Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Steve Chen

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020


The purpose of this study was to investigate the rationales behind the gender disparity between male and female head coaches at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) affiliated institutions. Intercollegiate female athletic participation is at an all-time high. Yet, more women find male coaches coaching their sports. This study aimed to determine what hinders women from pursuing and obtaining head coaching positions at the collegiate level in either gender sports. Interviews were conducted in two different phases with two groups of NCAA Division-I female coaches (n = 22 and 8, respectively) in the southeast United States. The findings addressed the barriers and challenges faced by female coaches while trying to be a head coach and their thoughts for pursuing coaching opportunities in men’s sports. As past studies had identified, negative stereotypes and misconceptions about female coaches clearly affect respondents’ perceptions about pursuing a head coaching position. Networking was highly valued as a critical factor for obtaining and keeping positions. Researchers believed with more female role-model coaches being hired by the professional leagues, this trend would inspire more women to strive for leadership and coaching positions in the sports world.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.