Last week Dan Ryan was appointed as Head Coach of the Adelaide Thunderbirds for the 2017 inaugural season of the new Australian netball league. He won’t be the lone ranger with Rob Wright in the Head Coach role of the high flying NSW Swifts.
Men coaching womens’ national league teams is nothing new in this country with many sports such as basketball & football, plus many female national Olympic teams being coached by men.
So let’s flip the egg – can we see a female coaching a men’s pro sports team any time soon in Australia? Can you picture a woman in the coaches box of your Friday night football telecast? Can you envisage a female coach wired up in the bunker of the Big Bash?
To me it seems a picture quite some time away, although maybe not as long as we may think.
In 2014 Peta Searle was appointed as part of the assistant coaching team (for the men’s football operations) by St Kilda. There are many examples of women in senior coaching positions internationally such as Becky Hammon (Assistant Coach, San Antonio Spurs, NBA) and Amelie Mauresmo who until early this year was Andy Murray’s coach of two years.
I asked some males around me what they thought. The answer (after some deep pondering) seemed to be yes, they could see a woman coaching a men’s pro team, as long as she had the credentials. Can’t say I disagree. With the growing profile and professionalism of womens’ sports leagues in the sports of Australian Rules, rugby, cricket etc I can see a group of women rising to the top who will prove themselves both on the field in their chosen discipline as well as off the field with successful coaching CV’s. For many of them I can’t see any reason why they can’t earn the respect and ability required to coach any team at the top – female or male.
What do you think – an inevitable reality or pie in the sky??