Date of Award

Spring 2-21-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology


Professional Psychology and Family Therapy


Pamela F. Foley, PhD

Committee Member

Pamela F. Foley, PhD

Committee Member

Minsun Lee, PhD

Committee Member

Jessica Jean Baptiste, PhD


Black female coaches, women’s college basketball, Black female student–athletes


According to the NCAA Demographics database, among the Division I, Division II, and Division III teams' women's basketball rosters for the 2020-2021 season, Black women only held 12% of head coaching positions, while White women held 45% of head coaching positions. The statistics should raise concern as Black and other female athletes of color make up 50% of NCAA's basketball rosters across all three divisions but they do not transition into coaching or leadership positions.

The current study explored the lived experiences of Black female coaches in NCAA women's basketball, including their career advancement, experiences as coaches, and their perception of how their relatively low level of representation influences BFSAs. A total of 10 BFCs completed a 45–60-minute video interview regarding their coaching experiences in women’s college basketball. The data analysis followed the thematic analysis (TA) approach. The participants reported experiencing both gender and racial discrimination, limited opportunities for advancement, and high workloads in part due to providing unofficial mentoring support to BFCs, but feeling overlooked due to a White patriarchal culture. This study can help researchers understand BFCs’ experiences and the unique barriers and discrimination they encounter. These results can be expanded upon to offer recommendations for strategies to raise awareness of hiring disparities and expand the pool of potential candidates for BFC positions in women's collegiate basketball. Universities, sports departments, and the NCAA can gain insight on how to support BFCs professionally and emotionally by hearing about these experiences.