Gender Equity in College Athletics: Women Coaches as a Case Study


As Title IX celebrates its 35th anniversary, many have noted the positive impact it has had on women sports. But there is also an unintended (and oft-neglected) byproduct: as opportunities for female students have increased, opportunities for female professionals have declined. This Article focuses on the barriers that still confront women in college athletics, particularly those who seek professional positions in coaching and administration. Part I presents a brief overview of Title IX, which makes clear its limitations in securing gender equity. Part II.A discusses the declining representation and lower success rate of women coaches, while Part II.B explores the areas of Title IX (and accompanying federal statutory provisions) that have sought to secure their equal treatment. Part III presents the findings of the empirical research conducted for this Article. We surveyed over 450 coaches of women collegiate teams to better understand their needs, priorities, and opinions on coaching and the role of Title IX. Part IV situates these findings in light of other research on barriers for women in male-dominated settings, including coaching, and concludes with potential policy prescriptions.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Education Law | Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law | Law and Gender

Date of this Version

February 2007