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.