Minority Coaches and Their White Counterparts


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Minority coaches have often seen a significant difference in how their white counterparts get promoted to head coaching positions compared to themselves. In 2008, the Racial and Gender Report Card showed that National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college sports having the lowest grade for racial hiring practices among all U.S. sporting organizations (Harrison, Lapchick, & Janson, 2009). Other researchers argue though that minority coaches often have more advantages to becoming a head coach such as the BCA (Black Coaches and Administrators) and the NFL Rooney Rule (Makes NFL teams interview at least one minority).

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Literature Review

Research Supporting the Research Hypothesis

Bozeman and Fay (2013) researched if position channeling early in the playing careers leads white and African-Americans respectively to gravitate to different positions. The authors gathered data for a set of 50 random minority assistant coaches and 50 random white assistant coaches from the official websites of colleges. The authors calculated the projection of moving from current position to head coach by using the career utility hierarchy value (Level 2 being student assistant/intern and this progresses up to Level 9 being Head coach at another college) from the data gathered. The researchers took the probability for each coach and multiplied that with the hierarchy level information which then showed the percentage of that level becoming a head coach by white and minority. The study found that nearly forty-eight of the fifty white assistant coaches in the sample are projected to receive a head coaching position compared to four of the fifty minority assistant coaches are projected a head coaching position. The authors’ findings show that minority coaches have a considerable amount of underrepresentation in becoming future head coaches.

Cunningham, Bruening, and Straub (2006) wanted to examine the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of African Americans in head coaching positions. The authors collected data from assistant football coaches and assistant basketball coaches (n =403) to examine barriers and reasons for leaving coaching professions. The research showed that significant race and sports interaction with African Americans perceiving discrimination as limiting their ability to become a head coach (F =11.33, p. < 0.001). The research also showed that African Americans view race as a barrier to becoming a head coach (F=21.98, p. < 0.001).

Sartore and Cunningham (2006) researched if there was an influence of social stereotypes with the existence of discrimination in college athletics by examining whether sport-related racial stereotypes had any affect in the advancement of applicants with distinction of race and qualifications levels. The authors gave a questionnaire to participants (n =79) requesting them to provide demographic information and respond to items related to the perceived promotability in job applicants using a 7-point Likert scale. The research showed that there were significant differences in race (F = 11.83, p.< 0.01). Research also showed a significant difference for qualifications (F =751.26, p.)

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