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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Uneven Resume Requirements

  • It's almost a prerequisite for female coaches to have played basketball at a high level, the study found.
  • Only 23% of white male coaches in Power 5 and HBCU roles played Division I basketball.
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Photo: David Butler II-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

It’s a common assumption that coaches must have played at a high level in order to be qualified. But whether it’s a prerequisite in women’s college basketball depends on gender and race.

Data from the study — which combined HBCU and Power 5 programs — shows that women were essentially required to have played post-high school in order to lead a team, unlike their male counterparts.

The male coaches who needed the least amount of competitive playing time on their resumes were white men.

  • 92.4% of women’s basketball coaches played basketball after high school. 
  • Conversely, only 59.5% of male coaches played after high school. 
  • Almost 90% of Black female coaches played Division I hoops, and 80% of Black male coaches played D-I basketball. But only ​23% of white male coaches did.

The study cited UConn coach Geno Auriemma as an example of this pattern, though he’s not currently a Power 5 or HBCU coach.

Auriemma didn’t play college basketball — but that didn’t keep him from rising through the ranks to become one of the winningest coaches of all time.

There is a sign of progress, however. The hiring numbers for both Black female and male coaches are on the rise, the study said. Even so, the barriers they’re facing are clear.

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