Monday, June 11, 2007

NCAA prez concerned about dwindling female coaches

NCAA president Myles Brand went to the Women's College World Series for the first time this year where he was able to observe firsthand the continuing decrease in women's head coaches. It's happening in all women's sports and was quite evident at this year's tournament where half of the head coaches of the eight teams were men--plus Ralph Weekly of Tennessee who is a co-head coach with his wife, Karen. Ten years ago there was only one: Arizona's Mike Candrea.

Brand expressed concern over the attrition rate of female coaches; that many women begin as assistant coaches but do not stick around long enough to get promoted. Brand said the NCAA will be developing programs to help with the issue of retention of assistant coaches in the hopes of getting more female head coach role models. No specifics on what such programs would entail or who they will be targeting.
It seems to me that an effective program would have to address everyone who is in charge of assistant coaches rather than the young women themselves who probably quit because of the sexism, homophobia, and racism in intercollegiate programs. It's not surprising to see fewer female head coaches in softball as the game becomes more popular. Softball has always had the "lesbian stigma" attached to it. Hiring male coaches makes it look a little more hetero. And male head coaches hire male assistants often--except for the pitching coach who is usually female because she has actual experience playing the game. I didn't do a thorough study of the tournament teams but I did note that Arizona's Mike Candrea has as his second-in-command a man who will actually take over head coaching duties when Candrea takes next year off to coach the national team. Baylor's head coach, Glenn Moore also has a male associate head coach who had to take over when Moore got booted for "arguing a call" in Baylor's loss to Northwestern. Women though are helping each other out. Northwestern's staff is all-female as is Texas A&M's.
The Drohans of Northwestern. Assistant coach Caryl (l) and head coach Kate (r).

No comments: