An expert, scholar and advocate of girls & women in sport, youth sport, and coach & sport parent education. Currently I teach sport psychology and sociology in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota where I am also the Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport. This blog reflects my critical perspective and voice on all things sport.
The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota released its annual Women in College Coaching Report Card (WCCRC) in collaboration with WeCOACH. The report documents the percentage of women in all coaching positions for women’s teams at NCAA Division-I institutions.
The percentage of D-I women Head Coaches went up and is now at 42.3% (up from 42.1% in 2018-19)—the data is trending in the right direction! but is remarkably stagnant.
LEADERS for Percentage of Women Head Coaches of Women Teams
Institutional leader: Tennessee State (85.7%)
Conference leader: Ivy League (52.4%)
Sport leader: Wrestling (100%), NCAA emerging sport
The majority (52.7%) of the 442 head coach hires were men.
As the coaching position became more visible, lucrative and powerful, fewer women occupied the position. (i.e., from Graduate Assistant to Head Coach to Director of Sport)
Starting at the Assistant Coach position, men are statistically and significantly older than women and are more likely to have children.
Based on the data, we identified that the Assistant Coach is a critical zone of attrition in the career pipeline for women, possibly due in part to parental status. This report identifies leaks in the pipeline and opportunities for policy, support and programming.
Very few coaches at any position (42 of 10,697) are openly gay within their online biographies, indicating that homophobia is prevalent within college athletics.
The culture of college sport privileges heterosexual men with children. Coaching, like many occupations, is gendered. Much work remains to ensure all women, regardless of identity, feel safe, valued and supported.
To read the full WCCRC and to see which institutions, sports and conferences receive passing and failing grades, and read more about factors that contribute to the leaky pipeline visit TuckerCenter.org
A couple years ago I did a podcast for John O’Sullivan of Changing the Game Project about youth sport, sport parent behavior research, and how to help parents be better on the sidelines. Take a listen!
5:00 When she became interested in issues for Women in Sport Leadership?
8:00 Why is there a decline in women in sport leadership?
15:00 What would it take to get more women coaching sports?
21:00 Why does Nicole think kids are quitting sport?
28:00 Nicole explains “background anger” and how it affects children
35:00 What is Kid Speak?
48:00 Winning and Character Development are not mutually exclusive
POD:In October 2019, I visited Aotearoa New Zealand and was the keynote speaker at the Sport New Zealand Women + Girls Summit, delivered by WISPA and the Shift Foundation, while I there I did a podcast for LockerRoom and Radio New Zealand Fair Play. Have a listen! https://lnkd.in/f7k9XZT
POD: Listen to Tucker Center Talks, a monthly podcast I host, produced by WISP Sports. I’ll feature invited guests, timely critiques, the latest research, and dialogue around girls and women in sport.
In the last year I’ve been thinking about women can create and be part of changing the occupational landscape in coaching. Change can happen from the ground up, from women. Change can also happen from the top down, when those in power champion social change. For the 2018 Women Coaches Symposium I put together a keynote around many of the false narratives I hear about women coaches, and provided some data that can help all women and gender allies challenge those false narratives. To see the full video, click here.
While girls and women participation in sports since Title IX has exploded, only about 40% of them are coached by women. The film explores supporting research, dispels false narratives, celebrates female coaching pioneers at all levels of competition and highlights stories of success and hardship. Their stories are the universal stories of women coaches who fight many battles to pursue their passion to coach. Produced in collaboration between Twin Cities Public Television and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport.
Share it widely to your networks and help be a part of changing the culture of sport for women coaches, where they feel safe, valued and supported.
The report includes eleven chapters written by leading multidisciplinary scholars. Evidence-based chapters include psychological, sociological, and physiological dimensions of girls’ physical activity participation, as well as chapters on sports medicine and the influence of mass media of girls’ health and well-being. Because “girls” are not a singular monolithic group, chapters focus on girls’ intersectional identities and include invisible, erased, and underserved populations such as immigrant girls, girls of color, girls who identify as lesbian, transgender and queer/questioning, and girls with cognitive and physical impairments. The report ends with a Best Practices chapter and a Positive Model for Developing Physically Active Girls to guide thought, program development, interventions and research.
To read and download the full report, Executive Summary or the Positive Model click here.