Women NFL coaches


A record 12 women are involved in coaching this year in the NFL per the article above. 

I'm not saying that women shouldn't be coaches in the women, or that they can't do what men can do. 

However, just playing a numbers game in my head without any backup data, I find it hard to believe that there aren't 12 men more qualified who would take those jobs. I'm not saying these coaches aren't good or aren't better than some men, because more likely they are. I'm saying wouldn't there be more qualified people who actually played the game?

I think of it like the NFL itself, there are definitely women who are better than men at playing football, I just don't think any women are in the top ~1,600 players to make a roster. 

Am I thinking about this the proper way?

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Comments (29)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 10, 2021 - 4:33am

It's like a white sushi chef-sure can they do it? Absolutely. But I think I'm going to be a little suspicious. 

Sep 10, 2021 - 7:33am

Ask yourself "Why would someone hire 12 women?" and see what you come up with. I find it helpful to ask the question reversed.

A few thoughts to consider that would apply to any occupation:
-How are you defining "more qualified"? 
-Who is judging "more qualified"?
-The hiring decision may not solely be about being "more qualified" on a singular dimension 
-There may have been more capable folks but that doesn't mean they aligned with personalities or were affordable/available/applied/wanted the job at the time of hiring

There are 1000's of reasonable answers. Curious to hear though, what did you come up with?

Just had my trade dispute rejected by Schwab for a loss of 35k. This single issue alone should be a gigantic red flag to anyone who trades on their platform.

If they have a system error, and you do not video record your trading (they actually said this), they will not honour their fuck up. Switching everything away from them. Fuck this company.

  • 2
Sep 10, 2021 - 10:20am

All good questions. 

There are two ways to look at it

(1) having played football doesn't make you the best or a good coach. There are coaches in the NFL who never played in the pros but are great coaches, such as Bill Belichick (as stated below).

(2) I'd say the three most important levels of football are high school, college and the pros. The % of women players at those levels are (probably?) approx. 0.01%, 0% and 0%. Just about every football coach I know or have heard of is male. I would assume that the gender of applicants to football coaching jobs are male, some good coaches, others not. I'm sure the female coaches who have the job are better than some male coaches. But I don't know about all of them. I'm just thinking, do these women who got hired work hard and maybe deserve a coaching spot, yes probably, are there male counterparts who I would think  work just as hard and maybe got snubbed, yes probably as well.

I would like to know more about how many females coaches applied and didn't get jobs. What does that number look like. I don't think the NFL got together after last year and said "we need to hire less female coaches", the one women who coached for the 49ers in the Super Bowl got a TV commercial. In a lot of ways I think about it like companies that say we need to "diversify" our boards, its never, we need to hire the best candidates for our boards, because if it was they would say that.

I'd also think about it in reverse. How crazy would it be if there was a sport that basically only women played at the high school/college/pro level, and they hired 12 men to be coaches. Would that fly? Bill Burr had an excellent point on his podcast a while back about this, everyone wants to pile on stuff when it becomes popular. Sports are sports, I'm not saying women shouldn't enjoy football or men shouldn't enjoy field hockey. Its just, the NFL took a while to build up, now its popular, now everyone wants in. A lot of people cry about WNBA/LPGA should be paid more, but I see more women going to the NFL/NBA games than those leagues.

Last point, at the end of the day its all nonsense. I'd say good for these women for being coaches. We got bigger issues between whats going on in America and worldwide that I should probably be writing paragraphs about instead of this haha.  

Sep 10, 2021 - 12:14pm

Not trying to be difficult but there are significantly more than two ways to look at it as evidenced by you going on about more than two points.

Is there a particular point you'd like to drill down on with me? Recognizing that we might both believe this is a pretty insignificant issue I'm happy to end it here but it's an interesting topic.

Hope you're having a good day man!

Just had my trade dispute rejected by Schwab for a loss of 35k. This single issue alone should be a gigantic red flag to anyone who trades on their platform.

If they have a system error, and you do not video record your trading (they actually said this), they will not honour their fuck up. Switching everything away from them. Fuck this company.

  • 1
Sep 11, 2021 - 11:44am

Dawg, Belichick played college football.  No player gives a shit if a coach played in the NFL or not, but they do give a shit if a coach never played the game. 

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

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Sep 10, 2021 - 8:43am

The article says that the women who are recruited have backgrounds in HS or college football coaching.  

What makes a better coach, professional playing experience or non-professional coaching experience?  Not a football expert so I'd like to hear your opinions on this

Sep 10, 2021 - 9:07am

Growing up playing sports, I feel that if I made it to the highest professional level of my sport, I would have a hard time listening to someone who never played the game in an organized league at any level.

Sep 10, 2021 - 11:57am

I get your point, I don't think thats my argument. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but in terms of finance, its not, someone with a finance degree vs no degree/professional trader....its someone with a finance degree or someone with a degree and a professional trader. 

I'm not saying they should fire these women and give it to former players, a lot of former players would be horrible coaches. Just wondering if they were truly the best hire. It's basically, no experience and qualified vs. experience and qualified. 

Sep 10, 2021 - 8:55am

Player coaches have not been historically any better than non-player coaches. Completely different skill sets. Only 15% of NFL coaches ever played football professionally, and some of the greats like Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, never stepped on the field as a player. Bill Belichick played 1 season in D3.

Also, NFL coaching is literally the least meritocratic industry on the planet. Why are you asking about the 12 non-head female coaches and their qualifications instead of why Marvin Lewis was allowed to keep his job for 16 years?

If former experience is so valuable to you, why aren't you bothered the overwhelming majority of coaches are white, a group less likely to have played football at any level?

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2021 - 10:45am

All of those coaches played at some level, mostly college. And white people are a majority of coaches for reasons of IQ. 

It could work out and maybe they're the meritocratic choice. But i'd be surprised if your typical 80 IQ cornerback takes them seriously.

Sep 10, 2021 - 12:23pm

According to wikipedia, Vince Lombardi at least played in college. But Mr. Lombardi and Walsh started their coaching career more than 50 years ago, they didnt have games on TV, I don't think a lot of people were looking to be coaches. Its like professional golfers are way more skilled now than in 1948. 

Marvin Lewis wasn't a great coach, but he was pretty good. Made some playoffs at least. They got rid of Hue Lewis, he had one win in two full seasons. 

I don't know the stats on white coaches; as a group did a high percentage of them never play football at any level, even high school or college?

Sep 10, 2021 - 10:29am

I think of it like the NFL itself, there are definitely women who are better than men at playing football, I just don't think any women are in the top ~1,600 players to make a roster. 

Well yeah, isn't it the same as all sports? Like of course, an athletic woman is probably better than some fatty who can barely run 40 yards without collapsing. But obviously there will most likely never be a female in major men's team sports like football, basketball, baseball, etc. (unless she is either a complete 1 in a million genetic freak or it is a publicity stunt). Just look at baseball. The hardest a female has ever been recorded throwing a fastball is around 85 mph. That's still pretty good, something that 99% of the population can't do, but then you realize that there are freak 13 year old boys who throw 85 (I've seen it). I'm not taking anything away from their ability to coach, because as others have said, many of the best coaches and managers never played a day in their life, so in that regard the same skills should be theoretically to a woman. I would just imagine that the players, rightly or wrongly, will have a harder time being coached by a woman, mainly because they have spent their entire life being coached by men and sometimes you just naturally put less weight on someone's words when you know they don't have a proven track record, let alone actually played the sport. Like I said I'm not against it, I think it will be an interesting experiment of sorts

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Sep 10, 2021 - 8:48pm

I had a friend in high school who could throw 90+ going into 9th grade. He played 3 sports and literally already had a scholarship to a top school lined up before high school.

Sep 10, 2021 - 10:39am

I'm not sure if the NFL mandated hiring more women (probably), but there's a chance that these women are outstanding - they've had to overcome stereotypes (even unconscious) by being great. I think maybe it was Michael Lewis who pointed this out in the rise of Jeremy Lin. The best draft scouts characterized Jeremy as uncoordinated, and subpar despite on paper having some of the best stats in his draft class in multiple categories. 

Sep 10, 2021 - 10:52am

True they could be better, or they could not be. I don't know ether way. Like I said above, its like in business where company's say we need more diversity. So are you going to hire on merit first, or making pics on the company website look more diverse?

I guess you can't weight it. Something more current, that's how Elizabeth Holmes rose so quick, everyone overvalued a women led tech startup. 

I don't want to say those scouts were right wrong on J Lin, he had a good NBA career, but he basically had a hot week or two in NYC that got overblown. 

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 10, 2021 - 12:23pm

i'm sure the 78 IQ cornerback DeShaundrius LaShaundrius will take them thuper theriously

Sep 10, 2021 - 12:34pm

Working with women is a pleasure, however, if an organization is trying to maximize wins this might not be an optimal strategy. The good thing is that with more women coached teams we will have some more data to go off of. Additionally, the players may enjoy sleeping with their coach.

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Sep 10, 2021 - 7:23pm

Ironically, coaching in the NFL is arguably one of the few industries that are connections/nepotism-based even more than finance. Many of these girls have grown up around the sport. Their dad might have played or been a head coach. Personally, I would rather hire belichick's daughter, who's grown up around the sport and learned from and watched her dad coach, over 95% of NFL players. She is coincidentally a lacrosse coach, but look at Belichick's son, who has NO FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER, and he coaches defense for the patriots. Probably still a smart guy who's learned from his father and understands the game better than almost anyone. What I'm getting at is that football coaching is a nepotistic industry, so you will have a lot of people without experience, who have grown up around the sport and can still do their job. The best coaches were never great or even good players. Many didn't even play in the NFL or only made the practice squad. Matt Patricia, patriots OC, played division 3 football and was not even that good, but (arguably) decent OC. OC is likely the role for which you NEED the MOST playing experience. These women coaches are in minor roles which I don't think really often require experience. I also think coaching requires a different mindset than playing. Look at Cam Newton, NFL MVP QB but still struggled to make reads and learn plays that Mac Jones could do better, without any NFL experience.

Most Helpful
Sep 11, 2021 - 9:30am

True, I get your points. 

I'd rebuttal:

- everything is basically nepotism. Every business is going to hire people they know/trust before some random person off the street. Is there nepotism in the NFL, certainty, but teams still have to try and win. Belichick got rid of Tom Brady, do you think he would higher his son if he didn't think he was the best fit. If a team like the Jets was going to try and tank every year, would they hire an NFL coach or would the owner get his cousin, pay him a couple million, and lose every game? 

- I'm not saying that these women should be fired and they should give the job to Johnny Manziel (or a former player), that would be diaster. As you said, hire Belichicks daughter over 95% of NFL players, that still leaves 5%. Even if you're talking about just players on the 2021 active rosters, or 95% of all players from the last five years, thats a lot of people you would hire over her. Not to mention, all college coaches, or really good high school coaches. That's my point. It's like, I'm sure there are women who can throw a football better than me, but not better than the QBs in the NFL/college programs. 

- Matt Patricia only played D3, he still played high school and college. Still has some experience. But I get your point, you don't have to be the Super Bowl MVP to be a good coach. 

Sep 11, 2021 - 9:44am

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Sep 11, 2021 - 11:43am

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