College basketball coach Dawn Staley remembers when she was just beginning her coaching career when she’d look across the sideline and rarely see a Black female leading the opposing team.
While she now coaches against more Black females, Staley says it doesn’t happen nearly enough.
“There is an influx of Black women getting an opportunity,” Staley said. “Black women are getting more chances to be the head honcho in their programs. I hope we continue to be successful.”
Pair of Black women will square off again Saturday when Staley’s top-ranked Gamecocks open play in the first-ever women’s Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas against Buffalo and Felisha Legette-Jack.
Staley, who recently signed a landmark $22.4 million, seven-year contract, said it’s simply a numbers game when looking at the demographics of who plays the sport compared to who gets gets the most opportunities to lead them.
“There should be a fair amount of Black women getting a chance because of who we serve,” Staley said. “We serve a lot of players who are Black. I don’t want people thinking I’m playing the race card. I’ve been in the game a long time, I’ve seen big jobs go to people that deserved an opportunity. ”
There are 12 Black women head coaches at Power Five schools this season, including two new ones out of nine openings: Marisa Moseley at Wisconsin and Johnnie Harris at Auburn.