Female Coaches In The NBA and College Basketball

By Biraj Timilsina / 21 September 2023 11:13 AM

Source : sbnation

Female Coaches in the NBA are Teresa Weatherspoon, Kristi Toliver, Jenny Boucek, Lindsey Harding, and Sonia Raman. Teresa currently works for the Pelicans.

Besides, Lisa Boyer became the first woman to coach in the NBA when she was appointed as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. She joined the team from 2001 to 2002.

There has been a total of 15 NBA female coaches till now. After adding Boyer as an assistant coach in 2001, there had been no addition of any female coaches in the league.

However, things changed when Becky Hammon joined the coaching staff of the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Her influence sparked a demand for woman coaches in the NBA.

Hammon joined the Spurs in 2014 and was with them till 2022. Since her arrival in the league, there has not been a single year where at least one female coach is present in the NBA.

Who is The First Female NBA Coach?

Source : gettyimages

Lisa Boyer was the first female coach in the NBA. Boyer was named the Cleveland Cavaliers volunteer assistant coach ahead of the 2001-02 season.

She spent a year with Cleveland before her tenure ended in 2002 and again women for NBA coaches ceased to exist for quite some years. 

However, things changed when 'Becky Hammon' joined as the assistant coach for the team 'San Antonio Spurs'.  Her influence sparked a demand for woman coaches in the NBA after 2014.

Here is the list of female coaches in the NBA:

Lisa BoyerCleveland Cavaliers
Becky HammonSan Antonio Spurs, Las Vegas
Nancy LiebermanSacramento Kings, Texas Legends
Jenny BoucekIndiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings.
Natalie NakaseLos Angeles Clippers, Agua Caliente Clippers
Karen Stack UmlaufChicago Bulls
Kristi ToliverWashington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks.
Niele IveyMemphis Grizzlies
Kara LawsonBoston Celtics
Lindsay GottliebCleveland Cavaliers
Teresa WeatherspoonNew Orleans Pelicans.
Brittni DonaldsonToronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks
Lindsey HardingPhiladelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings
Sonia RamanMemphis Grizzlies.
Edniesha CurryPortland Trail Blazers

Becky Hammon

Source : instagram

Becky Hammon is the first female head coach in an NBA team. She was the first spurs female coach to assist the men's basketball team.

Hammon was the head coach of the team for the 2015 Sumer League held in Vegas. She won the league as the first female to do so as a coach.

Officially she became the acting head coach of the team of NBA in 2020. In the game against the Lakers, the head coach was ejected. Hammon was now the acting head coach of the team.

She was the first ever female acting head coach in the whole league. Hammon later left the NBA to join as the head coach of a WNBA team the 'Las Vegas Aces'.

Jenny Boucek

Jenny Boucek is an assistant head coach for the team Indiana Pacers. She joined the team in 2021.

Boucek has quite some experience as an assistant coach for the team in the NBA. She started her journey as an assistant coach of the league in 2017. She started with 'Sacramento Kings'.

She later joined the Dallas Mavericks in 2018 after serving with the Kings for a year. She served with the team for more than 3 years and left in 2021.

She has not quite been rewarded in her NBA career. However, she won two WNBA titles in 2004 and 2010 as an assistant coach for the respective teams.

Brittni Donaldson

Source : instagram

Brittni Donaldson is the current assistant coach for the team 'Atlanta Hawks'. She joined the team recently in 2023.

Donaldson started her journey as an assistant coach for the team ' Toronto Raptors'. She joined the team in 2019 and was with them till 2021.

She joined the Detroit Pistons in 2022 as the assistant coach of the team. Donaldson won the NBA championship while she was assisting as the assistant coach for the Raptors. They won the league in 2019.

Teresa Weatherspoon

Teresa Gaye Weatherspoon is an assistant coach for the team 'New Orleans Pelicans'. She has been with the team since 2020.

She started her coaching career in Westchester Phantoms in 2007. The team was part of ABA but later was dismantled.

Lindsay Gottlieb

Source : twitter

Lindsay Catherine Gottlieb was an assistant coach for the 'Cleveland Cavaliers' in 2019. This was the first NBA team she coached in her coaching career. 

She was with the team until 2021. Gottlieb started her journey as an assistant coach in 1999 with the Syracuse Women's basketball team. She was affiliated with many college basketball teams before joining the NBA.

She currently is with the USC women's Basketball team. She joined the team in 2021.

Female College Basketball Coaches

Some female college basketball coaches are Tamara Moore, Kawa Lawson, and Dawn Staley. Moore is one of the pioneers in men's college basketball as a coach.

Tamara Moore

Source : bleacherreport

Moore is the first among the black female basketball coaches to lead a men's basketball team. She is the head coach for Mesabi Range College.

She joined the team in 2020. She paved the path for females to join the men's basketball team as a coach.

Sarah Gayler

Gayler is another female coach of a men's college basketball team. She is the director of Athletics and head coach for Brescia University. She was appointed in 2021.

Brescia University men's basketball team player NAIA level. They finished their regular season as #5 in the west division.

Dawn Staley

Source : twitter

Staley is among the first black female college basketball coaches to win the NCAA tournament. She is the head coach of 'South Carolina Gamecocks' at the moment.

She joined the team in 2008. She has won a total of two NCAA Division I titles for the college. She won the titles once in 2017 and one recently in 2022.

She was also the WBCA coach of the year for three different years.  She won it in 2020, 2022 and 2023.

Tara VanDerveer

VanDerveer is considered to be one of the best female basketball coaches in the history of college basketball. VanDerveer primarily joined as a coach in 1978.

She later joined Standford in 1996. She has many achievements during her phase as a coach. She is also among the most awarded women's basketball coach.

Tara has a total of three NCAA Divison I tournament titles in her career till now. She is the most victorious coach in the college women's basketball games.

VanDerveer has quite some achievements with the national team too. She has earned two gold medals as the coach for the team at international levels.

The medals were from the 1996 Olympic Games and 1994 Goodwill Games She was the runner-up in the NCAA Division I tournament of 2022. 

VanDerveer was listed in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. She was added to the prominent list in 2022. 

Nicki Collen

Source : instagram

Collen is the head coach for the team at Baylor University. She started her career as an assistant coach for the team Colorado State. She got her real head start with the Atlanta Dream in 2018.

She won the coach of the year in her debut season as the head coach of the team in 2018. She later joined Baylor in 2021. 

Baylors were the second runner-up of the 2022 NCAA Division I tournament.

Kara Lawson

Lawson is the former assistant coach for the Boston Celtics from 2019 to 2020. She has quite some experience in the NBA.

Lawson is the Duke's women's basketball head coach from 2020. She has yet to showcase her experiences from the NBA. She has only managed to appear in one NCAA season.

She managed to escort the team to the second round of the NCAA tournament so far. Her experiences from the NBA have not been quite useful to the Dukes.

Here is the list of women's basketball coaches in college:

South Carolina GamecocksDawn Staley
Stanford CardinalTara VanDerveer
Baylor BearsNicki Collen
Iowa HawkeyesLisa Bluder
LSU TigersKim Mulkey
Indiana HoosiersTeri Moren
Michigan WolverinesKim Barnes Arico
Maryland TerrapinsBrenda Frese
Kentucky WildcatsKyra Elzy
North Carolina Tar HeelsCourtney Banghart
Tennessee Lady VolunteersKellie Harper
Arizona WildcatsAdia Barnes
BYU CougarsAmber Whitin
Notre Dame Fighting IrishNiele Ivey
Oklahoma SoonersJennie Baranczyk
UCF KnightsSytia Messer
Princeton TigersCarla Berube
Duke Blue Devils WomenKara Lawson
Sarah GaylerBrescia University (MEN)
Tamara MooreMesabi Range College (MEN)

Highest Paid WNBA Coaches Right Now

Source : nypost

Becky Hammon is the highest paid WNBA coach. Hammon was offered a whopping $1 million a year for a five-year deal with Las Vegas Aces.

She served as an assistant coach for the Spurs in the NBA before joining the women's league. Owner of Aces 'Mark Davis' confirmed to Sam Gordon the news. Sam is from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

According to Davis, it is a stepping stone in the WNBA. He urges other franchises and players to be encouraged by this action.

The average salary of a WNBA head coach is estimated to be $71, 034 annually. The data can vary widely depending on the experience, region, achievements, and so on. $34 is given to the coach per hour on average.

The lowest salary given to any head coach in the league is $58, 262. There is no salary cap for coaches so, the difference in salary between the coaches in the league can be huge sometimes.

There are a total of 10 female coaches at present in the WNBA. The WNBA has been divided into two Conferences. One is Eastern Conference and another is Western Conference.

Female Coaches from the Eastern Conference are Tanish Wright, Emre Vatansever, Stephanie White, and Sandy Brondello.

Female Coaches from the Westen Conference are Latricia Trammell, Cheryl Reeve, Becky Hammon, Nikki Blue, and Noelle Quinn.

Some of the coaches with their contract lengths are sorted below:

CoachesContract Length
Becky Hammon5 years
Nikki blue1 year
Cheryl Reeve5 years
Latricia Trammell3 years
Tanisha Wright5 years

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