It’s second semester on most college campuses. What better time to check and assess NCAA Division I institutions in hiring female coaches of women’s collegiate teams?
The U of M Tucker Center’s fifth report that grades each institution, sport and conference based on the percentage of women head coaches of women’s teams is now out. It found no net gain from 2015-16 — 41 percent (397) are females and nearly 59 percent (567) are males. Over half (47 of 86 institutions) had a coach turnover — 31 schools with one; eight schools with two, six schools had three changes, and one school had five head coaching changes in one year.
The range of percentages of women coaches by institution “varied dramatically” from Cincinnati (80 percent) to nine percent for both Syracuse and West Virginia. Only two schools, Cincinnati and Central Florida, earned A’s. Cincinnati is the only school to have gotten A’s in all five reports.
Minnesota with eight women head coaches, and six male head coaches is among 17 schools with B’s. Syracuse and West Virginia are among 11 schools with zero women head coaches, all earning F’s; 29 schools got D’s, and C’s went to 27 schools.
Nicole LaVoi, the Tucker Center co-director, said in an MSR phone interview last week that she has seen progress since the reports were introduced five years ago, even though barriers and biases, especially for Black women and other females of color being hired as head coaches, do still exist. The fact that the majority of folk doing the hiring remain White and male shouldn’t be overlooked, she pointed out.
“What we need is all administrators to understand the value of diversity in the workplace,” explained LaVoi. “It’s not just the responsibility of women as athletic administrators, but all athletic directors.”
Last year’s resolution by the NCAA Board of Directors to place more emphasis on diversity in college sport leadership — both coaches and administrators — certainly will help, said LaVoi. “The NCAA has a lot of power, and if they put their money and resources rather than time in this resolution, I do think we will see some movement on this. I feel optimistic about it.”
WNBA D.C. moves
Overshadowed by the new resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital, the Washington Mystics quietly, at least on paper, propelled themselves as a retooled Eastern Conference power this upcoming season after just missing the playoffs in the final week of last season.
They have made the most notable moves thus far when the Mystics acquired Elena Delle Donne in a trade and Krystal Thomas in a sign-and-trade; signed free agents Asia Taylor and Kristi Toliver; and re-signed guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt.
Minneapolis native Tayler Hill last week re-upped with the team that drafted her fourth overall in 2013. “Signing Tayler to a long-term contract was one of our biggest offseason priorities,” said Head Coach Mike Thibault in a press release.
Globe-tracking the Lynx
In recent action, Natasha Howard (Samsung) had eight points and four rebounds and Plernette Pierson (KB Stars) scored 13 points and grabbed five boards as the two new Lynx teammates went head-to-head in a three-point Samsung win. Renee Montgomery (Poland) had a double-double: 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a loss. Sylvia Fowles (Beijing) had 22 points and 12 boards in a playoff win, and Anna Cruz (Russia) scored seven points, eight rebounds and four steals in a win.
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Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.