Women in sports are fighting for equality in various ways, and coaching is no exception The introduction of Title IX increased opportunities for female athletes in the United States for example, but also resulted in decreasing numbers of female coaches in different sports, the New York Times reports. Nevertheless, there are still notable developments in the world of coaching that anyone that follows women in sports, and coaches in particular, should know about. Read below to find out more about 3 of the biggest stories that took place in the first half of this year.
Becky Hammon stayed with the NBA San Antonio Spurs
The NBA’s first female assistant coach, Becky Hammon was reportedly offered the chance to become the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Florida. She decided to stay with the San Antonio Spurs however, a team that she’s won the Spurs Las Vegas Summer League with, in 2015 and 2016, per My San Antonio’s reporting this past March.
Dawn Staley won a National Championship with the Gamecocks
In April, 3-time Olympian Dawn Staley coached the University of Southern Carolina’s women’s basketball team, winning their first national championship. According to ESPN, she’s “just the second African-American coach to win the NCAA women’s basketball title.” The first was Carolyn Peck.
Since winning the national championship, Staley has been named coach for the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team, following in the footsteps of UConn’s Geno Auriemma. Staley will be at the helm from 2017 until 2020, so she’ll be coaching the squad during the 2018 World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At the college level, an increased number of elite recruits have expressed their interest in joining Staley’s team, which could have a positive impact moving forward, on an already winning program.
The New York Jets hired the first female coach in team history
Collette Smith, a former player and coach in the Independent Women’s Football League, was hired as an intern by the New York Jets, and NFL team. Announced in May, Smith will work with defensive backs as the team’s first female coach. Of the trailblazing move, she was quoted in Sports Illustrated saying:
“We as women carry a lot on our shoulders… Right now, it happens to be football for me. This is a way for me to help empower women. Don’t dream small, play big and go for it.
“One day a woman will come to a football team, and it won’t be a big story. It’ll just be football. When that day comes I’ll be more honored and even more proud.”
Bio: Mariela Santos-Muniz has an M.A. in International Relations and International Communications from Boston University, and a B.A. in Humanities from the Universidad del Turabo. A sports fan, she blogs at WMN Sports World, about women in sports. You can follow on Twitter @WMNSportsWorld.