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Navigating barriers: A qualitative examination of the under-representation of Black females as head coaches in collegiate basketball


  • Borland, John F.
  • Bruening, Jennifer E.


Although sport management researchers have produced findings with regard to diversity in the leadership positions of college athletics, this examination has focused separately on gender ([Inglis et al., 1996] and [Inglis et al., 2000]; Inglis, Danylchuk, & Pastore, 2000; [Knoppers et al., 1991], [National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2009a] and [Sartore and Cunningham, 2007]) or race ([Cunningham and Sagas, 2004a], [Cunningham and Sagas, 2004b], [Cunningham et al., 2001] and [Cunningham et al., 2006]). The current study, framed by intersectionality, identifies barriers contributing to the under-representation of Black women in head coaching jobs in Division I women's basketball in the United States. The assistant coaches cited access discrimination, lack of support, and prevalent stereotypes as barriers. In negotiating these barriers, the women discussed the importance of networking, mentoring and presenting "a proper image" for big-time athletics. To eradicate these barriers, the women recommended expanding job pools; more mentoring by athletic department personnel; and more development programs offered for young Black females.

Suggested Citation

  • Borland, John F. & Bruening, Jennifer E., 2010. "Navigating barriers: A qualitative examination of the under-representation of Black females as head coaches in collegiate basketball," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 407-420, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:13:y:2010:i:4:p:407-420

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carrington, William J & Troske, Kenneth R, 1998. "Interfirm Segregation and the Black/White Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 231-260, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burton, Laura J., 2015. "Underrepresentation of women in sport leadership: A review of research," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 155-165.


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