Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Curiosity about coaches


Although I didn’t realize it at the time, something unusual occurred on the sidelines in Saturday’s Kansas-Kansas State women’s basketball game.

Neither K-State coach Deb Patterson nor KU coach Bonnie Henrickson had a male serving as a full-time assistant coach.

That’s rare? It sure is. Nine of the Big 12 Conference women’s basketball staffs contain at least one man, and, believe it or not, all three of the aides on Baylor coach Kim Mulkey’s staff are men.

Before I go on, please believe I don’t have an agenda here. I’m not trying to offer any compelling arguments. I was just curious how many men are coaching women’s sports in the Age of Title IX.

I should also point out that Henrickson does have a male presence on the bench in Steve Wallace, a second-year graduate assistant whose jobs are assisting with video, organizing the men’s practice team and helping with summer camps and clinics. But he is not a full-time aide.

Other than Patterson and Henrickson, the only other Big 12 women’s basketball coach without a male staffer is Texas’ Gail Goestenkors. All three of her top aides are women.

As you may know, three of the Big 12 women’s coaches are men — Iowa State’s Bill Fennelly, Oklahoma State’s Kurt Budke and Oklahoma State’s Gary Blair. Two of Budke’s top three assistants are men, while Fennelly and Blair have one apiece.

Mulkey, as noted, has a trio of male helpers, but two other female head coaches — Colorado’s Kelly McConnell-Miller and Texas Tech’s Kristy Curry — have a pair of male staffers. One of Curry’s top aides, incidentally, is her husband, Kelly Curry.

Rounding out the dozen league staffs, Nebraska’s Connie Yori, Missouri’s Cindy Stein and Oklahoma’s Sherri Coale have one male aide each.

Let’s look at it another way. Each Big 12 school has one head coach and three full-time aides. That’s a total of 48 jobs. How many are held by men? Seventeen. Or a little more than a third.

Now let’s look at Kansas University’s women sports staffs. I’ve already mentioned basketball, and I’m going to leave out track because coach Stanley Redwine coaches both the men and women with the same staff. But I should point out that four of Redwine’s five assistants are men. The lone woman is sprints-hurdles coach Elisha Brewer.

That leaves seven KU varsity sports. Of those seven, four have male head coaches — Rob Catloth (rowing), Mark Francis (soccer), Clark Campbell (swimming) and Ray Bechard (volleyball). The three women in charge are Tracy Bunge (softball), Amy Hall-Holt (tennis) and Erin O’Neil (golf).

Five of those sports have two aides each, while the other two (tennis and golf) have one.

How many of those seven sports don’t have at least one male on the staff? One. O’Neil’s lone helper is a woman, Sarah Trew. But there are no all-male cadres among the seven, either.

Taking it to the next step, there are 19 full-time coaches in those seven sports, and nine — nearly half — are men. If you add basketball, that figure changes to nine out of 23 or about 40 percent.

Remember. No agenda. Just curiosity.


phogthedog 10 years, 12 months ago

No agenda, just curiosity? Then check the coaching staff of mens' basketball and football teams. Are there any women in positions of power there?

Eric Dawson 10 years, 12 months ago

Good call, phogthedog! Woodling's pathetic claim and failure to look at the men's sports for women coaches reminds me of the old "some of my best friends are..." attempt to deny bias. Just what was the value of this article? I've gotten to the point where I have to stop reading Woodling's pieces. With all the other things of value that I have to spend my time on, reading what has become his inane drivel is no longer even on the list, not just below the "cut lines" for Must Read, Nice to Read, and Why Is This Even On The List To Read.

tennesseest 10 years, 12 months ago

yawn....who cares? Please, write a piece that people care about. And instead of copping out by saying, "No agenda. Just curiosity", why not give us your actual opinion, isn't that what you're paid to do and the reason why we read your articles?

kvskubball 10 years, 12 months ago

LtcUSARet,Is that Lt. Col. ?If you didn't read the article, as you claim you have to quit reading his articles, then how do you have any idea what it is about.This article could be called a comment on the status quo of women coaching women under Title IX. It is informative. Could it have been made more informative by giving us some historical perspective about the change, say from 10 years ago, or since the inception of Title IX - sure! Here's a suggestion for you, if you're not interested in women's sports, don't read it.Phog... Your comment about looking for women coaches in men's sports is asinine. Hrudy is the strength coach, but other than that, I doubt you would find many women in coaching positions in men's sports. That is pretty much a non-issue. There are almost none so that would be a non-story, because you wouldn't expect to find many, if any.How about the number of African American head coaches and athletic directors? Now that wouldn't be a non-story, because the number of D1 athletes that are African American is very significant, but very few have made it to the head coaching level or beyond.Come on guys, you shouldn't be looking for a thesis on the Manhattan Project!

Omegatron 10 years, 12 months ago

I agree with kvskubball. Title IX was created for a reason.

JayhawkPhil64 10 years, 12 months ago

I usually defend Woodling but this article is beyond defense. This is a crummy column however kvshubball made an important point. A serious column of this nature would have compared the percentage of African-American coaches in football and basketball to the percentage of African-American scholarship players on the teams.Having said that, I applaud Bill Self for making a better effort than most in that area. I apologize though for not knowing the makeup of the womens' staff.

WBBLover2010 10 years, 12 months ago

This was a very sexist article. Mr. Woodling is a male chauvinist for making these kind of statements that belong back in the sixties. There are other Women's Basketball Teams that do not have assistant male coaches and they do very well. Perhaps if there was more FAN support and less criticisim of the team and coaches, they would win more games. Look at the men for example; they have 16,300 fans at all their home games and they won the National Championship last year. If the Women had 16,300 fans at their home games....think how far they could go. Don't talk bad about them; come support them. Try it, you might like it!!!

phogthedog 10 years, 12 months ago point exactly. We played so hard against KSU, without one of our starters, and with a freshman who has seen very limited playing time. Perhaps if we had as many fans at our game in OUR fieldhouse as KSU brought, we would have won the game. Last year Mangino came to games (until half time at least) and many of his FB players would be there. That's not happening this year. At the OU - TX WBB game, they flashed pictures of Stoops and Capel in the stands.'s amazing what you can do when you have support. We have men and women's BB and FB season tickets. We enjoy the WBB games as much as the others. Join's fun!

Omegatron 10 years, 12 months ago

"Last year Mangino came to games (until half time at least) and many of his FB players would be there."Wonder why that is not the case this year...When I still attended KU, some of the Men's Basketball players would hang out and watch.Of course this was back in the day when the Men and Women did skits together at late night...

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