While the number of high school girls’ teams has dramatically increased since Title IX, the number of female head coaches has not. In the 10 most popular high school sports in 2011-2012, only three (volleyball, swimming and diving, and competitive spirit squads) had more than 44% female head coaches. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether females or males are coaching high school girls’ sport teams and whether female coaches are attaining head coaching positions in the most popular high school girls’ sports. Additionally, the study sought to understand better why males and females choose to become head coaches of high school girls’ sport teams and what factors might cause head high school girls’ coaches to resign from coaching. In the 21–30 age group, there were more female than male head coaches of girls’ teams, but after age 40, male head coaches vastly outnumbered female head coaches. Of the coaches with 12 or more years of experience, only 33% were females. Time away from family, player issues, inadequate compensation, and time away from other activities were the top reasons high school coaches might resign.
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Angela Lumpkin is with the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Science at the University of Kansas, Judy Favor is with the Department of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University–Olathe, and Lacole McPherson is with the Department of Sport and Recreation Management at the University of Minnesota–Crookston.
The first author wishes to acknowledge the School of Education’s Research Support Program. Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Angela Lumpkin, Professor Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, 146B Robinson, Lawrence, KS 66045-7567.