March 11, 2010, - 6:30 pm

This is Civil Rights?: When Coach is a Chick, the Sequel

By Debbie Schlussel

Washington, DC’s Coolidge High School is bragging–to a lot of press gushing–about its choice of a woman, Natalie Randolph, to coach its boys’ football team. But the fact that a woman will be the varsity head coach of high school boys is an utter disappointment, not cause for celebration.

Real Life . . .


Male Role Model?: Natalie Randolph Coaches DC Boys High School Gridiron

. . . Is Nothing Like Hollywood Fantasy



Nearly nine years ago, I wrote about Geraldine Fuhr, a female suburban Detroit high school basketball coach, who sued in federal court and won the right to coach the high school boy’s basketball team.  She was a terrible coach, who coached the girls’ basketball team, and coaching the boys didn’t involve a change in pay.  It involved asserting feminist in-your-face tactics.

After Fuhr won the job, the boys team at Hazel Park High School lost more and more games under her coaching, proving my point–a point I correctly predicted when I debated the issue on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” just after 9/11:  that boys not only won’t win for female coaches, whom they simply don’t respect as much, but that female coaches deprive boys of  what–especially today with so many single-mother dominant housholds–will probably be their only male role model growing up. Here’s just part of what I said on ESPN (read the whole transcript):

The problem is that boys in today’s society have less and less opportunities to be boys and to learn how to be men. And to have bastions of maleness, and sports was one of those last bastions. But now we have this agenda of feminist groups and feminists coaches wanting to coach men. They are going to try to take that away, too.

And we have to get away from this desire to feminize and Oprah-fy every single segment of society. We have to let men be men. That’s one of the great things that has come out of this tragedy that happened in this country a month ago [9/11]. Men are starting to be men again, and we don’t need to subjugate that with more female head coaches coaching men. There’s no need for it.

This is especially important in Washington, DC, where some statistics say that 80% of kids are born to single mothers and even more are raised by them. That means these kids who play football at Coolidge High will never have a positive male figure who teaches them how to be men and how to treat women. And we wonder why boys coming from the inner city have such a low collegiate attendance rate and such a disproportionately high propensity to commit crimes. Having a female coach won’t help. They already have female coaches at home: mom. They need a male one. It’s not just what they learn on the field, but the life lessons on the sidelines and off the field that are far more important and many of which boys and young men can’t and won’t learn from a woman.

The bigwigs and press flacks of the District of Columbia school district think this is a good thing. But they’re wrong . . . even if, judging by pretty much any academic measure or standard, it’s the only thing they can dare brag about.

It’s not like the Hollywood version, as in the 1978 movie, “Coach,” in which the guys on the high school basketball team win all their games because they want to sleep with their sexy coach, Cathy Lee Crosby.   The same fantasy story was repeated in 1986’s, “Wildcats,” with Goldie Hawn as the coach of male high school football players.  Puh-leeze.  That’s just not real life.  This coach won’t be successful . . . not compared to her male predecessors or colleagues at other high schools. It’s just the way it is–human nature.

And feminist encroachment on male sports via head coaching positions won’t change that.

Read my original column on this, “When Coach is a Chick.” And tell me if you agree.

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36 Responses

Maybe we should wait and see before you jump to dumb conclusions based on something that happened almost a decade ago.

Nak on March 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Changing topics does not improve your sense my Islamist friend.

    sorrow01 on March 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm


    Papi Jones on March 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    how is calling something dumb… ‘a wait and see’?

    Noah David Simon on March 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

True, we don’t know about the coach herself, but the point about how they should have a male, rather than a female role model is excellent. And the point about not playing as well for a female coach is excellent also. If they win, they probably would have done better with a good male coach.

Little Al on March 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    here is my take. football ain’t the military. there are no lives lost here. if the kids and parents choose badly that is their fault. in the same respect we should not have affirmative action, we also should not let the government decide these issues.

    personally I’m brave enough to say I would not perform as well with a female or a gay role model. I don’t want anyone getting in my way to my right to say what makes me more comfortable…

    but if these kids and parents really feel that this is what is best for them I would not want any government getting in the way of their discretion.

    the first part of respecting difference is respecting difference. I’m amused how intolerant progressives are to people’s comfort.

    if there really are no available male coaches for these boys and she is the one the kids like best then I would be really pissed off if she was denied, but she should not be pushed as propaganda either.

    there is a difference in how young children and people behave regarding their genitals. we need to recognize this. once we recognize that our gender is a factor then we can recognize other determining factors. but you do not make good decisions if you wear blinders.

    btw… last night I took a weight lifting class with a female instructor who started playing angry woman grunge about some x boyfriend or something. while in the short run it did anger me enough to lift three reps stronger then usual…. in the long run I was demoralized that I had to lift weights under a narrative that was hostile to me. I barely finished the class. It isn’t that I don’t respect a woman’s angst and problems, but it doesn’t motivate me.

    Noah David Simon on March 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Also, the high schools are non-for-profit. They don’t really have to worry about their bottom line if they lose; not like pro teams that will lose attendance and money. These schools have the taxpayers by the short leash no matter how well or bad the teams do.

Little Al on March 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    This coach will be out of necessity “hands off” in dealing. If she even tried to demonstrate blocking(much less tackling) with one of her students, she would be in a serious world of hurt. It is really hard to respect a coach or teacher who cannot actually do what they are teaching. This is a mindless egalitarianism that does not take into account physical differences between males and females. Feminists went out into deep water when they moved away from demanding equality in fields that required mental work and dexterity, and into areas where physical strength and endurance were requirements. It is pure narcicism and selfishness on the part of feminists to demand such things.

    sorrow01 on March 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Maybe they will have as much luck as Nashville’s ABA team from about 4 years ago, the Nashville Rhythm.

This really goofy broad named Sally Anthony claimed she was some big singing star and she tried to model herself as some woman power feminist. She hired the first woman professional coach, Ashley McElhiney.

This turned out great! Sally got mad at Ashley for playing a player Sally didn’t want and Sally fired Ashley in the middle of the game.

I was there and it was hilarious!

Jeff W. on March 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Why don’t they poll the student body to seee whether they want a female coach for a boys sport? Why won’t they have her coach
Junior Varsity and see how she does?

Tim on March 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I honestly think each instance is unique. Some of these gals know their stuff!

I’ll bet Pat Summit could coach a men’s NCAA team. While I’m at it, nobody has ever, EVER complained that Geno Auriemma has no business coaching a women’s NCAA basketball team. I guess when you’re one of the winningest coaches in NCAA women’s basketball, nobody notices that little gender thingy.

I’m willing to sit back and see what happens. Ya never know! In the end, it’s about won-loss records so if the D.C. team wins games and plays competitive football, the chick coach should stay.

I never saw that movie “Coach” but I loved Goldie Hawn in “Wildcats”. “Wildcats” is a movie classic.

There is NO Santa Claus on March 11, 2010 at 8:19 pm

She should be home baking them cookies to eat after practice.

Janis on March 11, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    She looks quite strong, but needs to ditch those earings. Jewelry is a no-no in football; especially in my day.

    There is NO Santa Claus on March 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    No, she should be teaching a female team. Those would be people who would benefit from any skills that she might have.

    Worry01 on March 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm

For the last time stop calling me an Islamist, to me your all equally idiotic for thinking the bible/Torah/Koran are the word of a non existant god, one who apparenlty did nothing while 6 million of his chosen were being killed by Christians.

Nak on March 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Sorry, you do not start fresh everytime you logon here. Denials about who you are and what you believe are quite pointless, since you have racked up a more than ample record on this site. You dug your hole long ago, so just jump into it now rather than compounding your absurdity.

    sorrow01 on March 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Denials? I accept that people can worship in whatever religion they want, I don’t attack every Muslim just because of what a few out of 1.5 billion do, Just like I don’t think every Christian is a backwards moron who thinks the universe is 6000 years old and that we are descended from 2 people and their incestuous children.
So feel free to believe in whatever invisible sky daddy you want to.

Nak on March 11, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I’ve seen this crappy movie before, Wildcats with Goldie Hawn.

D: Yup, I mentioned Wildcats in this piece and the previous one linked therein. DS

David on March 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

There is not the remotest possibility that a woman could teach football. It would be like a man teaching child birth.

pat on March 12, 2010 at 1:30 am

LOL. That has to be among the most idiotic comments I ever read. Why don’t you crawl back to the black racist cave you belong in, and try to learn real history, including your silly Zulu history, rather than make it up on the fly. And you might start by learning that almost no African-Americans are “Zulu”. They came from coastal central Africa. Portuguese, Spanish, and Muslim traders.

pat on March 12, 2010 at 1:36 am

“While I’m at it, nobody has ever, EVER complained that Geno Auriemma has no business coaching a women’s NCAA basketball team. I guess when you’re one of the winningest coaches in NCAA women’s basketball, nobody notices that little gender thingy.”

TINSC, if I may try to quote ,Mr. Lombardi, winning isn’t everything, it’s the ONLY Thing.

And for the record, 6 NCAA titles and over 720 wins in 25 years can lead to excellence. But I would ask Geno if all this had to do with…Title IX, which was signed into law by a less than powerful at the time Richard Nixon in 1972.

Bob Porrazzo on March 12, 2010 at 6:43 am

Yo black stud,,, Call me.

OsamaHusseinIslamObama 2012?
(the terrorist-Uighur-ACORN-media choice)
-It’s never too early to campaign-

Barry Soetoro (D-King Of The World!) on March 12, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Yo Barry Soetoro – LMFAO

    It looks like there are some more villages in Kenya that are missing their idiots.

    Jarhead on March 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

Here’s another story about women invading men’s territory and trying to emasculate men. I was at work the other day and this woman was talking about going on a camping trip with her son’s boy scout troop. How could she not know that teenage boys do not go on boy scout camping trips with their mommies? I just had to tell her that if she wanted to make her son’s life any harder, she should just go ahead and go on this camping trip. Everybody in the troop, along with the kids at school, would make his life miserable by the jokes and mocking him for being a momma’s boy, along with possibly some ass-kickings. Kids are cruel and some things never change. Also, there are just some things that men both young and old do that is off limits to women. I would not take a woman on a hunting or fishing trip, but I would not go with a woman on a shopping trip for clothes.

One more thing, women do NOT decorate man caves.

Jarhead on March 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

You people are idiots. Why do you think a woman can not coach a man (or boys)? Sounds like you mean YOU would never give a woman a chance. Natalie Randolph knows football. She played 5 years with the DC Divas. Yeah, she is small, but she was a wide receiver and excelled in the game, mentally and physically. She also ran track at UVA. She is a woman who is smart, and a talented athlete. Sorry Debbie, you are wrong. She didn’t sign on to be anybodies “daddy.” She is going to coach. And I think she will shine. Time will tell. The rest of you neanderthals need to go back to your caves.

biggirl on March 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Yes, an was all of her experience from playing with males or females? That coach would be incapable of demonstrating much of anything with her players. Football is a very hands on sport, and requires physical demonstration. Natalie would be on her back with a serious injury if she attempted do demonstrate blocking with a typical 16 year old male in full gear. She should coach female football teams, rather than pretend to do what she is doing. At best, her male assistant would be carrying most of the load during practice.

    sorrow01 on March 12, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Debbie, do you know anything about coaching a sports team? It sounds like you don’t have a clue.

Your logic is really skewed on this one. I agree that coaches can have a big influence on a student or player but I think it’s very small minded to assume only a man can be a teacher/mentor/advocate/role model that commands respect.

By your rational, you shouldn’t be a lawyer/blogger. What kind of example are you setting for young women all over the world? “You have no business being a lawyer…that’s only for strong men…because, you know, jury’s only respect manly men. Your place is…in the home, barefoot and pregnant, taking care of the kids, driving a mini-van, etc” Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? The only place I can think of where that ideology would be fully embraced is in one of the Islamic nations you abhor.

If you think these kids aren’t getting enough role modeling at home, don’t claim some woman coach is the problem. If anything, complain about the parents or home life situation…not a woman trying to do her job teaching kids. There’s no invasion into “mans territory” as some here claim, if they can do a good job at coaching kids, why shouldn’t they be allowed to?

Bob Porrazzo I was a very good baseball player in my day. When I graduated college, I wasn’t ready to let go of the game so I decided to coach a little league team. My 12 and 13 year olds were pretty awful on the field but I wasn’t worried about winning or losing. I wanted them to learn the fundamentals. (After each loss I’d tell them, “losing doesn’t build character…it exposes character.”) We won 3 games in 18 outings. The following season every single 12 year old returning as a 13 year old requested to be placed on my team. We had fun and they learned a lot. So when it comes to sports teams—other than professional—I believe winning isn’t the “only thing” as HOF great Lombardi said.

Joe Schmo on March 12, 2010 at 11:25 am

Along with the whole social aspect of the issue; should women coach a high school men’s athletic team of any kind? No one is saying that women can’t coach, they should stick to coaching and mentoring other women. As it was previously pointed out, she will have to be a completely hands off coach, and in the game of football being a sideline only coach will have an affect on the team. This woman should never be allowed into the men’s locker room at any time, I can see the lawsuits being filed as we speak. These men will suffer not having a 100% hands on coach.
This coach can be the hardest toughest meanest hard core dyke on the planet, and be brilliant at football, but she shouldn’t be allowed to create a disadvantage to the players.

The question of her motives placing herself in a direct situation where the gender roles should be clearly defined is also a poor choice for the school district to make. One complaint from a student to his parents about how the Woman coach walked into the locker room and saw him naked will put an end to this rather quickly.
It would be like putting a man in a room full of young teenage girls teaching them how to be a ballerina.

This story also tells me that there must not be any REAL MEN in DC

perception of truth on March 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

Inefficient Williams, “DC is a black city and does not need the advice of the white man who can only watch on tv the true black athletes.”

A black city? So, segregation is not a bad thing after all?

Can I establish my city as a white, straight male, only very hot babes, conservative city?

Jeff_W on March 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Joe Schmo, “Your logic is really skewed on this one. I agree that coaches can have a big influence on a student or player but I think it’s very small minded to assume only a man can be a teacher/mentor/advocate/role model that commands respect.”

First, you are misquoting as I don’t think Debbie said “only” a man can command respect.

But, you are just fighting against the nature and the natural order to say it’s not important to have a strong male as a young man’s mentor to learn how to be a man.

I love my Mother and admired a great deal of strong women, but there is nothing to take the place of a strong male mentor/role model in a young man’s life.

Jeff_W on March 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Aside from the role model issue, astutely raised by Debbie, the win/loss and skill development issue should not be discounted.

For many young minority men, sports is an invaluable opportunity to get to college. I believe DS has experience tutoring college athletes, and is probably aware that the recruitment process starts in high school.

So you need high school coaches that can develop players to their full potential, AND help promote the players and develop relationships with scouts.

I’m not saying a woman can’t do these things, only that the consequences for these young mens’ lives are much more serious than simply whether or not they beat their cross-town rivals..their futures in many ways will depend on the quality of their football coach. Gambling with their futures to meet a quota is simply unacceptable.

But it seems like its already been decided, to good luck to this woman and hopefully she proves her critics wrong.

Jewish Marksman on March 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

A woman coaching football is like a man telling a woman how to give birth.

Truth on March 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

here is an interesting correlative regarding single women and children: 40.5% of all child abuse is committed solely by biological mothers. 17.7% of all child abuse is committed solely by biological fathers. 19.3% of child abuse is committed by both the mother and the father. 6.4% of child abuse is committed by the mother and some other individual. 1.0% of child abuse is committed by the father and some other individual. 11.9% is committed by someone other than the parents
3.1% is committed by an unknown or missing perpetrator.

with all these single mothers and no father figure in the schools? can anyone see anything positive about this situation of another matriarchal figure telling these poor boys what to do?

Noah David Simon on March 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Women don’t belong anywhere near a football field, unless they’re playing/coaching other girls. And they’re playing on the small jv or junior high field behind the nice, big varsity field that the guys play on. Nobody wants to watch girls play football anyway.

Football is a man’s world. It’s one of the few we have left.

Matt on March 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if this move led to the “chick-ification” of football.

Kurt Toy on March 17, 2010 at 1:01 pm

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