NCAA Women's Basketball Head Coach Hires at
HBCUs and Power Five Schools From 1984-2020
HBCUs and Power Five Schools From 1984-2020
How did the introduction of Title IX affect the subsequent hiring of NCAA Women’s Basketball coaches at HBCUs and Power Five Schools?
The figures below show the trends for NCAA Power Five and HBCU coaches broken down by race/ethnicity and gender in five-year spans from 1984–2020. Within these figures are the factors often cited when considering basketball coaching qualifications, such as past collegiate playing experience, past collegiate coaching experience, and degrees obtained. Other factors we highlight include the positions that collegiate coaches held immediately before obtaining their current coaching role.
Number of Men and Women Head Basketball Coaches Hired by Race/Ethnicity for 1984 – 2020
Across the 36-year time span, we saw a net gain in the number of men head coaches. Overall, hiring was primarily split between White and African American coaches. There was one Latina woman head coach and there were no head coaches who identified as Asian American, Indigenous/Native American, or Pacific Islander.
Outgoing and Incoming Head Coaches for both Power Five Schools and HBCUs
- The only net loss in coaching numbers was observed in White women.
- All other groups showed a net gain, with White men having the biggest gain in hires between 1984 and 2020 (+10).
With greater access and opportunities to play, the number of coaching positions in girls’ and women’s sports has grown, however we see this has had a negative impact on the percentage of girls’ and women’s team led by women.
Prior to Title IX, women generally coached women’s sports, but after the new statue, men were hired as head coaches too (see citations in full white paper).
Incoming Coaches for both Power Five Universities and HBCUs
- From 1996 – 2000, 80.7% of the incoming coaches at HBCUs and Power Five schools (46 of 57 hires) were women. Of those 46 hires, 50% were White and 50% were African American.
- From 2011 – 2015, 61% of the incoming coaches at HBCUs and Power Five schools (33 of 54) were women. Of those 33 hires, 42.4% were White and 57.6% were African American.
- Overall, more women (251) were hired compared to men (116) between 1984 and 2020.
- Although White women have experienced a decline in their incoming numbers since 2006, they remain the most hired.
Mean Age and Age Ranges of Hire by Race/Ethnicity and Gender for 1984 – 2020
Mean Age and Age Ranges of Hire by Race/Ethnicity and Gender for 1984 – 2020 [H3]
We expected that women would be hired at older ages than the men due to their playing careers delaying the hiring windows for coaching opportunities, yet we found that men were actually hired at older ages than women. This suggests that women were able to build greater networks at the NCAA level due to their collegiate playing experience, whereas a portion of men in this sample size did not play collegiate basketball and therefore required more time to establish a network.
- The average age of incoming women head coaches was 37.5 and the average age for men incoming women’s head coaches was 44.
- The oldest incoming woman head coach was 61 while the oldest incoming man head coach was 71.
Highest Level of Playing Experience for Incoming NCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches by Race/Ethnicity and Gender
Women hires, across race/ethnicity, came from notable collegiate playing backgrounds. In general, the majority of incoming African American head coaches played college basketball.
- Of the all women hired as NCAA Women’s Basketball coaches during the timeframe, 92.4% played some level of post-high school basketball.
- Only 23% of incoming White men head coaches at HBCUs and Power Five schools played Division I college basketball.
- Of the all men hired as NCAA Women’s Basketball coaches during this timeframe, 57.7% played some level of post-high school basketball.
- Nearly 90% of incoming African American women and 80% of incoming African American men head coaches in Power Five programs played Division I college basketball.
Immediate Previously Held Position of Incoming Head Coaches at HBCUs and Power Five Schools
The general breakdown of experience showed that most head coaches held NCAA head coach or assistant coach positions immediately prior to being hired.
- White head coaches are hired from a wider range of immediately previous non-coaching jobs.
- There were 83 African American head coaches who were hired immediately after being assistant and associate women’s basketball coaches.
- Nine incoming African American head coaches at HBCUs had an immediate previous position as a high school coach.
Immediate Previously Held Position of Incoming Head Coaches at ONLY Power Five Schools
- Just 11 African Americans hired at Power Five universities served as NCAA head coaches in their immediate prior position.
- Conversely, 38 African Americans who were NCAA head coaches in their immediate prior position went on to become an HBCU head coach.
- One Power Five school hired a White man who was a former high school coach as their incoming coach.