Should Male Head Coaches Be With Female Basketball Teams?

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: March 22, 2007

CALIFORNIAIs it correct for men to be coaching women in the game of basketball?

Geno Auriemma at the University of Connecticut has won five NCAA woman’s titles and is the biggest male head coaches name in the college woman’s basketball scene

30 years ago, before Title IX, before Auriemma, and before the NCAA included women, it was women who coached women’s sports. The first seven female basketball titles were won by female coaches, Immaculata College of Pennsylvania with four, and Delta State of Louisiana with three.
30 years ago, females were primarily physical education teachers, and their network was rooted in that profession. Then men stepped in, and women had to fit into the men’s model for the coaching profession.
Whenever I watch a woman’s basketball game, I can tell within minutes if that team is coached by a male or female. The male-coached team plays overly aggressive defense all over the court.
They shoot three point shots more and they are more assertive on the court. They try to win with brute force like the men’s basketball team. Male coaches also use the tactic of intimidation, something Auriemma is very good at.
He has tried this tactic against Rutgers University coach Vivian Stringer’s Lady Knights, he has done this when his Lady Huskies play Pat Summit and the University of Tennessee Lady Vols and he has tried this ugly tactic with Stanford’s head coach Tara VenDerveer.
It is interesting that Auriemma does not display this behavior when his team plays another woman’s team with a male head coach.
With female head coaches the teams are more fundamentally basketball sound and they run front court plays much better. The players play below the rim unlike their male counterparts who are flying Walendas above the rim.
With female coaches the players position themselves better for rebounds and blockouts. Female players make clear passes to each other and limit the silly turnover. They use basketball skills rather then physical braun. They do not attack the other team physically.
If you look at college head coaches, there are women in about 70% of the jobs. But if you look at high school, it’s about 70% men and in the professional level its almost 95% men.
The problem stems from the fact that women are not attracted to basketball coaching in the numbers or percentages that men are and the result has been that over the years, the pool of women candidates for high-profile coaching jobs has not grown exponentially
There is not a single female head coach on any male basketball program in high school, college or professional level. The WNBA has the highest percentage of male coaches. There are only three female coaches to fourteen males in this league
There are a lot of players that have said that “I don’t want to play for a woman.” They’d rather play for a man. So we are slowly reaping what we have sown as a society?
There is also the lesbian factor that most parents of young ladies worry about and high school and college administrator fears. This year at LSU, head coach Pokey Chatman could be a classic example of this kind of misconduct.
Her resignation made sports headlines with her alleged affair with one of her former players. Coach Chatman handled the issue with professionalism and grace, just as she played and coached the Lady Tigers.
A relationship with a player has also happen with male head coaches but it does not raise the same ire as if it were a female coach. This should never happen be it male or female.
The coach has an authoritarian status over the potential mate. Thus making the basketball player feel like she must adhere to what the coaches says or it might disrupt the team chemistry and could cause favoritism toward that player.
This issue might become null and void in about ten years because most high school and college administrators and athletic directors will not hire male basketball coaches to replace the existing male coaches that are retiring.
Should males be coaching female basketball players? You make your own decision.