The Gender Gap in Coaching

Why are there so few female head coaches?

She was the head coach of the U.S. women’s Olympic team. A group that delivered the finest performance of any women’s swim team in U.S. Olympic history. She’s the coach of the defending NCAA champion Cal Bears. She just signed Missy Franklin, the greatest recruit in the history of college swimming. It’s been a good year for Teri McKeever. She is, very arguably, the best coach of female swimmers on the planet.

She is also in lonely company. McKeever remains one of the few women leading an NCAA women’s swim team.

Of the 49 teams that scored points at last year’s women’s NCAA Championships, only eight were led by a female head coach. Two of those eight – Lea Loveless of Stanford and Christina Teuscher of Yale – are no longer the coaches of their programs this year. Both were replaced by men. This means that about 90% of the teams you can expect to see at this year’s NCAAs will be led by men.

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