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Readers Respond: Can Female Women's Coaches Win at the Top Levels?

Responses: 4


Recently a D-I women's volleyball team had an opening for a head coach. The Athletic Department was all set to hire a female to fill the spot until they spoke with the team. The team was adamant that they did not want a woman head coach because "women don't win." Do you agree? Tell us why or why not.

coach selection is not a player's job

The AD of this Div 1 team needs to have his/her job performance evaluated- to aks the players re: gender specifics or coach specifics is ridiculous on so many levels- players come and go- are essentially immature (18??) are uni-focused -lack perspective lack variable consideraitons and experiences, lack the school's and Athletic dept's missionand goals consepts. This is the most juvenile decision made. Now, if a woman and see the above as a ludiscrious approach to coach selection then- i think a Woman can coach to win- period! Please move onto real issues and get that AD out of that job

Women Can Be Just as Tough

Well, one thing is for sure and that is that female coaches can be disciplinarians -- perhaps going too far. I've seen many female coaches run their players into the ground or otherwise engage in excessive discipline. Of course, I've seen male coaches do the same. Regardless, the best coaches can strike a balance between connecting with the players and not getting too buddy-buddy, keeping team discipline and not draining all the fun out of the sport, and being able to think quickly and strategically, both during practice and during matches.
—Guest Mark

Never Underestimate a (phenomenal) Woman

Yes, Women's coaches can win at the top Level, as far as NCAA Division I is concerned. Why? A team wins because they believe in each other AND their coaches. As I shared recently, transitions come to us unexpectedly and unwanted at times but we can use it our advantage. Yes, it was a good step for the department to consult the team, but I wish the athletic department stuck to their 'guns.' From the ERA to Title IX, these female student athletes could see it as a possibility of making NCAA Division I volleyball History along with a Championship. The NCAA Division II, III and the NAIA has had its share of women's coaches win the Championship. Yet, only two women head volleyball coaches have made it to the NCAA D-I final 4 in the last two decades- Elaine Michaelis (BYU) in 1993 and as you mentioned Coach Wise. I thought Coach Love from Arizona State had the gumption of making it to the final 4. Still, she moved forward with her professional career, and I hope the same for D-I WVB.


That's crazy! I suspect that the ratio of men to women coaches are higher and that's why you don't see more winning women's coaches. The best vball coach I ever worked with was a women. She was brilliant and turned around programs anywhere she went. I learned more from her than all of the coaches that I have ever worked with. Having said that, I do wonder about the players wanting a male coach versus a female. It would be cool to do a poll on this site to see how true that is! I know a lot of parents that have told me how happy they were to have a male coach to provide the girls with a male role model, but that was in an area with a lot of broken families, poverty and drugs all over the place. So, that's why they said that. Anyway, you have my vote! I'm anxious to see other comments.
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