Women losing ground in coaching ranks

More women than ever before are participating in college athletics. But, the percentage of women coaching college teams for women has dropped to its lowest point ever. Researchers Linda Jean Carpenter and R. Vivian Acosta, professors at Brooklyn College, looked at the data for college sports across all three NCAA divisions. In their 2006 update of their study “Women in Intercollegiate Sport: A Longitudinal, National Study,” they found only 42.4 percent of women’s college teams are coached by a woman and less than 2 percent of men’s teams are coached by a woman. When Title IX was enacted in 1972, more than 90 percent of head coaches for women’s teams (and 2 percent for men’s teams) were women.

Additionally, the study found a continued decrease in the number of women who run athletic programs. In 1972 more than 90 percent of women’s college sports programs were run by women. In 2006, only 18.6 percent of athletic directors of women’s programs are female. In 14.5 percent of schools there is no female athletic administrator at all. In support staff findings, while nearly all schools (97.5 percent) had a full-time athletic trainer only 27.4 percent had a woman as the head athletic trainer. Similar statistics were found in sports information where 98 percent of schools had a full-time sports information director but only 12.1 percent were women.

While fewer women are in coaching and administration, many more are on the playing field. The study finds there were 8.45 teams for women per school and 8,702 women’s teams total in the country, the most ever. There are 300 more teams than in 2004. In 1970, two years before Title IX was enacted, there were approximately 2.5 teams per school and 16,000 athletes. In the NCAA’s participation rates information released in February, there were 8,016 men’s teams, though there were more male athletes (219,744) than female athletes (164,998) for the 2004-05 academic year.