Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Dana Burnett

Committee Member

James Jarrett

Committee Member

James K. Heinen

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


Leaders in higher education and athletics are concerned with the decline in the number of female coaches. The lack of role models for young women athletes and the inability for young women to be hired into, and remain in, coaching is problematic to the development of women in society.

The results of Acosta's 1985 study indicated that athletic directors held two stereotypical beliefs regarding the decline in the number of female coaches: a lack of qualification and time constraints due to family responsibilities. The purpose of the current research is to address two questions: (1) are male athletic administrators correct in asserting that the decline in female coaches is due to an absence of "qualified" female coaches? (2) Are male athletic administrators correct in asserting that the decline in female coaches is related to their belief that females are affected to a greater degree by family responsibilities?

The current study replicated a design used for a nationwide high school study by Hasbrook, Hart, Mathes, & True (1990) but applied to a sample population of Division I collegiate coaches of women's basketball. The revised Hart Coaching Career Survey was the instrument by which the data were collected and was statistically analyzed.

Statistically significant differences existed between male and female respondents in total years of interscholastic and intercollegiate playing experience, educational level, coaching experience, and time constraints related to family responsibilities.

The two research questions were not supported by the comparison of existing male and female coaches qualifications and time constraints in this sample. Female coaches of women's basketball were found to be as qualified as male coaches of women's basketball in three of four defined qualifications. Both male and female coaches perceive that they are affected equally by family responsibilities.

Several questions for further research were promulgated by this study.


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