It's not every day we hear about a woman involved in a male dominated sport, especially as involved as Natalie Randolph. The 29-year-old high school science teacher was recently named the head football coach for Washington D.C.'s Coolidge High School. She is believed to be the nation's only woman who is head coach of a high school varsity football team. Randolph has been getting a lot of support from the people around her, but there are still some who have a hard time handling a woman coaching football.
One thing that is clear though, no one can argue that she does not have the experience to get the job done. A recent report from USA Today talks about how Randolph spent five years playing for the professional football league's D.C.'s Divas as a wide receiver. On top of that, she worked as assistant coach for two years at a rival high school before she got the job at Coolidge.
Some disparaging comments have been made in the press about Randolph coaching football. An unnamed rival coach told the Washington Post, "All I know is, I don't want to be the first one to lose to her. That's going to be wild." Comments like this, even ones made in jest, just reaffirm the stereotypes of how women are inferior to men when it comes to sports and anyone should be especially ashamed to lose to one.
Keith Bulluck, 10-year NFL veteran, posted a comment to his Twitter account in response to Randolph being named a high school football coach. Bulluck wrote, "not saying it can't be done or shouldn't be done. Football is clearly a man's sport and it's to be seen how young men take to their coach being a woman." Bulluck clearly doesn't have much faith in the notion of a woman sharing in "his" sport.
Thankfully, Randolph doesn't seem to let these comments bother her and takes a no nonsense approach to her job. When speaking with the press she often says that this isn't about her and she prefers to focus her attention on the players that she is now coaching. At a recent news conference Randolph said, "While I'm proud to be part of what this all means, being female has nothing to do with it. I love football. I love football, I love teaching, I love these kids. My being female has nothing to do with my support and respect for my players on the field and in the classroom."
What do you think of the idea of a woman coaching an all-male football team?
Do you think there is still a lot of work to be done to get women more involved in these types of sports?