Male coaches, female sports.....

The other day I was flipping channels and found a WNBA game on TV which picqued my interest for a few minutes. it was Seattle against maybe Los Angeles. Kind of hard to tell because their jerseys have advertising on them instead of teams names. BING was on the chest of the Seattle team.

I noticed that one of the coaches was a man. I know that there are a lot of men who coach or have coached NCAA and professional women’s leagues. I went to the University of Mississippi where we had a male woman’s basketball coach named Van Chancellor who went on to coach (or maybe still is) a WNBA team.

My question may sound politically incorrect, but…

Isn’t coaching women’s basketball for a man a step down from coaching a man’s team?


Could a woman be qualified to coach a male league?

The male questions stems from the fact that the coach played on male teams and possibly coached male teams. Male basketball is superior to female basketball (being bigger and stronger makes for a better game.) so it would seem to be a step down for a male coach to coach a female team.

I think maybe that in some school districts, there were few women coaches and thus relied on male coaches in doing the work with the female teams. There just weren’t that many women who thought about or who wanted to coach, especially in a sport that takes a backseat to the male sports.

Pat Summitt of U of Tennessee could coach a male team. She’s a basketball genius and actually has a pair of balls. Or many, the woman is a college basketball coach, what did you think I meant?

Well, if she looks like Cathy Lee Crosby, she can coach and seduce Michael Biehn…

The Seattle Storm is a phenomenal team who have won every home game this season (2nd home playoff game coming up this Thursday night). It may be a step down to coach a women’s team in pay and prestige, but I think it would have its own ample rewards.

I’d venture to guess that whether it’s a step down or up depends greatly on where the coach came from. If he was coaching kiddy basketball and is asked to now coach an WNBA team, I’d suspect that it was a step up.

And for the specific coach, it might be more about winning or money than glamor, in which case if he’s getting paid more or is put in a position where he’ll get more wins, in his mind it’s a step up.

At least with basketball, I think the male game and the female game are so different that its almost like coaching a different sport. I don’t know if a Geno Auriemma would be as successful coaching UConn’s men team as has been coaching the female team. And vice versa.

Auriemma was a mens’ assistant coach at St. Joseph, FWIW.

Personally, I’d say it’s a step down, simply because visibility = prestige, to a degree. On the other hand, I’d rather be WNBA head coach than an NBA assistant.

If you look at the salary you will see if it is a step up or down.

I’m not sure I can agree with this. I agree that the men’s game is more prestigious than the women’s game at the same level and, in many cases, men’s college teams are more prestigious than most/all professional women’s teams, but I don’t think that follows that it’s a step down. The thing is, where is it a step down from? If a male coach has an opportunity to coach a mediocre men’s team, or an upper-mid women’s team, which should he take? If a male coach has the opportunity to coach for an upper-mid men’s college team or a WNBA team, which should he choose?

Sure, it’s a step down from men’s at the same level, but chances are that you’re not going to see the same opportunities for both sexes at the same level of competition

This is hard to answer. Yes, someone like Pat Summit is good, but exactly how good is she? At least part of the reason she’s good is because of her reputation and the quality of recruits that brings in. We see the same sort of thing happen in the NFL all the time, where a very successful college coach just doesn’t transfer to professional football because he’s used to completely outclassing his competition. No doubt, Tennessee has consistently had quality recruits for a number of years, but would she have the same draw in the men’s game when compared against so many names there?

Also, the game isn’t the same, with different strategies and skills needed because of the difference in size, strength, and athleticism. How well would her knowledge transfer? She might have to completely relearn large aspects of her offense, defense, scouting, and training techniques that could put her years behind her opponents.

How well would she be able to relate to male players? I think men, especially ones raised in a heavily manly atmosphere of athletics will have difficulty dealing with some latent sexism. For men coaching women’s teams, it’s a bit different because men are often seen as authority figures in general, not to mention that women in athletics are often surrounded by men simply because of how prevalent men are in athletics. For men, they very rarely see women in any capacity in athletics, except maybe as a cheerleader or nurse. So, I don’t think an opposite sexed coach is comparable both ways. How hard would she have to work to gain the respect of her team, that a male coach of roughly equal skill wouldn’t have to do?

I also think someone like her, who probably does have the talent to coach men’s basketball at a high level, is unlikely to ever WANT to coach a men’s team. She’s already one of the most famous coaches in college basketball. I’m sure she’s already paid quite handsomely. She’s already heading up a successful program that’s a perennial contender. What does she have to gain by switching to the men’s game, other than to prove she can do it? But yet, she has so much to lose, including a high potential for failure and damaging her legacy. It’s exactly the same reason while I seriously doubt we’ll ever see someone like Coach K from Duke go pro, even if someone waved a lot of money in his face.
I think she could be successful coaching a men’s team, but it would be an uphill battle because she would be severely disadvantaged. She’d have her work cut out for her.

So you would rather coach a losing men’s team than a winning women’s team?

Man you are making sexist pig’s ears look like silk purses now.

Since males are bigger and stronger, that makes it inferior basketball. The women have to work harder at it, and play smarter, instead of relying on size and strength.

Which means a woman who makes it as a sports coach had to work harder and smarter to compete where she was discriminated against.

What did you think you meant? You just disproved your own premise there. You must have been an athlete in school.

By the way, big news story this weekend about the first woman high school football coach. Got news for you talking heads, Goldie Hawn did it years ago.

Okay, back to you Captain Midlife, women have been training and managing world champion boxers for years on end. Some of those guys, like Jeff Chandler, 5’7", 118 pound and 122 pound champion, managed by K.O. Becky O’Neill, would have your superior male ass along with your basketball teams.

Man, guys like you take all the fun out of being a sexist pig.

The real question is are the women half naked in the locker room while the coach is there?

Neither necessary nor pertinent to the discussion. Back off.

Do not mangle other posters’ names in GD.

[ /Moderating ]

Yeah, the second one was definitely over the line. Sorry Captain Midnight.

For the NBA the answer is not today. For example, Erik Spoelstra is head coach of the Miami Heat and I think it’s fair to say he’s considered a little weak by most NBA observers, or at least nothing out of the ordinary. He’s an extremely young coach, at 39. He played college ball, spent 2 years as head coach of a pro German team, and then spent 13 years as a video coordinator/scout/assistant coach on the Heat before getting bumped to head coach. Also, his dad was a former NBA executive for several teams.

Are there any women that are even close to that sort of pedigree right now? Not to my knowledge. Bonnie-Jill Laflin is the NBA’s only female scout, but if you read the link and GIS for her very NSFW magazine spreads I think you’ll understand why it’s incredibly unlikely she’ll ever be in a serious position.

Stephanie Ready was the first female coach of an NBDL team which is pretty awesome, but it was short lived. She’s been a sideline reporter for several years now, so it looks like she gave up that career track.

I’m sure it will happen someday, but she’ll have to do it like the guys – by working up the totem pole with 15-20 years of experience in men’s basketball. And for the NBA probably at least 10 just in that if she starts in the NBDL or college. The men’s college to men’s pro transfer is tough enough. Forget WNBA to NBA – no team would ever do that unless it was a pure publicity stunt.

Another small problem even if you had a qualified woman coach would be that male athletes aren’t exactly known for their liberal attitude towards women, especially given their lifestyles. It would have to be a really good situation, like a team with a poor record but a stable roster so the players get used to her as an assistant over several years and see that she’s better than their terrible men coaches and just view her as one of the guys.

Except for gymnastics, I can’t think of a sport where it wouldn’t be a step down in prestige and pay to go from coaching the men’s team to coaching the women’s team. But other factors come into play. Would you rather coach the UConn women’s basketball team or the South Dakota State men’s team? Personally, I’d take the latter because watching women’s basketball is like having a root canal done on your eyes.

If you want to have a career in the NBA you’d stay with the men’s, no matter how bad or what unheard of league they’re in. But if not, or you have a fetish for athletic Amazonian women, hey, why not? Yeah, insert all WNBA players are butch joke here, but there are a lot of serious hotties. And coach/player trysts are not unheard of.

I agree. I don’t see any sport where you could climb the ladder to the professional men’s ranks by coaching women’s teams. Women’s basketball and the men’s version are probably the closest of the major sports, but even then the differences are so great it’s hard to see how success in one would translate to the other.

Not to mention legs that go all the way up.

First time I’ve heard of it. Who’s been doing the horizontal screen & roll with the coach in the WNBA? :eek:

Well if we’re including female executives in male sports, there’s Kim Ng, assistant GM for the LA Dodgers. Her name is always mentioned in GM searches and she has been interviewed multiple times in the last few years for open positions. She’s still reasonably young and its not out of the realm of possibilities that she’ll get hired in the next few years.

Now a General Manager is different than a head coach. There’s much less direct contact between GMs and players as compared to coaches. However, when and if that barrier falls down (and provided it works out for Ng or whatever woman becomes the first GM), I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few minor league baseball teams add a qualified female coach to their staffs. Then the sky’s the limit.

Did this get transferred to MPSIMS already?