Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Arthur-Banning, Skye

Committee Member

Anderson, Denise M

Committee Member

Barcelona, Robert J

Abstract

Title IX facilitated an increase in the number of female athletes in the United States. However, the rate of female coaches of women's teams has declined since Title IX's passage in 1972, currently only 43% of women's teams are coached by women. Previous research has explored barriers to coaching for women, but limited research has looked at women's intent to coach. The purpose of this study was to examine what influences millennial generation, Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, female assistant coaches' decision to pursue careers as head coaches.
This study was grounded in feminist standpoint theory as the goal was to hear the experiences of female coaches in the male dominated field of coaching. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 coaches (1 basketball, 5 rowing, 4 soccer). The millennial generation (born after 1980) was chosen as they are second generation Title IX beneficiaries and women from this generation had unprecedented levels of participation in sports. While coaches could come from any sport, they were limited to Division I, Football Bowl Subdivision schools to standardize the sample.
The interviews were analyzed based on constructivist grounded theory practices. Three main themes emerged from the data analysis: the coaches overall optimism about women in sport; family obligations as the only potential barrier to their career goals; and networking and mentoring, particularly with other women, as the most useful strategies in accomplishing career goals. These findings should encourage sport associations and athletic departments to create more women's only networking and mentoring opportunities to facilitate communication amongst female coaches.

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