Syracuse's Female Head Coaches: About the Data Used in Today's Story

If you haven't seen it yet, we wrote a story today on the number of female head coaches for women's teams at Syracuse. I want to use this FanPost to explain the data used in that story.

For starters, I calculated the percentage of women's head coaches for women's teams and did not consider male head coaches. A similar study by the University of Minnesota published last year calculated the number of women's head coaches out of total head coaches for women's teams. This can cause our numbers to vary, since some schools have co-head coaches or vacant positions, meaning their total number of head coaches for women's teams are not equal to their number of women's teams. The variation in our results is also partially due to head coaching changes at schools since the Minnesota study. For example, Xavier has hired its only female head coach since that study was published.

I considered cross country and track & field separate sports. At many schools, including SU, the cross country and track teams have the same head coach. In these cases, I included that coach twice in the final counts. I did the same in other rare instances where a coach served as the head coach for multiple sports -- volleyball and sand volleyball, for example.

However, I considered Swimming & Diving one sport, since it is considered one sport by the NCAA. Many schools had one general head coach listed for Swimming & Diving in addition to having a diving head coach or diving coach. I did not count the diving coach in these cases. If a school listed a swimming coach and a diving coach but no general head coach, I counted only the swimming coach. This is another difference between this study and the University of Minnesota study, which counted the diving coach in addition to any other head coaches listed.

If a school had a vacant head coaching position, I counted that vacant spot in the total. For example, if a school had three female head coaches, seven male head coaches, and one vacant position, I considered it as having three female head coaches for 11 women's teams. If a school had an interim head coach listed for any given sport, that coach was counted toward the total.

I double and triple-checked these numbers. But because I found data from 138 different schools, there is admittedly a slight chance of human error. Still, I'm confident that the data is, at the least, very close to completely accurate.

Lastly, these numbers are as of Wednesday, June 24.