There are 122 teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL, and all of these pro sports franchises have one thing in common. None employ a single woman as a coach or assistant coach. But that doesn’t mean female coaches aren’t out there in professional, college, and high school sports.
On a segment for HuffPost Live, Debbie Vance shared her experience as the first female to coach boy’s football in New York. During her 18-year coaching career, Vance experienced encouragement from her colleagues, but sometimes found pushback from opposing teams.
After her team’s victories, Vance revealed that some opposing coaches reacted to the loss personally, saying, “Nice game, Coach. But I hate to losing to a woman.”
“My thing was, you didn’t lose to a woman. My boys beat your boys.” Vance said. “No matter what the sport is or what gender you’re coaching or who the coach is, it’s still the same sport.”
Vance joined host Nancy Redd to discuss the lack of women’s roles in coaching and some of these attitudes towards female coaches with Megan Greenwell, Senior Editor at ESPN The Magazine, Justine Siegal, the founder of "Baseball for All" and the first woman to throw batting practice in Major League Baseball, and Janet Fink, Associate Professor in the Sports Management Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Watch the full segment on HuffPost Live.