Madeline Belding’s MKin Major Paper Presentation

Title: “COURTSIDE: Why Female Coaches Find Themselves on the Outside of Men’s Basketball”

Supervisor:  Dr Maria Gallo (Kinesiology)
Second Reader: Dr. Patricia Vertinsky (Kinesiology)

Abstract: Despite an increase in athletic participation among women, the same cannot be said for the rate of female coaches. In fact, the number of female coaches continues to decline and women continue to be severely underrepresented on the coaching side of sport. This is particularly evident in men’s sport where women hold approximately 3% of coaching positions. In men’s university basketball, there are currently no women in head coaching positions across all 3 NCAA divisions in the United States, nor are there any female head coaches in USports men’s basketball in Canada. Looking specifically at men’s professional basketball, not only are there no women in head coaching positions, but also there are only two women working as assistant coaches in the NBA.

Therefore, this paper will focus on how certain organizational barriers, along with perceptions of female coaches, affect women’s chances of securing jobs within men’s sport and more specifically men’s basketball. By using a combination of academic and media sources, as well as personal experiences as a female coach who has been involved in men’s basketball, this paper will highlight the challenges female coaches experience based simply on gender and provide suggestions for ways to improve the acceptance of women as coaches.