A profile of coaches of girls' interscholastic sports in Tennessee.

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Maurer, Marcy
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study was three-fold: (1) to determine if there has been a percentage decline of female interscholastic coaches in Tennessee from 1975 to 1990, (2) to seek out reasons why interscholastic coaches in Tennessee entered the profession, and (3) to identify perceived causes for the percentage decline of female coaches.
Collection of data began in the spring of 1990 and was completed by the summer of the same year. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Directories, 1975 to 1990, were used to gather demographic information. The Interscholastic Coaching Questionnaire (Part I adopted from Hart, Hasbrook and Mathes; Part III adopted from Acosta and Carpenter) was used to determine: (1) why coaches entered the profession and (2) perceived causes for the decline of female interscholastic coaches. Questionnaires were sent to all head coaches of girls' interscholastic teams in Tennessee (N = 1400). Four hundred and eighty-one coaches participated in the study.
Findings indicated a percentage decline of female interscholastic coaches in Tennessee from 42 percent (N = 225 of 541) in 1975 to 33 percent (N = 524 of 1565) in 1990. The number of available coaching positions for girls' interscholastic teams has increased from 541 in 1975 to 1,565 in 1990. Seventy-one percent (N = 725 of 1024) of the total available positions have been filled by males.
Of the eight TSSAA-sponsored sports, six showed a percentage decline of female coaches. The findings of the percentage change across Classifications by sport revealed only one with a percentage increase, Class A basketball. Geographical analysis indicated all three Grand Divisions had percentage declines.
Significant differences at the.05 level of confidence between male and female coaches occurred on 21 items of the Interscholastic Coaching Questionnaire. Significant differences occurred between Classifications and Grand Divisions on nine and eight items, respectively.
The number one reason indicated by male and female coaches for entering the coaching profession was the same, "to work with young people." The number one perceived cause of the percentage decline of female coaches as indicated by males was the "lack of qualified female coaches." The number one perceived cause for the percentage decline of female coaches indicated by females was the "lack of a support system.".