Title IX birthday finds little to celebrate on many college teams

First of two parts

A special collaborative report on race, gender, and LGBT inclusion of head coaches of women’s college teams is now out in celebration of the 45th anniversary of Title IX this month.

Race and gender data for head coaches for eight NCAA Division I conferences, including the “Power 5” — Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — along with the Ivy League, the American Athletic Conference and the Big East, was collected, examined and graded by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center, and LGBT SportSafe in their 16-page report released June 23.

“It was a very good experience for us,” noted TIDES Director Richard Lapchick in a June 23 MSR phone interview. “I appreciate the work the Tucker Center has been doing for so long. I think [LGBT] SportSafe is going to make a great contribution to sport.”

TIDES studied 1,096 head coaches of women’s teams at 94 U.S. institutions and found just over 12 percent of women’s teams’ head coaches are coaches of color — barely seven percent were Black. The American Athletic Conference (AAC) got a B grade because 18.2 percent of its head coaches are of color and nearly 13 percent are Black.

Richard Lapchick (MSR file photo)

The AAC was the only conference to receive a B while the other conferences’ grades ranged from C (Pac-12, ACC) to C- (Big 12) and F (Big Ten, SEC, Big East and Ivy League). Four conferences — Big East, Ivy League, SEC and Big Ten — got failing grades for race.

“I never have given an overall F in 25 years, more than 100 Racial and Gender Report Cards, and there were four F’s in this report,” said Lapchick.

The top 10 schools by percentage of head coaches of color: Clemson (55.6 percent), Arizona (50 percent), Temple (45.5 percent), TCU (41.7 percent), USC (36.4 percent), Oregon (33.3 percent); 30 percent for UCF, Houston and Pittsburgh; and Georgia Tech with 28.6 percent.

“I didn’t expect that I would see [so many] schools that didn’t have a single coach of color on women’s teams. That was startling,” observed Lapchick.

Nearly 57 percent of the coaches were male and 43 percent were female, noted the Tucker Center, who examined 1,102 head coaches from 94 schools. (Six unfilled positions at the time of data collection were not included in the report.) They found the Ivy League with the highest percentage of women head coaches (55 percent), getting a B –.

The other seven conferences combined earned C’s (AAC, Big Ten, AAC and Pac-12) and D’s (Big East, SEC and Big 12). Ten schools had over half of their women’s team coaches headed by women, with Cincinnati and UCF each with 80 percent.

Only a relatively small number of institutions show a significant commitment to LGBTQ inclusion initiatives, says LGBT SportSafe, who instituted an inclusion program in 2016 to encourage athletic leaders at schools to increase their LGBTQ inclusion efforts and visibility in their athletic departments.

This includes LGBTQ inclusion training for coaches and athletic administrators; policies put in place that ensure all student-athletes are valued and respected regardless of sexual orientations and gender identities; and public awareness initiatives such as inclusion panel discussions, diversity and inclusion videos, and hosting or participating in local LGBTQ Pride events.

LGBT SportSafe awarded Gold medallions to Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon, North Carolina, Temple, UCLA and USC; and Cal-Berkeley got Silver.

The report concluded that equity in the eight conferences studied “is far from being achieved” in hiring women and people of color as head coaches, and any efforts in race, gender and LGBT inclusion “vary greatly” across conferences and institutions.


Next week: a look back at Title IX, the law that transformed U.S. women’s sports; its present and future.

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com.