When it comes to women coaching women’s teams, the Big 12 sits well below the national average | KCUR 89.3
This year, the NCAA instituted changes to promote gender equity in college basketball. However, gender gaps also remain only 63% of NCAA Division I women’s college basketball teams have a female coach.
Male coaches have more jobs available to them than their female counterparts. Nicole LaVoi, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota, explains.
“Men have the opportunity to coach women. There are very, very few women who have the opportunity to coach men. And that’s what we need to change.”
Danielle Donehew, executive director of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, stresses the importance of representation in college basketball in closing the gender gap in coaching.
“You want your student-athletes to see people who look like them in leadership positions,” says Donehew.
After controversial last spring, the NCAA conducted a gender equity review. Changes to this year’s women’s tournament have been implemented to include the use of the March Madness brand and expanding the field to 68 teams, like the men’s tournament, but the inequality of coaches remains.
Making college basketball more gender equal isn’t limited to the coaching staff. Donehew wants the NCAA to restructure women’s basketball broadcast media contracts and revenue distribution policies so they are comparable to men’s basketball.
“There are still a lot of steps to go,” says Donehew.