Professor Abrams: “Women as Boys’ Varsity Coaches”

For the past ten years, Professor Douglas E. Abrams has written nearly 300 essays for leading youth sports websites. In a recent essay, he urges public high schools and middle schools to “consider, and indeed encourage, head coaching and assistant coaching applications from women as well as men.” Consideration and encouragement should extend to boys’ teams as well as girls’ teams.

Professor Abrams explains that “[m]ore than 45 years after Congress enacted Title IX, the nation now has a generation of young and middle-aged women whose experience playing sports rivals the experience of their male counterparts.” Noting that qualified men often coach girls’ interscholastic teams, he also explains that appointing qualified women to coach boys’ teams “can influence boys and girls who will work in gender-neutral settings throughout their adult lives.  In a nation that values athletic competition for lessons that extend beyond the playing field, sports holds special potential to help shape the attitudes of team members about gender equality in the 21st century… Girls can perceive female coaches as role models, and boys can experience women in leadership positions.”