How’s this for progress?

The first ever female high school football coach!

[thanks Morgan!]

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17 thoughts on “How’s this for progress?

  1. Yanli Guo says:

    This is awesome! A woman is coaching an all-MALE football team. Personally, I don’t know much about football at all, but I know it’s a game for the guys. It’s a very physical sport. I am sure many people will ask the same question, which is will she be able to handle the job? Historically, football coaches are generally jobs for the men. It will be more convenient for them to go in/out of the locker rooms, arguing with the referees and communicating with the team (all-male). To me, leadership and coordination skills are more essential than gender. Males might be physically stronger than females, but it doesn’t mean that they will do a better job of coaching a team. On the other hand, a female coach might be more passionate and more understanding in many situations. A team might need all these components for team to get stronger, thus becoming a better team. She loves football and has a strong background of the game. She should be giving a fair chance to develop a career that she really likes and an opportunity to prove herself that she’s capable of being a good coach. She has a resume that’s suitable for becoming a great coach, having competed in college sports, been an assistant coach at another D.C. high school and a teacher. These are the same qualifications you would look for in a man. I believe the move will be judged by the results instead of the gender. I am so proud of her dedication and having the courage to cope with all the doubts and suspicions. If she could find a way to prove that she’s able to do a decent job, this might be a guide to a great career for many more women in this industry. I am here to wish her the best and hopefully she will prove to all the doubters that a female coach is also capable to coach a football team. Way to go, Natalie!

  2. Michael Rivera says:

    First female football coach! Wow, when I saw the video sadly enough I automatically thought it was a spoof. Unfortunately this is how society has raised me. First and foremost let it be known that I think this is great progress and I am content with the direction of the first female football coach. When I first saw the video, the first thing I did was ask my friends around me “would you have played HS baseball if the baseball coach was a female?” Everyone was baffled and hesitant to try and say the “right thing”, yes I would have. Instead they realized the reality of the issues and said they would have not played for a female coach. Is this wrong to say? Is honesty the wrong policy in this case? We justified their answer by saying it will be a massive shock to the system if a female for the first time was on the field teach a group of men how to play a sport that has never seen a female play or coach the sport. Is this wrong?

    • PJ Julian says:

      I think it is cool that a woman is coaching a football team. But two things, I feel that people make such a fuss about things like this that it almost pushes the subject to be argued and turn to conflict. If it was just like any other person got the job, it would create less conflict and people may become more accepting rather than knocking it.
      I have been playing football for 12 years. It is a brutal sport, and i have to disagree with the comment that a team might just need a coach who is “passionate”? Im sorry but women can not relate to men when it comes to the brutality of anything. Guys fight by nature, so do women, but guys are brutal and people end up dead because they were punched so hard in the head their brain malfunctioned. Thats not normal and exaggerated, but men crave violence and aggression, it is their nature, thats why we have ultimate fighting. Male football coaches are the most passionate people you can find in the world about their interest. Football players need to be screamed at, they need character checks, mentally and physically beaten down. Im sorry but if a woman yelled at me i would think of my mother. Football players need someone they can relate to directly, a man, yelling at them, giving them praise, helping them to win. Men play football, women don’t. Football players want a person who has played football and understands the feelings involved and the pain to lead them on the field. Coaches come through the locker room after practice and talk with the team and apologize for screaming, talk about messed up plays, and build that bond with their players. Women cant come into the mens locker room. Im sorry, but I do not feel I would like a female coach, not that they cant coach, but i just cant relate to women in the way that you need to in the football world with your coach and players.

      • PJ Julian says:

        Looking back that comment was weird about the fighting stuff. I meant guys fight and do stupid things sometimes. Disregard that. 🙂

  3. Amaury Ramirez says:

    I know that having a woman as a football coach is a big deal, but can it work?

    I think it can work, but only if she is like a man. What I mean is that if she gives the boys a sort of motherly feeling, their team could end up being an embarrassment. Football is a full blow out contact sport. Therefore, they boys have to be ready to crash bodies with someone that has also been training to compete. Also, I think there are less of chance that kids will talk to their coach about things they would normally talk to a male coach about. If the coach is demanding and tough, then the players will respect her. But there are also going to be players that cannot see themselves playing under a woman coach and the program could fail all together .

    Now do I think a woman can do the job?

    I think that that as long as the coach knows the game and can help her players get better, then there will be no problems. But if the players begin to feel that they know more than the coach, which happens often, then the team is ruined. It only takes one to influence others to not believe in the coach’s plans for the team to be ruined.

    I think it can be good for the players, but I do think that there has to be male assistant coaches for this to work. Football is far too dominated my males for it work with just woman coaches with an all men team.

  4. Jr. Woodard says:

    Man, I’ve seen it all now. A woman coaching a sport that is known for it’s masculine, barbaric, and very competitive game. I think the story is good to have because of the attention it brings. To me, it shows that the world is trying to make a stride at being fair. In some cases in the past, with any type of job, women might be overlooked if a man was competing for the same job. Now the school goes out of its way, finds someone who is eligible enough for the job, has experience with teaching, and has experience with the sport. It just so happens this person is a girl. However, the story gaining this much attention also makes me realize that this is such a big deal only because this doenst happen a lot. Woman dont have position of power like this when it comes to guy sports. It is new and exciting and i hope she does well.

    • kelly olney says:

      I have to agree with PJ on this one. I’m sure that this woman is more than qualified to coach this high school football team but as a player it would be tough to relate to her. Some coaches never even play football but just being around the game enough, they gain the knowledge required. In this case she has played football, she has the knowledge and the mentality of a football player. However, I’m not sure if I’d be able to look up to a woman in this regard. Don’t get me wrong, I look up to my mother as she knows best but I look up to my father much differently. In the history of football, the head football coach is looked at as a father by his players. He is like your second father, he tells you something and you obey with no question, he will never lead you in the wrong direction. In many inner cities, young men grow up without a father figure. In sports, their football or basketball coach is the one that gets them off of the streets and teaches them the lessons that a father would teach his son. I guess what i am saying is that a male coach is more appropriate for the job for the reason that they may relate to men more, on and off of the field.

  5. Michael Kane says:

    I think this is awesome for the sport. Diversity in coaching is something football has notoriously struggled with for a long time. Football is no different than other sports as far as coaching is concerned. A person need not be gifted in said sport in order to be a fantastic coach. One doesn’t need to look any further than Rex Ryan, a son of a coach who is by no means athletic, but is one hell of a football strategist.
    There is no reason why a woman would not be able to succeed at this role so long as she is given a fair shot to do so. Overbearing parents must put their trust in her to manage their children. The players must give her the respect she deserves as their leader, and the school officials must do as much as they can to support her. However, all parties concerned should be weary of attention. Often, the best way to assimilate is to blend. Running articles in the paper, or attracting the media will only serve to put a magnifying glass on every decision she makes. Her best bet to find success and to fulfill her goals is to approach her job as if it is not a big deal. Only when she does this, will she truly be able to put the coaching first and the scrutiny last.

    Good luck coach!

  6. Morgan Gibeault says:

    I disagree with PJ as well. Being on the soccer team at WS I have never experienced someone pushing me so hard as my female coach. She is not afraid to say anything and will do whatever it takes to win. Her hard ass attitude is what makes us win. So yes in PJ’s defense it does indeed take someone to tell you it needs to get better, and to tell you that its just not good enough, and if we want to win you need to be tougher, but it does not have to be a man. This female football coach coach be more of a jerk then a male coach for all we know. All the boys are automatically saying that she is going to baby them and tell them everything is ok. But thats shit. No male can say that a women cant coach and be tough until they have experienced a women coach. No team can be great without someone telling you its not good enough. It took me a year and a half to realize she was not a mean person, she was just there for one reason only and that was to win. And clearly she is doing her job. My team is coached by two males and one female, and I can honestly say she is the hardest on us. But without her constant push we would not be where we are today. I think she can coach them. If they didn’t think she was good enough then she wouldn’t have a team, but clearly they are still there. Im so annoyed that men still think women are not tough. Yeah your big, but we can take a hit just as good as you can.

  7. Gian Contro says:

    I think that Harry was wrong when asking the question “can she do this?” It should be more focused on can the person accomplish the job rather than what sex they are. In our society the sex of the person would be focused on especially in a case like this where the it is the first female head coach. To my knowledge men have coached every female sport but it has not been applied the other way around. I think this is a great accomplishment on the high school level but I do not think it would fly in the college or pro atmosphere. I believe this because I dont think you could ever find people who dedicate their lives to a sport to trust a women enough to be their head coach. Im not saying that its acceptable but the commitment level is so much different past high school that I believe it would be used as an excuse.

    • mike says:

      I feel that a female coach given the opportunity, would have just as much of an impact on a male sports team. look at Pat Summit, Tennessee women’s basketball coach. she has been coaching since 1974, won 8 national championships, and is the all time winningest coach in NCAA basketball men and women. you cant tell me that she would not be suitable for any coaching position in NCAA basketball and that male athletes wouldnt want her as their coach. If she was given the job to coach the men’s basketball team at tennessee, I feel that the team would be just as successful and in my opinion MORE. Sex does not determine the success of the team. It is the personal knowledge of the sport that is the underlying factor of success. As a coach male or female it is your job to control your team. they will only go as far as you are willing to take them. it doesnt matter how physical the sport, competition is competition. Ultimately, if you have knowledge and experience in a sport than it shouldnt matter if a coach is male, female, white, black, pink, yellow, etc….

  8. Sarah Drapela says:

    I think this is an awesome story! This woman seems more than qualified and I think it is great that women are finally getting involved in what has always been seen as a man’s sport. As for all of the comments about her effectiveness as a coach I am a little worried. I understand the argument that young males need strong male role models in their lives but they need strong women in their lives as well. Personally I think this provides a great opportunity for people to learn a bit about respect. It would be great to see a woman in such a respected looked-up-to position. Not only is she more than qualified to coach football (she is in fact more qualified than a lot of the coaches out there) but she has the opportunity to really make a statement about gender equality and to teach the boys on her team the importance of treating everyone with respect regardless of their sex. Furthermore, I just wanted to point out that I think it is interesting that we make such a big deal out of a story like this. We see men coaching girl’s teams all the time and don’t think anything of it. So why do we feel the need to judge a woman for coaching a boy’s team?

  9. Tyler Garvey says:

    I think this is pretty cool, the first female head football coach is definitely a big deal, and I think it is a great stride forward for the way people perceive women in sports. It seems like she knows what she is doing because she is obviously experienced. But I have to agree with Kelly in my concern for how well she will be able to relate to her players and how much respect she will be able to command from them. I started playing football in middle school and I still do here at school. Playing football is a ton of fun, but in order to have a good team you have to go through a lot. I know that when I was in high school, the last place I wanted to be while the rest of my classmates were on summer vacation, was doing sprints, hitting drill and running plays. The only reason we didn’t slack off and cut corners was because we were terrified of our coaches. It was their constant harping and yelling at us that made us work hard and eventually made us bond as a team because we went through that experience together. I suppose the biggest concern I have is how the team would react to her authority. I wouldn’t be surprised if some players did not respect her as much as they would another coach. If the players didn’t react well, it would certainly cause stress that wouldn’t be good for the team.

  10. Ben Merberg says:

    I think that this is a pretty big deal for females in sports and especially females in football. All other female interaction with football takes place on tnt and it lingerie football league for females which is without saying degrading. On the other hand though female coaching positions offer a different approach to the game maybe than male coaches i would be interested to see how she does as a coach. In terms of feats this is a big one for females for it proves that even though there are pre conceived ideas of who should fill what roles in society that they are not confined to a certain type of job solely based on their gender. I think that this is a great advancement in the sexes and a good start for moving forward.

  11. Andrew Zdrojewski says:

    I think that this hiring is great for many different reasons, it allows for advancement for women in sports, and if she does well as a head coach it could possibly lead to even more female coaches of high school football teams. The one thing that I really liked about her in the interview was her emphasis on education. A lot of football coaches preach about how they want their players to do well in school, but the truth for the most part is that they just want their players to be eligible. If that means a player needs a 2.0 to be eligible then that is what they want the player to have. It seems to me that this woman definitely will be putting more of an emphasis on the education of her student athletes. The one thing that I would be worried about if I were a player of hers was how I would react to her; not in questioning her strategies because she has previously played football so I would believe that she was a student of the game. The thing I would be nervous for is when she tried to motivate the team; in high school and in college I rely on a coach of mine to deliver a high intensity pregame speech to pump me up for a game. If she were my coach I do not know how I would react to her pregame speech, saying that at the same time though if I liked her as a coach that would motivate me to play well so that she looked good. I think the overall premise of a female football coach is pretty cool. It shows how far women have come in sports, a few years ago it would have been laughable to think of an idea of a female telling males how to play such a barbaric sport but now the idea is clearly more accepted. Hopefully she does well as a head coach which will encourage administration at other schools to allow females to run their football programs.

  12. bayres5 says:

    I chose this post for my response because I have a passion for both football and advancement in our society. Whenever there is something regarding a minority gaining more respect and opportunities in a certain field, I feel proud that our country would allow such a thing. This is a great example of that. Who would ever think that there would be a woman head football coach. There is a common saying to not watch sports with woman because they do not know what they are talking about. This is just yet another example on why that is extremely judgmental and ignorant thing to say. Our country has come a long way from the day we have become an independent nation. I am not only happy for the woman who received this job opportunity, but am happy for everyone involved in choosing her as the coach and women who strive to be involved in sports everywhere. This is a great stepping stone for the role of women in sports. I love this post because it is giving women the opportunities that men have in sports, coaching chances. I totally agree with the view of equal opportunities for everyone. We are all Americans no matter our gender, sex or religion and we should all be treated the same. I think that there should be more stories like this in our society. Women being more involved in sports. I believe that minorities should be better represented when it comes to coaching chances. I can assume that you understand the topic through technology since you did little writing about the subject. A video was posted and I think that’s all that needed to be done here, the video spoke measures for itself. This post makes me want to write to Athletic Directors, Owners and General Managers for professional and amateur teams around the country and convince them to give minorities the shot at a head coaching job. I believe that this is the right direction and in order to achieve the belief that “everybody is equal”, minorities should occupy coaching jobs. I feel strongly about the equality of all people and am very proud to witness this groundbreaking event.

  13. Jacqueline Murphy says:

    This is a great effort to further women being active in the sports world. We have seen women’s coaches involved in sports before but a woman coaching a guys football team is history in the making. Many people do not think that a woman could coach boys, but obviously the high school who hired her strongly believed that she would make it work and do a good job with it. Otherwise, they would not have hired her to be the coach of a male dominant sport. If this female football coach is successful while she coaches it may lead to other women in sports being head coaches of male sports. Being a female coach I believe that she recognizes that her athletes need to focus on school and do well. As I have been taught all my life, education comes first. You need an education to succeed in life no matter what you do. As a female athlete here at the colleges we are students before we are athletes and I feel as though she understands this more as a female. Most male coaches preach about education and making sure your grades stay up to par. In reality, most football coaches just want their players to remain eligible so that they can play.
    Although she is still a coach, a boys high school football team most likely had a male as their previous coach. As a girl I know it is a huge transition from a guy coach to a girl coach no matter what sport it is. In high school I had a male soccer coach for several years and my last year we had a female coach. I am not saying we didn’t trust her or her coaching style but my team definitely took advantage of the change. We knew that our old coach didn’t take any fooling around and then when we got a female coach we goofed around more and had more fun because we knew she wouldn’t yell at us like our male coach did. It was easier to relate to a female coach than a male coach so I am sure for those high school boys it would be the same. A female coach is going to have a harder time inspiring and motivating a team that may not respect her. I hope she does well so it furthers women in the field of sports. On the other hand, if it goes poorly it may be bad news and female coaches will be laughed at for their attempts to try and change the game.

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