Friday, February 15, 2013

Where Have All The Women Coaches Gone?

Title IX was passed in 1972 to help improve work situations for women and eliminate sex discrimination in school programs receiving federal funding. This led to an increase in female athletes from 300,000 in 1972 to 2 million in 1993, but a decrease in women coaches from 90% in 1971 to 42% in 2007. Women coaches used to dominate the field of women’s basketball and now their presence is being taken over by men coaches, and their numbers continue to drop. Title IX also led to an increase in pay and benefits and even opened up more coaching jobs, but the positions were mostly taken by men.

Men have a tendency of obtaining most coaching jobs no matter if they are coaching men’s or women’s teams. The coaching world is mostly made up of friends who have been networking in the profession for a long time also known as the Old Boys Network. This is typically how most male athletic directors and coaches find people to hire for coaching positions.

Since many coaches are hired through the Old Boys Network, very few women have a chance of ever making it to the top. So when a Head/Assistant coaching position opens up, men are typically chosen for the job. Other reasons that women have disappeared from coaching sports is due to the need to spend more time with their children, divorce, burnout, and long hours.


  1. We've come a long way since 1972! But with the pressures to be a Super Woman (professional, wife, mother, maid, cook, all-around errand runner), many women are re-examining what is most important in their lives. I think the 'Old Boys Network' has faded --- women are simply choosing to make their families the top priority.

  2. Women are not getting these coaching jobs most likely for two reasons. Number one I think most women would rather raise a family than spend countless hours coaching a team. Coaching takes long hours and trying to raise a family is virtually impossible. The second reason women are not being hired because Athlete directors are not dumb they realize that there is a high chance of woman coach leaving due to family issues than a man. And it might be that the male coach is more experienced than the female candidates.

  3. I was thinking about this earlier. As I am researching possible colleges to send my resume to, I always look at their athletics website and look at the coaching staffs. I started noticing the lack of women coaches on many staffs. One school at looked at today had 9 women’s sports listed, and a total of 3 woman coaches total (including assistant coaches). My first thought was “what happened to Title IX?” I would be interested in reading a study on why there is a lack of women coaches in college.