24% of head coaches
at the college level
are women.

Sabo, D., Veliz, P., & Staurowsky, E.J. (2016)
Beyond Xs and Os: Gender Bias and Coaches of Women’s Teams.
East Meadow, NY: Women’s Sports Foundation
NCAA. (2019). Race and Demographics Database.

Leadership & Coaching

Women are underrepresented in the coaching ranks and in sports leadership. In order to create change, gender bias must be eliminated and women given access to leadership opportunities.

Creating Gender-Neutral Coaches’ Employment and Compensation Systems

The purpose of this resource manual is to assist athletics administrators in the design and the implementation of consistent, gender neutral employment systems specific to coaches working in educational institutions. The manual also serves to provide an educational resource for coaches that can be used to evaluate and negotiate their existing or prospective employment situations. It is essential that all employees of any organization have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, how they are going to be evaluated, and what criteria will be used to determine salary and other employment variables.

Creating Gender-Neutral Coaches' Employment and Compensation Systems (pdf)

Special Issues for Coaches of Women’s Sports

So, you are a coach. Fabulous! We’re excited for you. You probably love working with kids, have your own deep and wide sport’s story plus relish both the challenge and the competition. We also suspect you see coaching athletes as a real contribution to a person’s character development—beyond the skills and physical acumen individuals acquire. Whatever your reasons for being a coach, we hope that you are thrilled and empowered with your role, most of the time.

We also know that there are events and circumstances that will really get in the way—almost making it impossible for you to have a positive season and return to coach again. We’re not talking about just having a losing or lousy season, because if that was the case, half of us would routinely disappear. We are talking about the institutional and relationship problems that go with the job, but are all too rarely taught or talked about. We’ve been listening for decades, as the Women’s Sports Foundation fields coaches calls and e-mails daily.

The purpose of this guide is to help coaches prevent, respond to or even initiate action when faced with difficult professional situations. The format includes commonly (and yes, frequently) asked questions and answers. Now and then, we’ve also provided a TIP, something to take our Theory Into Practice. Suggested resources addressing coaching problems and issues are also listed in the final section.

Special Issues for Coaches of Women's Sports (pdf)