Get in the Game through a Sponsor: Initial Career Ambitions of Former Women Assistant Coaches

Lindsey Darvin – SUNY Cortland
Elizabeth Taylor – Temple University
Janelle Wells – University of Southern Florida


Research on women coaches within the field of intercollegiate athletics suggests numerous barriers to entry with additional obstacles that may influence prolonged involvement. Although research has explored these challenges, as well as intentions to leave the field prematurely, there is very little work on those individuals who voluntarily leave the profession. The purpose of the current project was to explore the initial career aspirations of women assistant coaches who voluntarily left the profession. Utilizing career construction theory as a guiding framework for the analysis and interpretation procedures three themes emerged: (a) educational advancement (b) limited coaching aspirations, and (c) sponsorship to enter the coaching profession. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed in relation to the career construction process for women assistant coaches and their eventual departure from the profession.