Why are women still behind the eight ball when it comes to coaching opportunities?

It’s the year 2019, and it appears that we as “People” are still behind in gender equality throughout the sports world. Sometimes it feels like we’re in the 1960’s again, where women had to fight for equality. How in the year 2019, are women still behind the eight ball in terms of equality for Head Coaching positions throughout the sports world?

There are many men Head Coaches in women’s sports, whereas, there are not as many women Head Coaches in men’s sports. What gives, and why is this still happening? There is a wide disparity between male coaches in female sports. Males make up a large portion of Head Coaching positions in women’s sports, and women do not even make up a smudge in men’s sports.

Bucknell University just hired a former Division lll Head Coach in Trevor Woodruff to be the Head Coach of their Women’s Basketball program. He has an impressive resume with 272 career coaching wins. Woodruff is definitely qualified for the position. However, yet again a woman loses a Head Coaching position in favor of a male. Why is this brought up? Well, last Tuesday Head Coach of Villanova Jay Wright was offered the Head Coaching position of the Men’s UCLA Basketball team, to which he turned it down. However, did Kim Mulkey, Dawn Staley, or Muffet McGraw get a call for that Head Coaching vacancy? If Woodruff can lead a women’s Bucknell program, then why can’t one of the women coaches mentioned lead the UCLA men’s program?

Mulkey, Staley, and McGraw are more than qualified to lead the UCLA Men’s Basketball team, like Woodruff can lead the Bucknell Women’s Basketball team. These well-established coaches of Mulkey, Staley, and McGraw have won a combined 5 National Championships. They are more than qualified to coach in Men’s College Basketball, yet they weren’t even asked to be the next Head Coach of the UCLA Men’s Basketball program. This is about fairness and equality. Men should coach in women sports, and women should coach in men’s sports, it’s 2019…not 1960, “When you look at men’s basketball and 99 percent of the jobs go to men, why shouldn’t 100 or 99 percent of the jobs in women’s basketball go to women?,” McGraw said to Ndinsider.com on April 4, 2019. “Maybe it’s because we only have 10 percent women Athletic Directors in Division I. People hire people who look like them. That’s the problem.”

The WNBA has a total of 12 teams in their league. One would think that there would be more female coaches, than male Head Coaches, it’s a women’s sport after all. After investigating this further, there are more male Head Coaches, than female coaches. There are a total of 7 male Head Coaches, as compared to 5 female Head Coaches. This is very striking, as there are currently 0 women Head Coaches in the NBA. So why the disparity?

I’m getting tired of the novelty of ‘the first female governor of this state,’ ‘the first female African-American mayor of this city,” McGraw said to Ndinsider.com, When is it going to become the norm instead of the exception? We don’t have enough female role models. We don’t have enough visible women leaders. We don’t have enough women in power.”

Some say that women shouldn’t coach in a men’s professional sport because they are not mentally tough enough to handle a distressed Men’s Basketball player, for instance. Excuse me? Women are able to give birth, and have to become mentally prepared to do such. How many men could handle delivering a child? C’mon, this excuse is not a good one. Women are strong, mentally strong. They are the rocks and foundation of a family, and yet they sit behind the eight ball as Head Coaches. The struggle is real for sure.

As long as they get an opportunity to prove themselves, I think most people would be surprised at just how good they are in whatever role they’re given,” Geno Auriemma stated to Courant.com in December of 2018, “That’s been my experience.” The author then states, Auriemma said he wants teams to hire women because they can improve their team, not because they think hiring a woman would look good for them.” Just be fair, women should be given an opportunity to become a Head Coach in Men’s NCAA Basketball, just like men do in Women’s NCAA Basketball. Just be fair, women should be given an opportunity to become a Head Coach in the NBA, just like men do in the WNBA.

Read the full article here: https://www.courant.com/…womens…/hc-sp-geno-auriemma-discusses-gender-equalit…

There is not one Women’s Head Coach in Men’s Lacrosse in the NCAA, however there are plenty of Men as Head Coaches in Women’s Lacrosse. After further investigation of this, I found this gem according to the Daily Pennsylvanian, The University of Pennsylvania has the smallest number of female coaches of its Women’s teams in the Ivy League.” Out of 24 sports currently being played at the University of Pennsylvania, the University only employs 5 females as Head Coaches. The sports they are Head Coaches in are as follows: Field Hockey, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Tennis, and Women’s Softball.

(read the full article here: https://www.thedp.com/article/2017/12/penn-athletics-title-ix-feature-coaching-female-teams

Let’s take a look at Field Hockey. Men are currently even coaching in Field Hockey throughout the United States. Andrew Griffiths is currently the Head Coach of the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs Field Hockey team. Yes, there are more men coaching throughout the sport of Field Hockey, but this is just one example of such.

Women have the best odds of becoming Head Coaches in Men’s soccer. According to the Lily, “Women coaches account for just seven percent of licensed soccer coaches worldwide.” It’s not much, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Lastly, let’s look at Women’s Volleyball. According to Volleymob.com, Women held 1463 of the 3517 (41.7 percent) head coaching positions for DI women’s teams in general – up a few tenths of a percent from last year. The numbers for indoor women’s volleyball is doing slightly better than the average – 46.8% of D1 women’s indoor coaches are women, while beach volleyball is a little behind the curve – just 38.5% (20/52) coaches in the survey were women.” Let’s recap this, less than 42% are women Head Coaches in Division 1 Volleyball. These are some astounding numbers, and it’s shocking that women fill less than 50% of the Head Coaching positions.


In their 37-year study, researchers R. Vivian Acosta and Linda Carpenter tracked the decline in the percentage of female head coaches in 24 women’s varsity sports. Before 1981, when the
NCAA began sponsoring women’s sports, numbers were collected from the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

Things are improving at a slow rate for Women Assistant Coaches entering the Men’s sports world. But, the progress is encouraging, and hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come. It is shocking it has taken this long to open the doors of opportunity for Women to become Head Coaches in Men’s sports. One thing my mom and dad told me when I was younger was you can do anything you want to, if you work hard when you get older. Can a girl say the same thing? At the moment no. How and why did we let this happen? I’m just as guilty for not speaking out sooner.

The purpose of this article is about fairness. Hire the most qualified person for the Head Coaching vacancy, whether if it’s a male or female. This is the year 2019…2019, and here we are still having some gender issues. At the end of the day the athletes deserve the most qualified coach, and one should not be held back because of gender.

. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

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