Faculty Research at Morehead State University

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2021


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived barriers, stereotypes, and workplace challenges that contributed to the underrepresentation of female head coaches in intercollegiate athletics. One-hundred-twenty-four current collegiate coaches affiliated with three NCAA conferences completed their responses through an online survey. A 26-item self-created survey was implemented to identify perceived attributes and barriers which impact the females’ involvement in the coaching profession. The results yielded four constructs of attributes and three types of barriers that affected female coaches’ success for job obtainment and career advancement. Unlike the older experienced coaches, young and less experienced coaches tended to value the importance of administrative support less. Coaches with a higher level of education (having earned a graduate degree) also perceived the “dominant culture and social stereotypes” as a significant barrier that impeded female coaches’ career. Based on the findings of the study, athletic departments ought to provide more family-related and administrative support to satisfy the needs of female coaches. For a department that does not provide such support, it may consider a change in its existing culture by offering more support in order to sustain the female coaches’ career in a long-term basis. Limitations of the study and directions for future studies were further discussed.



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