Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (MEd)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Sarah Stokowski

Committee Member

Merry Moiseichik

Second Committee Member

Amanda Sullivan


Social sciences, Distance, Experience, Language, Opportunity, Relationships, Satisfaction


Although Title IX helped to shape athletics in educational settings, the legislation also transformed the world of coaching. Due to the growing demand for competitive female athletics at the collegiate level, the need for qualified individuals to coach women’s sports continues to grow. As colleges and universities continue to create women’s athletic opportunities, coaching collegiate female teams has become equally competitive to coaching male athletes in terms of pay, benefits, compensation packages, and national attention (Welch & Sigelman, 2007). Despite the fact that 57% (Pilon, 2015), of female collegiate athletic teams are coached by male coaches, there is a gap in the literature regarding this population. Informed by the Social ideology theory (Sartore & Cunningham, 2007), the purpose of this study is to understand the experiences of male coaches that coach female athletes. Specifically: (RQ1) why do male coaches coach female athletes, and (RQ2) how male coaches handle Social and physical boundaries while working with female athletes? Semi-structured interviews revealed six major themes that extensively influence male coaches of female sports: majority, if not all, of coaching experience at a high level is with women’s athletics, high levels of satisfaction, opportunities for growth and development, physical and Social distance, language, and the development of relationships and trust. This study serves as a contribution to the limited data pertaining to male coaches working with female athletes. The results of this study will help stakeholders to better understand the experiences of this very specific, unexplored population.