Women coaches form alliance for workforce representation


Cyrus Mitchell

LISTENING TO AN EXPERT: During girls basketball practice, coach Lora Tilson gave advice to two different athletes. When preparing for the season, the team practices every day during school.

Dimitri Silva, Sports Editor

The Women’s Coaches Alliance (WCA) is an organization designed to help female athletes perform and feel more comfortable when playing their selective sports. The WCA started this year and has many former Bowie students participating in the program to support the women coaches they learn from.

According to the New York Times, only 40% of women’s sports college teams are coached by women. This organization is designed to keep women in the coaching workforce as many are quitting and historically have little representation.

“A colleague of mine and I launched this organization a couple of months ago,” girls basketball coach Vickie Benson said. “It’s an organization that started in attempts to keep women in the profession of coaching, and they are a lot of coaches that are male which, there’s nothing wrong with, [and] I think there’s some really great male coaches, but we’re losing the female side of it, [the female coaches] are quitting.”

According to Benson, female coaches aren’t quitting due to higher amounts of male options, they are leaving because they have children at home and other personal issues.

“I like solving problems, and I really like to mentor and I see WCA as an opportunity to mentor women who are just getting started,” Benson said. “I’ve been there and done that with a lot of what they’re struggling through and so just giving them this solution is what I’ve been working for.”

The organization also aims to help female athletes feel more comfortable while playing sports, especially sports that are mainly dominated by men.

“I think the WCA will solve how female coaches see themselves as coaches and be proud of what they are doing for children and themselves,” junior varsity soccer player Helena Hart said. “I also think the WCA will help young women perform better as an athlete and grow to be comfortable with themselves playing and working with a team.”

The Alliance has also helped many former Bowie female athletes become coaches and pursue coaching as a career. 2015 graduate and former Bowie student Kianna Ray went on to become a basketball coach for TCU.

“Ray is an up and coming coach, and it’s an opportunity for her but definitely one of the things we want to do is get the word out to high school girls that are considering coaching as a profession,” Benson said. “So that one day they can have a place in the organization as well.”

According to Benson, a Lack of women’s coaching has been a problem for a long time. However, Hart believes otherwise and thinks women’s coaching isn’t an issue in sports.

“I don’t believe a lack in women’s coaching is a problem because I know tons of female athletes, and they haven’t shown that it makes them uncomfortable while playing,” Hart said. “I think women should be brave enough to coach and be willing to help children perform their sport better.”

With the organization officially launching this year, Coach Benson has been working on advertising the WCA to many different female athletes and coaches across the nation to spread the impact further than just Bowie.

“We just launched our first newsletter in September and the second one is coming out this week, so we’re highlighting another different female coach in Texas each month,” Benson said. “It’s not just basketball-specific, it’s for any female coach, it could be women that coached boys, we’re just excited about the future.”