To honor National Girls and Women in Sport Day, I decided to release the annual Women in College Coaching Report Card. This research series is a collaboration between the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota, and the Alliance of Women Coaches.
We gave espnW’s Kate Fagan the exclusive first-run story in which she summarizes some of the key findings-Women Coaching Women? Big-Time Schools Grade Out Terribly.
Here are the 2014-15 data I think are important and noteworthy.
- The percentage of head coaches of women’s teams increased .6% from last year (net gain of +6 female coaches out of 969) to 40.2%
- Two schools (Cincinnati & U Central Florida) out of 86 were awarded A’s (70-100% women head coaches = A)
- An equal number of schools (n=11) got As and Bs as got Fs
- The percentage of institutions receiving Fs has increased every year (0-24% = F)
- 2012-13: 10.5%, 2013-14: 11.8%, 2014-15: 12.9%
- One school had zero female head coaches (Xavier)
- Field hockey had 100% female head coaches, water polo and alpine skiing had 0%
- None of the 7 “big time” conferences in our sample were awarded an A or B.
- 85 head coaching positions turned over from last year, 61% of the time a male was hired to replace the outgoing coach.
Take home messages.
Overall, in the three years we have done the report no remarkable gains or losses in the percentage of women head coaches of women’s teams in the biggest college athletics programs have been realized. In fact the percentage in this year’s report 2014-15 is the exact same as it was in the first year of the report in 2012-13. So depending on how one looks at the data, the glass can be half full or half empty. We aren’t gaining ground, but we also are not losing more ground. Based on the data, whether we look at conference, sport or institution, a great deal of room for improvement exists in terms of hiring women head coaches at the institutions that are most visible in the sport media landscape and culturally valued for their athletics.
This data is important given what some scholars are calling “college athletics’ war on women coaches” as it provides a mechanism of accountability at the institutional level, stimulates awareness, generates dialogue, and perhaps creates social change on the scarcity of women head coaches and why that matters for athletes, coaches, institutions and coaching organizations.
To read more about the historic decline of women in the coaching profession, why women coaches matter and why diversity in the workplace matters, read our past reports here and here. To read my other blogs about women in sport coaching, a topic a frequently write about, click here.