Face Up Against The Glass

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


It may be called the ‘glass ceiling’ but it is becoming very clear over the last 24 months that women in coaches are pressing their face up against the glass. From the San Antonio Spurs hiring Becky Hammon and then putting here in charge of the summer league team to the Buffalo Bills hiring the Kathryn Smith this week. The cracks are appearing in the glass.

Hammon and Smith may be the most notable names that are out there because they are the first two in professional sports to be actually coaching players. Their roles show that they have the motivational skills, acumen, and specific sports knowledge to help their teams win games. Because let us not forget, sports is about winning. If they aren’t helping the players get better and helping their respective teams win then they will be gone just like their boss.

Hammon and Smith are alone on the sidelines of professional sports but not in the front office. Several women have and do hold key positions in professional sports such as Senior VP of Baseball Operations from MLB Kim Ng and former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask.

Danielle Bartelstein was named Senior Director of Football Operations at Virginia Tech this past fall. She joins new head coach Justin Fuente who was hired to take over for legendary coach Frank Beamer. While this role may not lead to a head coaching or coordinator position it is a vital roll in college football. It is essentially the right arm of the coach off the field.

While it is 2016 and these hirings aren’t even a dent in the grand scheme of things, it does show that people and coaches in particular are coming around. Will there be a female coordinator or head coach in the near future in basketball, football or baseball? Probably not but the near future ain’t what it use to be.

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Later 2015

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


2015 is in the rearview mirror and 2016 is upon us. What will it bring? Who will win the big events? These questions and others will only take a matter of time to answer. Since we have data about the past and only theories about the future, let us take one last look back at some of the better moments of 2015.

The Interception

 

Show Stealer

 

Oops

 

It Would Be A Pharaoh

 

Best Flip Ever

 

Another Smashing Of The Glass Ceiling

 

Amazing Catch 

 

Not a bad year. Below are links to some other great recaps from 2015.

Sports Illustrated

Women In Sports

 

 

The Time Has Come

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Becky Hammon just keeps on keeping on. From undrafted free agent to six time all-star in the WNBA and now head coach of the NBA Summer League Champion San Antonio Spurs. She continues to show that wherever she goes, success follows.

Becky Hammon

The Hammon led Spurs reeled off six wins in a row to win the Summer League Championship. She can put that trophy on the mantle along with the fact she is the first women to be a full time NBA assistant coach.

Some people used to say that it was only a matter of time before a woman was a coach of a mens professional team. Well that time looks like it may have come. While the sample size is small it is still proof that a women can coach a mens team successfully at the professional level. We can make exceptions all we want, the fact is that a woman lead a mens team to a championship at the professional level.

Year after year we see the same coaches recycled in professional sports. On occasion we get fresh blood and fresh ideas embodied in the likes of  Hammon or Joe Moglia. The insiders always cite experience as the end all be all for a head coach but more times than not taking a chance on someone with something to prove is the best move one can make. It would be a shame to not see Hammon get a head coaching gig in the next few years. All she needs is a chance.

What Ceiling?

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Becky Hammon is a woman and now an assistant coach for the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. Yes, a woman is an assistant coach for an NBA team. A team made up entirely of men. It also couldn’t be a more perfect situation for a more qualified individual.

Becky Hammon

Hammon is someone everyone says was going to be a coach at some point. One could assume most people didn’t think that it would be with an NBA franchise must less the defending champions. But she is and by all accounts more than qualified to make a great team even better.

The Spurs are an NBA backwater. Meaning that it’s not Los Angeles, New York, Chicago or Miami. Yet they have been one of the most consistent and successful organizations in the NBA. Winning five NBA titles since 1999 with a head coach, Gregg Popovich, who is one of the best in history. A smart, thorough man with a track record of success. Now he and the Spurs are making history, again.

The Spurs have thought outside the box many times before. They have the most diverse roster in the NBA with six players born outside of the US. Popovich and his staff have been able to bring these diverse backgrounds together into a championship team. When you think about it this way, Hammon’s hiring doesn’t seem that unusual because Spurs have put aside prejudice many times before choosing instead to focus on finding the best qualified people regardless of location or in this case gender.

Hammon’s hiring is ground-breaking any way you cut it. Time will tell if she will be a success or enough of a success to become an NBA head coach one day. The fact that we are finally going to get a chance to find out is a huge step forward. Next question is when does a team from the MLS, the NHL, NFL or MLB hire a woman coach?