WSF Announces Third Cohort of Recipients for Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching

Published on August 26th, 2021

New York, NY (August 26, 2021) — The Women’s Sports Foundation announced the third class of grant recipients for its Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching. Named for legendary Stanford University women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer, the fund will provide a total of $200,000 to 10 colleges and universities for a coaching fellowship at each institution. This year’s cohort of fellows is the most diverse class in the grant’s history, with school programs spanning all three NCAA divisions, across eight unique sports.  

WSF began awarding grants from the VanDerveer Fund in 2019 to address the lack of women in coaching positions at all levels of sport. Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, the percentage of women in head coaching roles for NCAA women’s sports has steadily declined from 90% in 1970–71 to 41% in 2020. Only 28% of all NCAA assistant coaches in 2020 were women and, only 6% of all NCAA assistant coaches were BIPOC women. Aspiring women coaches are able to jumpstart their careers and contribute to growing representation of women in the coaching space through the opportunities they receive from the Tara VanDerveer Fund. Hired by educational institutions that receive the grant, fellows receive mentorship from established collegiate coaches, hands-on-training and professional development resources. Since its inception, the Fund has provided a total of $600,000 to 26 colleges and universities across the country, supporting 27 coaching fellows across 11 different sports.

The challenge of re-building the coaching pipeline was the centerpiece of a recent panel discussion – Coaching and Title IX: Accelerating the Pipeline – hosted by WSF, where renowned women coaches stressed the importance of having increased mentorship and representation at all levels of sports, in order to inspire and support future women coaches. 

“Having greater representation of women in leadership positions, especially coaching,  plays such a pivotal role in inspiring the next generation,” said Deborah Antoine, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “WSF is proud to continue honoring Tara VanDerveer’s history-making legacy with this important Fund that helps encourage and support women pursuing a coaching career.” 

Full List of 2021 Recipients: 

Adams State UniversityTrack & Field
Clark UniversitySoccer
The College of St. Scholastica Nordic Skiing
Haverford CollegeField Hockey
Longwood UniversityBasketball
Mississippi Valley State University Basketball
North Carolina Central UniversityGolf
Pomona-Pitzer CollegesBasketball
San Diego State University Water Polo
Smith College Volleyball

For more information about the Tara VanDerveer Fund, please click here.

About The Women’s Sports Foundation

The Women’s Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. We are an ally, an advocate and a catalyst. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we strengthen and expand participation and leadership opportunities through research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. The Women’s Sports Foundation has positively shaped the lives of millions of youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes, elite athletes and coaches. We’re building a future where every girl and woman can #KeepPlaying and unlock the lifelong benefits of sport participation. All girls. All women. All sports®. To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org.

Media Contact:

Patty Bifulco
Women’s Sports Foundation
631.230.3322
PBifulco@WomensSportsFoundation.org