The Chronicle of Higher Education reported the findings from a study conducted by a group of researchers from Brooklyn College. The study found that the percentage of women coaching women’s sports is at a 29 year low. Here is a quote:
The representation of women among coaches of those teams, however, is at an all-time low. Only 42.4 percent of the head coaches of women’s teams this year are female, down from 44.1 percent in 2004 and 47.7 percent in 1996, the update found. When Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by institutions that receive federal funds, women coached more than 90 percent of women’s teams.
According to the report, less than 2 percent of men’s teams have female head coaches, and only 17.7 percent of head coaches of all college teams are women, down from 18.8 percent in 2004.
This is the sad paradox of the recent rise in the status of women’s sports. As women’s sports have become more prestigious the number of women coaching women’s teams has declined; suddenly women’s teams have “become worthy of male coaches.” In contrast, the opportunities for women to coach male teams are extremely limited. One would expect that the increasing number of female college athletes would lead to an increased pool of women are are highly qualified to be coaches. In all likelihood we are more qualified than ever before, so why are we suddenly being shut out??
This is one of two paradoxes of Title IX. The other is the fact that women of color have not benefited much at all from this legislation. I certainly support Title IX, but we have to look at how opportunities can be expanded to include all women at all levels of the sports bureaucracy.