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.