Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma talks to the media during a news conference at the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Dallas. Connecticut will play Mississippi State on Friday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
Tony Gutierrez
March 30, 2017

DALLAS (AP) UConn's Geno Auriemma and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer have differing theories for why the number of female coaches for Division I women's teams has declined over nearly a decade.

Auriemma said Thursday on the eve of his 10th straight Final Four that women have more opportunities for things outside coaching than when he started more than 30 years ago. VanDerveer believes it has more to do with education.

According to the NCAA, 55 percent of Division I women's teams were coached by women in 2015-16, the most recent season of available data. In 2007-08, 57 percent of teams were coached by women.

''There's a reason why there's not as many opportunities for women. Not as many women want to coach,'' said Auriemma, who has won four straight national titles and 11 overall.

Auriemma said women might prefer jobs where they don't have ''to sit in a gym with 400 other coaches and watch 17-year-old spoiled brats play and I have to take five of them to come play for me?''

The nine-time Associated Press coach of the year said, ''it's not like people are consciously depriving women of opportunities.''

VanDerveer, who is seeking her third national title at Stanford, said ''Part of the issue is there's not more physical education majors anymore really.''

''Women aren't getting trained in what they used to get trained in to be head coaches and teachers,'' she said.

The 32nd-year Stanford coach also said male coaches are rehired faster, relating the story of a friend telling Johnny Dawkins would get a job quickly after getting fired as the men's coach at Stanford last year. Dawkins got another job about a week later.

''Women aren't recycled in the way that men are,'' VanDerveer said. ''There is a lot more competition for women coaches. There are women out there.''

VanDerveer also suggested that athletic directors should play a role in boosting the number of female coaches.

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