Perceived Qualifications Necessary for Black Females Seeking Head Collegiate Basketball Coaching Positions

Submitted by Joan Sloan, Ph.D.

Dr. Jo Sloan is an Assistant Professor at Lane College teaching in the areas of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and is also a certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise.


Surveys were sent to 231 randomly selected athletic administrators from the 2008-09 NCAA Directory of Colleges and Universities across the United States in Divisions I, II, and III seeking their perception of qualifications necessary for Black females seeking opportunities to head coach Women’s basketball programs at the Division I, II, or III level. The rate of return for the surveys was 67%. The statistical significance of the information was tested using t-tests, one-way ANOVAs, and the Tukey’s Post Hoc procedures. There were items of significance from the Athletic Directors across the divisions as it related to education (p<.00), qualifications (p<.00), being unaware of openings (p<.02), experience at their level (p<.00) and being single (p<.02).  There was a significant result from the Commissioners as it related to experience (p<.02) for the division at its level. With the passage of Title IX some 42 years ago, the adoption of affirmative action guidelines and the increase in the number of women in sports one would be lead to believe that things would change especially for the Black female. However the number of minority women head coaches have not increased (Abney & Richey, 1992). Given as the top five perceived qualifications necessary for the employment of Black females according to athletic administrators were: strong communication skills, ability to recruit/travel, personality, educational level, and Division 1 coaching experience. Each division believed that experience at their level was definitely necessary. Having four out of the five qualifications and the Black female is still denied the opportunity. Between the years of 2000 and 2002, 90.3% of those new positions were filled by men (Acosta & Carpenter, 2002).