and current players, coaches, and executives who have lived this journey, in some cases for more than half a century. Historians and social commentators will connect the dots to the larger social issues that have defined women's ongoing struggles for equality and opportunity throughout history.
Here is a small collection of the trailblazers whose stories will help define the tumultuous and inspiring history of Women's Basketball.
Karen Logan was a tennis, track & field, and basketball prodigy before the passage of Title IX. With no opportunities to play basketball during or after college, she took a small salary and joined the barnstorming All-American Red Heads, touring the country in a branded airport limousine, playing 200 games a year. In 1974 Sports Illustrated called Karen as finest female basketball player in the country. Sadly, because of her "pro" status with the Red Heads she was excluded from the 1976 Summer Olympic Games.
After sports entrepreneur Bill Byrne watched Karen beat NBA Super-Star Jerry West in a game of HORSE on national TV he invited her to recruit players for his new Women's Basketball League (WBL).
In 1978, with the intent of improving ball-handling and shooting for women, Karen took her design for a smaller, lighter 28.5 inch basketball to Wilson Sporting Goods. Karen's design became the Official Ball of the new WBL. When Karen asked Wilson if she needed a lawyer to secure her rights to the ball, Wilson promised they'd "take care of her." Wilson gave her shoes, but Karen secured no rights tto her ball.
In 1980 WBL management ran Karen out of the league when they learned she was helping to organize a WBL Players Association to help players she had recruited get paid.
Broke and desperate, Karen couldn't afford the lawyer's $10,000 retainer to secure the rights to her ball. She went into a deep depression and exiled herself from the game she loved. Yet to this day Karen's design is used at every level of women's competition, from elementary schools through the WNBA--but Karen has never received a nickel.
Now in her 70s, Karen hasn’t attended a basketball game since 1980. We’d like to change that.
Anita Ortega is an Afro-Puerto Rican from South Central LA who began her basketball journey against her father’s will. She was a "walk-on" at UCLA and attained All-American status while leading the Bruins to a National Championship.
After going pro in the WBL, Anita became the “Ironman” of every team she played on. But in 1981, after she and her Minnesota Fillies teammates had gone unpaid for months, Anita led the team in a walk-out against the Chicago Hustle that effectively ended the league after three seasons.
After her playing career Anita joined the Los Angeles Police Department, again enduring her father's disapproval. She rose to the rank of Captain (a first for a woman of color in the LAPD).
Today she remains an impassioned advocate of the women's game, serving as a referee for NCAA Woman’s College Basketball.
Anita's father never attended a single game in which she played or officiated.
Carol "Blaze" Blazejowski was a three-time All-American at Montclair State University, and was the first-ever recipient of the Wade Trophy in 1978 as the nation's finest collegiate woman player. She was a dominating scorer who still holds the all-time single game scoring record of 52 points at Madison Square Garden.
In 1980 she became the highest paid player in Women’s Basketball history when she was signed by the New Jersey Gems for $150,000. Sadly, as with so many of her colleagues, the Gems and the WBL folded before she got paid.
Carol went on to become VP, GM, and Pres ident of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. In 1999, she led the effort to sign then WNBA rookie, Becky Hammon. Upon hearing of Blazejowski's interest, Becky responded, “Who is Carol Blazejowski?” It was a question that revealed a debilitating lack of legacy building in the women's game. “The Blaze” had been inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame five years earlier, in 1994.
Althea Gwyn was 6'2" by the time she was in 6th grade. Once she discovered basketball she quickly attracted the attention of New York area coaches. Of her success on the court during the 1970s and 80s, Althea told the New York Times, "I never thought I'd be a pro. I never thought I'd be a college player. I never thought I'd get out of High School."
Coming out of Amityville High School in Long Island NY, "Thea" wound up winning a scholarship to play at Queen's College during its national championship era and was on the floor for Queens vs. Immaculata, the first women's basketball game ever played in Madison Square Garden.
Althea declared "pro ball is just as important as the Olympics" after renouncing her eligibility for the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Games and being drafted by the WBL's New York Stars. She led the Stars to the first WBL Championship. She continued her domination of the WBL after being traded to the New England Gulls. Her teammates repeatedly – and often angrily – protested that 'Thea never got the credit she deserved because she was African-American and didn't fit the "poster girl" mold of WBL stars like Molly Bolin and Janie Fincher.
In January of 2022 Althea passed away at the age 65, but not before dozens of former teammates and competitors reached out to honor her life and her place in the history of Women's Basketball. Janelle Bechdol wrote of her aunt, "Althea was [a] daughter, beloved community member, and a very passionate ball player."
After her playing career, Althea joined and rose to a leadership role in the Fayetteville, North Carolina Fire Department.
In the early 1970s, Donna Geils Orender followed her basketball dreams to Queens College, where she played for legendary women's coach Lucille Kyvallos and shared the floor with women's basketball greats Althea Gwyn and Gail Marquis.
From 1979 to 1981, Donna played in the Women's Basketball League (WBL). She was one of only 20 women to play all three of the league's seasons, and she did it with three different teams -- the New York Stars, New Jersey Gems, and Chicago Hustle.
When the league ended play after the 1981 season, Donna shared her disappointment with the nation in an essay published by the New York Times.
Though disappointed by the WBL's fate, she never gave up on women or Women's Basketball.
Donna had a successful career in sports broadcasting, where she produced programming and negotiated a new television contract for the PGA Tour while serving as its Senior Vice-President. Donna returned to her first love, Women's Basketball, as President of the WNBA from February 2005 through the end of 2011.
Today Donna devotes herself to expanding opportunities for women of all ages through Generation W, her non-profit organization based in Jacksonville, FL.
As a child Lucille Kyvallos had no use for dolls, and was an unrelenting advocate for women’s sports before and after the passage of Title IX.
It could be argued that as the head coach at Queen's College between 1968 and 1981, that she was the most impactful individual in the modern history of women’s basketball. as she organized national events designed to put the women's game on the map.
On February 22, 1975 she coached the first-ever women’s college basketball game at Madison Square Garden drawing nearly 12,000 fans for Queens vs Imaculata. That the game at MSG galvanized endless opportunities for female athletes across the USA. Why does the iconic coach say it was the death knell for her Queen's College basketball program?
That she has yet to be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame is a mysterious question in search of an answer.
There is no player, or coach with more energy, ambition, and zeal for Women’s Basketball than 7-time Hall of Fame inductee Susan Summons. She was inspired as a girl to play the game at its highest levels by her love of the Boston Celtics.
After serving in the U.S. Army and a brilliant career at Roxbury Community College, she played her D1 basketball at Lamar University where she set a single game scoring record of 43 points against McNeese State.
She was drafted by the WBL’s New Jersey Gems and played one game before being traded to the New England Gulls where she teamed up with Althea Gwyn, Chris Critelli, and Jody Rajcula to pull off a 96-90 upset of the eventual WBL Champion, Nebraska Wranglers.
After the WBL folded Susan turned to coaching. During 35 seasons as Women’s Head Coach at Miami-Dade College, she also coached America's best with USA Basketball. She racked over 600 wins at Miami as she enlarged dreams, changed lives, and sent hundreds of young women on to four-year colleges and several to the WNBA.
Now with SusanSummonsSpeaks.com she brings audiences to their feet with motivational talks that build teams and inspire dreams.
At the age of 65, will her next adventure in basketball be her best yet?
Marie Ferdinand-Harris was the first Haitian American woman to play in the WNBA. She was raised in Little Haiti, a poor and high crime rated section of Miami and discovered basketball in Middle School. She used those who doubted her talent as inspiration to excel and determined that basketball would be her path "out of the hood." She led Miami Edison High School to a Florida State Basketball Championship as a sophomore and was named Florida Player of the Decade in the 1990’s.
While overcoming injuries at Louisiana State University (LSU) she became a two-time recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award, a Kodak All-American, an SEC Great, a Team USA Gold Medalist and was inducted into the LSU Sports Hall of Fame In 2001.
Marie was the first round draft pick of WNBA's Utah Starz in 2001 and was a 3-time WNBA All-Star while playing for the San Antonio Stars, Los Angeles Sparks, and the Phoenix Mercury until 2008, including a year off for the birth of her first child, son C.J. Harris.
She would finish her 12 year WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury, committed to being the ultimate teammate to Diana Taurasi.
After C.J.'s untimely passing in 2021 at the age of 14, Marie and her husband, Cedrick Harris an MLB veteran, established the Be Like CJ Foundation, www.BeLikeCJ.org to honor their son's memory and inspire young people to realize their greatest potential.
Inspired by C.J., Marie attempted a WNBA comeback 2022 at the age of 43.
Throughout her basketball career, Chris Critelli was an over achiever.
This native born Canadian played her way onto the Canadian National Team for competition at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. There she would face America's best, including Anne Myers, Lucia Harris, Gail Marquis, and her future Old Dominion teammate, Nancy Lieberman. Chris is the only individual to win both CIAU and NCAA titles -- two with Laurentian and two with Old Dominion.
In the WBL Chris played for the Chicago Hustle and New England Gulls. When she needed beer money she would "hustle" unsuspecting men in free throw shooting contests at local pubs. She sought out men who didn't like losing to a woman because they would demand another game, ensuring that Chris would get more free beer.
After her pro career Chris returned to Canada and shared her passion for basketball with the Lady Badgers of Brock University, racking up 393 wins over 27 seasons.
“We're a direct influence of the people around us,” Chris said, “It's the lessons I learned and can pass on to other coaches, players and parents [that matter most].”
If there is a John Wooden in Women's Basketball, the case could be made that it is Doug Bruno.
He has coached the DePaul Lady Blue Demons for the last 36 seasons, taking them to the NCAA playoffs 24 times – including the last 18 in a row.
But before DePaul he was Head Coach of the WBL’s Chicago Hustle, turning that team into the league’s flagship franchise, with its own WGN television contract that occasionally outdrew even Chicago’s mighty Bulls and Blackhawks.
Confirming the impact of his career on Women's Basketball at the highest levels, on June 11, 2022,Coach Bruno will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, in Knoxville, TN. Congratulations, Coach, for your career of excellence coaching the game while fighting for equality and opportunity for women.
Despite the passage of Title IX in 1972, the law's call for equality was far from realized in its early days. Olympian, former Pro and Wall Street executive Gail Marquis has been an unabashed, outspoken champion of women's sports and gender equality since her playing days at Queen's College from 1972-76.
She was member of America's Silver Medal winning first Women's Olympic Basketball Team in 1976 and remembers before the Games that "we had to lay low for a couple of weeks until they could get the uniforms, bags, and all the paraphernalia that goes with it."
Gail sought out professional opportunities to play in France before being drafted by the WBL's New York Stars. The abusive language of her coach, former NBA star Dean "The Dream" Meminger irritated her, "I don't get motivated by cussing and swearing and hollering," she said.
But Gail gave as good as she got after being ejected by a referee in Iowa. "He thought I gave him the finger. If I give you the finger you're going to know that I gave you the finger, and you're going to get some words with it, too."
There were racial tensions during those years as well. The press made sure "everyone heard about Ann Meyers and Nancy [Lieberman]. They didn't hear about Althea Gwyn and so many other [great] athletes."
In 2018 Gail was inducted as a Trailblazer of the Game into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Away from basketball Gail has achieved great success on Wall Street, and devoted herself to being a powerful role model for LGBTQ women of color.
Ruth Riley-Hunter was born in 1979, seven years after the passage of Title IX. She was 6' tall by the age of 12, and revealed the talent that would define her basketball career before graduating from high school.
Rising to 6'5", she dominated in the middle for four seasons at Notre Dame and led the Lady Irish to their only NCAA National Championship in 2001. Irish coach and WBL veteran Muffet McGraw was asked the about the key to the win. "[We've] been running the same play all season," said McGraw, "It's called Get the Ball to Ruth."
Ruth would go on to Team USA and become an Olympic Gold Medalist in 2004. She would win two WNBA Championships with the Detroit Shock -- in doing so she became the first woman to win MVP awards in both NCAA and WNBA Championships. In addition to the Shock, she would play for Miami Sol, San Antonio Silver Stars, Chicago Sky, and Atlanta Dream before retiring from the WNBA in 2014.
After a career at the top of the women's game, Ruth became a broadcaster with the NBA's Miami Heat. Few women have excelled at such a high level or been more capable of discussing the historical evolution of the women's game and advocating for its future.
Ann Meyers Drysdale is one of eleven children and played seven sports during her High School career in southern California. She has lived a life of women's basketball "firsts." She was the first High School player to make the U.S. National Team and was a Silver Medalist as a member of the first U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team in 1976.
Ann was the first woman to receive a full four-year athletic scholarship to UCLA, where her brother David Meyers was an All-American for coach John Wooden and went on to play in the NBA. She was UCLA's first 4-time All American and won 2 AIAW Championships in Basketball and Track.
As a pro, Ann was the 1st draft pick of the Women's Basketball League and MVP in the league's 2nd year after becoming the 1st woman to sign a free-agent contract with the NBA's Indiana Pacers and the only woman to have an NBA try-out.
She stays close to the game she loves as a Vice President of the NBA's Phoenix Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, where she played a role in three Mercury Championships. Ann is also a broadcaster for both the Mercury and Suns, and if that isn't cool enough, Ann is a member of nearly 20 Halls of Fame.
She remains a powerful advocate for the legacy of the WBL and the continuing advancement of women's basketball.
Internationally recognized human rights activist, Dr. Richard Lapchick discovered the power of sport as a vehicle for social change at the age of 14 while traveling in Germany during the 1960 Summer Olympic Games. There he saw for himself how people of diverse cultures and experience could cross lines of color, creed and religion to enhance human relations and understanding. He is often described as “the racial conscience of sport.”
His literary works include: 100 Trailblazers: Great Women Athletes Who Opened Doors for Future Generations; 100 Pioneers: African-Americans Who Broke Color Barriers in Sport; 100 Heroes: People in Sports Who Make This a Better World; New Game Plan for College Sport; Smashing Barriers and Race and Sport in the New Millennium
Here's what some notable individuals have said about Dr. Richard Lapchick:
"Everything that Richard has fought for has not been popular at the time [of the fight.]"
-- Julie Foudy, 2-Time FIFA World Cup & Olympic Champion
"With progress comes pain and that has always been a price [Richard] was willing to pay."
-- Robin Roberts, Co-Host ABC's "Good Morning America"
"He's been in the forefront in the bridge between sports and using that to achieve equality here in the U.S. and around the world."
-- Wolf Blitzer, Host CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
As a girl growing up in Long Beach, CA, Cardte Hicks was hitting baseballs out the park and hustling boys for their sneakers in playground basketballs games. She built up quite a collection of shoes.
In High School she pretended to be her brother to play on the boys team. In 1977 she was drafted by a men's professional team in Holland and became the first woman to dunk the ball with two hands in a game. She returned to the U.S. in 1979 to play with the WBL's San Francisco Pioneers.
If not for a freak knee injury suffered during a WNBA tryout scrimmage, her pro career might have spanned the WBL to the WNBA.
Today, Cardte, beloved as Coach Hicks, is a mentor for kids and sings the National Anthem at sporting events.
Sylvia Crawley and her North Carolina Lady Tarheels won the 1994 NCAA Championship. Sylvia began her pro career with the Portland Power of the now defunct American Basketball League. She won the ABL's first Slam Dunk Contest wearing a blindfold. She would finish her playing career in the WNBA in 2004 with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Sylvia chose to continue sharing her 'feminine and fierce" love of the game as a coach -- first as Head Coach at Boston College, then as an Assistant Coach with the WNBA's Indiana Fever and later with the North Carolina Lady Tarheels.
Today Sylvia grows the game through her Coach Crawley Academy as a Global Coach for young women and men in India, Africa and the United States.
When Shula Feuer watches the WNBA on TV she can't help but feel that she played a part in the growth of women's basketball--with good reason.
After coaching the women's team at Miami University, in the late seventies she become an Assistant Coach and Director of Marketing for the WBL's New York Stars. She experienced first hand the challenges of trying to build a women's professional basketball league in America's biggest media market.
Despite her best efforts the WBL didn't survive, but many of the trailblazing women and men who supported the WBL dream committed themselves to more fledgling women's basketball leagues, including the ABL and eventually the WNBA.
Cynthia Russo has been a powerful influence on the lives of young women through her 39 years of college coaching -- 38 as a head coach, during which she built a win-loss record of 707-395.
She came to prominence playing with Nancy Lieberman at Old Dominion from 1972-75. Cindy turned to assistant coaching at Old Dominion before becoming Head Coach at Florida International University followed by two seasons at Lamar University, where she coached Susan Summons.. Cynthia returned to FIU in 1980 and stayed for the next 35 seasons.
Cynthia's FIU teams had 20 winning seasons and eighteen 20-win seasons.
Pamela Grundy is the co-author, with Susan Shackelford, of Shattering the Glass: The Remarkable History of Women's Basketball. Pamela is an authority on the history of the women's game and the evolving concepts of womanhood, race, and sexuality that have defined women in sport and society at large.
Her other books include Legacy: Three Centuries of Black History in Charlotte, North Carolina and American Sports: From the Age of Folk Games to the Age of the Internet.
Sharon Farrah was drafted into the WBL in 1979 after playing college basketball at the University of Missouri. She was inducted as Trailblazer of the Game into The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
Sharon continues to be a steady advocate for women's sports, today serving as the Athletic Director of the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District in Texas
Charles Shriver was a successful and respected public relations pro in Chicago when, in 1978, he agreed to become the Marketing Director for the WBL's new Windy City franchise, The Chicago Hustle. On the shoulders of great performances by the team, Chuck was able to secure a limited telecasts of Hustle games on Super-Station WGN-TV. When the Hustle got better ratings than the fabled NHL Chicago Blackhawks and occasionally the NBA Bulls (pre Michael Jordan), the Hustle got a new deal on WGN and became the most financially stable franchise in the WBL.
Danielette Coleman was born in Miami in 1972 and has lived her life with an aspiration to compete, excel, and be her best self.
As a young woman she found a hero in Cheryl Miller and is herself an inspiration for those who are challenged by events to turn life's lemons into lemonade.
She was 2-time All-American at Miami Dade College before transferring to Auburn and achieving All-SEC honors while playing for coach Joe Ciampi.
Knee injuries at critical times in her pro development -- at the 1997 WNBA Combine, and again at the age of 30, while playing with the WNBA Houston Comets surely impacted the trajectory of her career, but never dampened her passion for the game.
Today Danielette works to improve the lives of young women through her work a Juvenile Probation Officer in Long Beach, CA.
Tammy Moore Harrison grew up as a fan of The All-American Red Heads (1936-86) because her father, Orwell Moore, owned the team.
The Red Heads were a women’s team that barnstormed the country in an airport limousine playing “all comers” 200 nights a year for fun, fundraising and profit.
Tammy knew many of players and has preserved the history of her father's team in Journey of the All American Red Heads. Tammy writes in the Introduction, “It is a great, never dull insight into the lives of brave men and women who broke the barrier that changed the future of women’s role in society.”
Tina Slinker had little opportunity to play sports growing up in New Mexico because organized sports for girls were non-existent. At a summer basketball camp, Tina gained confidence and the support of Karen Edgar (later the wife of Coach Bobby Knight).
She found her way to Wayland Baptist and joined "the best" women's basketball program in America.
Then came the WBL's Chicago Hustle and New England Gulls, followed by a career in coaching, that included 19 seasons leading the women at University of North Texas. Tina was inducted into the North Texas Hall of Fame in October 2021.
Sports teach girls “who they are,” which Tina believes is the most important life lesson a girl can learn.
Kathy Mosolino attended Montclair State University, graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Education, class of '74. While at Montclair, Kathy was a member of the women's varsity basketball team. The game of basketball formed who Kathy is and has been a major influence throughout her life and career. Upon graduating MSU, Kathy was hired by Fordham University as Assistant Athletic Director as well as coach of both women's basketball and volleyball teams.
After 6 successful years at Fordham, Kathy decided to take the head coaching position at the WBL New Jersey Gems and took her team to the playoffs in her first year, losing to Nancy Lieberman and her Dallas Diamonds.
Larry Kozlicki was part of a diverse group of WBL owners, some better financially prepared than others to take on ownership of a professional sports franchise.
Larry owned two different WBL teams during the league's three-season history.
He began with The California Dream, famously enrolling the team in the John Robert Powers Modeling School to improve their presence in media interviews.
His second franchise,The Nebraska Wranglers, led by their center, Rosie Walker, won the WBL's third and final championship in 1981.
Musiette McKinney grew up in family of athletes and entertainers. She is a member of the Cal-Poly Pomona Athletic Hall of Fame, having scored more than 1,000 points during her career with the Lady Broncos. She is also among Cal Poly's all-time leaders in field goals, free throws and assists.
She went on to play for the WBL's San Francisco Pioneers and collected a treasure trove of memories that helped inspire her life and her future after basketball.
Today Musiette uses her talents to help young people identify their aspirations in sports and entertainment through her work with "The Center" at University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Lynn Barry, Beth Bass, Senda Berenson, Sue Bird, Breezy Bishop
Ruthie Bolton, Cathy Boswell, Janice Braxton, Debbie Brock
Cindy Brown, Carol Callan, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper
Denise Curry, Babe Didrikson, Medina Dixon, Anne Donovan
Michelle Edwards, Teresa Edwards, Nell Fortner, Sylvia Fowles
Fran Garmon, Dorothy Gators, Mimi Griffin,Yolanda Griffith,
Brittney Griner, Sue Gunter, Becky Hammon, Fran Harris, Lusia Harris
Chamique Holdsclaw, Dee Kanter, Nancy Leiberman, Lisa Leslie
Rebecca Lobo, Bernedette Locke, Donna Lopiano, Darlene May
Muffet McGraw, Dot McRae, Nikki McRae, Cheryl Miller
Kelly & Coco Miller, Billie J. Moore, Pearl Moore, Inge Nissen
Candace Parker, Lea Plarski, Raye Pond, Lorene Ramsey,
Patricia Roberts, Crystal Robinson, Sue Rojcewicz, Jean Rowlands,
Cathy Rush, Bev Smith, Charlotte Smith, Katie Smith, Pat Summit
Dawn Staley, Valerie Still, C. Vivian Stringer, Sylvia Sweeney
Sheryl Swoops, Diana Taurasi, Tina Thompson, Sonya Tyler
Margaret Wade, Rosie Walker, Marian Washington,
Teresa Weatherspoon, Georgian Wells-Blackwell, Lindsey Whalen,
Nera White, and Lynette Woodard with more to come.
To honor the trailblazers of women's basketball we add these names for your consideration and appreciation.
The All-American Redheads barnstormed America playing 200 games a year from 1936 to 1984. Pre Title IX, the Redheads were women's best option to play.
Over the past two decades co-executive producers Dean Butler, Rick Okie, and Keith Allo have produced and collaborated on projects related to American history, sports, and entertainment. There has never been a more relevant or important time to tell the story of women's basketball.
In describing the overarching inspiration of All Guts, No Glory Butler said, "Even as America celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Title IX in 2022, women's rights are under assault by those who would turn back the clock on fifty-years of societal advancement toward gender equality."
Women's Basketball, which was played in a state of near invisibility for its first 100 years, is an unmistakable metaphor for the glass ceiling issues of empowerment, personal expression, equality and opportunity that are still so unsettled in our culture.
Dean Butler is an actor, writer, director, and producer best known to television audiences for his portrayal of "Almanzo Wilder" on the long-running series, Little House on the Prairie.
On the other side of the camera Dean produced 80 episodes of NBC Golf's Emmy Nominated series, Feherty (with EP Keith Allo), hosted by golf's ultimate funny man, David Feherty. The series featured four US Presidents—Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton. Other noteworthy guests included Samuel L. Jackson, John McEnroe, Larry David, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Nick Saban, Terry Bradshaw, Bob Costas, Phil Mickelson, and Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Other credits include field producing for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyongchang, co-executive producing Pa's Fiddle: The Music of America for PBS, producing the Aurora Award-winning Goin' Back documentary series for American Heroes Network (with Rick Okie), production of two U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame telecasts (with Keith Allo) for USA Network and NBC Sports, field production of Inside CART for ESPN2, as well as the Little House documentaries Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura and Little House on the Prairie: The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Along with All Guts, No Glory, Dean is currently developing Arlo Guthrie: Native Son with Keith Allo and Rick Okie.
Dean graduated from University of the Pacific with a B.A. in Communication Arts in 1979. He is married to actress Katherine Cannon. They live in Los Angeles.
Rick Okie has been a well-known writer, director, producer, showrunner, and executive in the television industry for over 30 years.
Most recently Supervising Producer on the CBS mystery series Elementary, Rick has worked in nearly every genre – drama, documentary, comedy, science fiction, action-adventure, romance, mystery, and horror – for the major broadcast networks, cable channels, syndication, and streaming outlets.
After graduating cum laude from Yale University, Rick worked as Director of Current Programs at CBS and NBC before turning his attention to writing and directing. He was headquartered at Universal Studios for several seasons, winning nominations for both the Emmy (for Quantum Leap) and Edgar (for Simon & Simon) awards while running existing series and also creating his own, Major Dad, for CBS. Rick then shifted his attention to the emerging first-run syndication market, pioneering top-level production at below-network budgets. He wrote and served as Executive Producer on hits such as Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict (Tribune), Renegade (USA Network), and Witchblade (Turner). He has also written and produced movies-for-television for Disney, Hallmark, and others.
In addition, through his own production company (and with partner Dean Butler), Rick continues ongoing production of documentaries. He is best known for writing, directing, and producing the globe-spanning back-to-the-battlefields series Goin’ Back for The Discovery Networks and writing/producing the PBS concert musical pledge special Pa’s Fiddle: The Music of America, shot in Nashville. He has also made two feature-length documentaries for Yale, his alma mater.
Keith Allo is Founder/President of Frank Media, an award-winning entertainment & sports production company, focusing on non-scripted and branded content for television and digital platforms.
With 30-plus years in television leadership, Allo possess extensive experience in post and live production, creative development, contract and rights negotiations, and team development. His Executive Producer credits span the gamut of live events, reality, entertainment, and competition programs, documentaries, talk shows, and prime-time specials, and he has worked for and with some of the top brands in sports and entertainment including, NBC Sports, NBCSN, ESPN, ABC, FOX Sports, Universal Pictures, Golf Channel, and Olympics.
Allo served 15 years as Vice President & Executive Producer of Original Productions and Programming Development at Golf Channel (part of NBC Sports), overseeing all production activities for original series and lifestyle programming, including Feherty, In Play with Jimmy Roberts, Big Break, Golf Fix, School of Golf, Playing Lessons, Driver vs Driver, Shotmakers, Altered Course and numerous critically acclaimed documentaries. Allo also oversaw the development and creation of original programs for the network, as well as managed all outside production companies and packagers. He created the network’s first HUB operation which created and produced video content for GolfChannel.com as well as alternative media platforms to extend the reach of the GOLF CHANNEL brand and drive viewership.
Allo graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in telecommunications before working as a television and video producer for the University of Florida athletic association.
Coming in 2024
All Guts, No Glory: The Trailblazers of Women's Basketball