U of M receives B+ for ‘Women in College Coaching Report Card’

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Less than half of the NCAA Division-I women’s sports are coached by women, according to a new report.

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport released a ‘Women in College Coaching Report Card’ for more than 350 colleges across the country, in partnership with WeCOACH.

They assigned letter grades of ‘A’ through ‘F’ based on the percentage of female head coaches in women’s programs.

Tennessee State University got the highest grade, with 86% of women’s programs coached by women, followed by the University of Cincinnati at 80%.

"It’s important to have a gender-balanced work staff and that includes coaches," said Nicole LaVoi, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, which is based at the University of Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota received a ‘B+,’ with 64% of women’s teams coached by women.

The University of Wisconsin received a ‘C’ grade at 54%.

The University of North Dakota, North Dakota State and Iowa State received an ‘F’ grade.

The worst rankings went to Middle Tennessee State, Oklahoma State, Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Virginia Military Institute. All four schools had zero female coaches of women’s programs.

"It’s really critical that women are represented," said Pam Borton, former University of Minnesota women’s basketball coach, who led the Gophers to the Final Four.

"I think it’s really important that other women playing those sports see women leading programs," Borton said. "For those young women that are dreaming of being coaches themselves, they have somebody to look up to."

Borton hopes athletic directors and those responsible for hiring coaches at colleges will look at this data and take it into account when making decisions.

"These executives are seeing how important it is for a woman to be on their staff and a woman to be around that table, that is bringing a different perspective, a different insight, different skillsets that men need and vice versa," Borton said.

LaVoi added there tend to be ‘false narratives’ about why more women are not in coaching roles, including that women are not applying for the jobs.

"The lack of women is not the problem," LaVoi explained. "The lack of women is part of a system that doesn’t value and support women. That’s the problem and I think that’s the key takeaway here."

She hopes the report will help spark change in college sports.

"The goal is to stimulate dialogue, to raise awareness of the scarcity of female coaches, to hold decision-makers accountable for their hiring practices and to hopefully increase the percentage of women coaching women," LaVoi said.

To see the full report, click here.

The researchers also compiled a Division-III MIAC report card, which you can view here.