For the second year in a row, Karen Crouse was one of the keynote speakers at the Andrus Center Conference on Women and Leadership at Boise State University. In connection with her return Idaho appearance, the New York Times sportswriter spoke with Boise Weekly staff writer Jessica Murri and revisited the classic way her career aspirations took hold:
[High school student] Crouse decided to make a swimming magazine, went to her local swim club and asked to interview Mike Bruner – the Michael Phelps of the 1970s.
The way Crouse tells the story, Bruner’s coach, Bill Rose, told him he had to stay after practice for an interview with a journalist.
“So you can imagine how he feels when he walks out on the pool deck and sees me, a 12-year-old girl in pigtails, with index cards and a pen shaking in my hands,” Crouse said. Afterward, she told her dad that this is what she wanted to do when she grew up. “My whole life changed on an extra-credit assignment,” she said.
Crouse has been with the Times since 2005 and speaks openly in the interview about the challenges of being a female sportswriter. In fact, just a week before the Boise speech, she was denied entry to a male-only pro golf tour clubhouse.