News Releases

Alliance of Women Coaches Announces Coaches Council for 2017-18 Academic Year

September 20, 2017

The Alliance of Women Coaches announced today the Coaches Council members who will serve for the 2017-18 academic year.

The Coaches Council is a sounding board for the Executive Director to ensure that the Alliance is thoughtfully and strategically serving women coaches from all sports and all levels. Additionally, members serve as ambassadors for the Alliance in their respective coaching communities and networks. Each member will serve a two-year term.

“Our ten new members are an outstanding addition to an already talented Coaches Council,” said Alliance Executive Director Megan Kahn. “They each bring a particular sport and level of expertise and experience, which will help the Alliance in supporting our members in every sport and at every level. As we continue to expand our reach, it’s an exciting time to add a representative from the club, high school and two-year college levels.”

2017-18 Coaches Council:

Brianna Barry* – Head Coach, Volleyball – Southeastern Oklahoma State (NCAA DII)
Tracy Coyne* – Head Coach, Women’s Lacrosse – George Washington University (NCAA DI)
Yolanda Duron, Ed.D. * – Head Coach, Women’s Tennis – Fullerton College (2-Year College)
Denise Dy – Assistant Coach, Women’s Tennis – University of Washington (NCAA DI)
Kathryn Gleason* – Head Coach, Softball – Northern Kentucky University (NCAA DI)
Melanie Horn* – Head Coach, Girls Varsity Basketball – Westridge School (High School)
Janell Howland* – Head Coach, Women’s Golf – University of North Carolina at Greensboro (NCAA DI)
Conny Kirsch – Assistant Coach, Women’s Rowing – University of Central Florida (NCAA DI)
Shameika McField – Head Coach, M&W Track & Field/Cross Country – University of Missouri-Kansas City (NCAA DI)
Colleen Murphy* – Head Coach, Women’s Swimming – U.S. Air Force Academy (NCAA DI)
Missy Price, Ph.D. – Head Coach, Women’s Soccer – Wellesley College (NCAA DIII)
Sonia Raman* – Head Coach, Women’s Basketball – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (NCAA DIII)
Kincaid Schmidt* – U11-U12 Girls Director of Coaching – Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club (Youth Club)
Tabitha Yim – Head Coach, Women’s Gymnastics – Stanford University (NCAA DI)
Tara Zollinger* – Head Coach, Field Hockey – Shippensburg University (NCAA DII)

*new beginning in 2017-18

Full biographies of Coaches Council members are available on our website.



adidas partners with the Alliance of Women Coaches

September 12, 2017

The Alliance of Women Coaches announced today that it has formed a new partnership with adidas. Both Megan Kahn, Executive Director of the Alliance, and Beth Bass, Director of Women Sport’s Marketing for adidas America, said they are thrilled to unite the two organizations to support women coaches on all levels.

“We at adidas are delighted to partner with the Alliance of Women Coaches,” said Bass in a recent statement. “Supporting their mission to recruit, retain and train women coaches is a natural for adidas. Successful female coaches on the sidelines across all sports empowers and improves the student athlete’s experience while participating in sports. It is our hope, through our support, more young women will have the opportunity to select coaching as a profession and will become strong, confident role models for their peers and players. Adidas has been impressed with the Alliance’s positive trajectory and immediate impact on the coaching community at all levels. We are excited to become one of their first corporate sponsors and honored to be one of their teammates in their noble quest.”

Kahn shared the sentiment about the like-minded mission between the two organizations and the value of the partnership. “When we looked at the athletic brand landscape, it was an easy decision for us to partner with adidas. What they are doing in performance wear to be the best, most innovative sports brand in the world, is equally matched by their personnel and team who share our same values. It’s exciting to work alongside adidas in a female-focused, grassroots approach covering all sports across multiple levels, including college, club, high school, and youth. This is a significant step for the Alliance and I’m appreciative adidas feels strongly about our important work and mission.”

About the Alliance of Women Coaches
The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 and has become the premier organization that empowers the community of women coaches, across all sports and levels, with the education and resources they need to stay and advance in the profession. By providing a supportive network, inspiration and knowledge, and access to in-person and digital platforms, the Alliance is changing the landscape for women in coaching. For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit



WBCA partners with Alliance of Women Coaches to benefit ‘So You Want To Be A Coach’ program

August 29, 2017

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today a new partnership with the Alliance of Women Coaches that will benefit the WBCA’s long-running and highly successful “So You Want To Be A Coach” education program.

The WBCA “So You Want to Be A Coach” program assists female collegiate basketball players who are interested in pursuing a career in coaching by providing them with professional development and career networking opportunities. WBCA member coaches, athletic administrators and other experts in the sports industry provide participants with a two-and-a-half-day crash course in the challenges of being a modern-day coach.

The Alliance will provide speakers for the two-day in-person “So” program held each year during the WBCA Convention as well as the “So” webinar series which continues their education. The Alliance also will encourage the advancement of “So” alumni into the coaching profession and help track them through their coaching journey, and will assist with recruiting sponsors to help fund the program.

“The WBCA recognizes the importance of growing women coaches to serve as leaders, teachers, mentors and role models for the student-athletes who play our sport,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle M. Donehew. “The ‘So You Want To Be A Coach’ program is the crown jewel in the WBCA’s efforts to provide an effective entry point into the profession for former student-athletes who want to coach. More than 400 former college women’s basketball players are currently working as coaches or in some role in our sport as a direct result of their participation in ‘So.’

“We are excited that the Alliance of Women Coaches has chosen to partner with us as we take this already highly successful program to the next level,” said Donehew.

“Taking into account the long-standing success and prestige of the ‘So’ program, we couldn’t be more excited in partnering with the WBCA,” said Megan Kahn, executive director of the Alliance of Women Coaches. “We believe that our organizations are a perfect match to develop and advance former players as they pursue their dreams of coaching the game they love. The Alliance looks forward to serving the women’s basketball community.”

The WBCA “So” program has graduated 814 participants in its 14-year history. Of these, 54 percent (not counting the 2017 class) are currently working in women’s or girls’ basketball at various levels of the profession. A total of 53 “So” alumni are head women’s or girls’ basketball coaches (five in NCAA Division I, three in NCAA Division II, 11 in NCAA Division III, one in the NAIA, four on the two-year college level, and 29 on the high school level).

About the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association
Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to those organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit for more details about the Association.

About the Alliance of Women Coaches
The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 and has become the premier organization that empowers the community of women coaches, across all sports and levels, with the education and resources they need to stay and advance in the profession. By providing a supportive network, inspiration and knowledge, and access to in-person and digital platforms, the Alliance is changing the landscape for women in coaching. For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Completes 41st NCAA Women Coaches Academy

June 6, 2017

The Alliance of Women Coaches hosted the 41st class of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy (WCA) from May 31-June 3 at the Hilton Denver Inverness in Englewood, Colorado. Forty-seven female coaches of all experience levels and sports from NCAA Division I, II and III gathered for four days of non-sport-specific educational training.

“The NCAA Women Coaches Academy is the premier program offering education, resources and the support that female coaches need to stay and advance in the coaching profession,” said Alliance Executive Director Megan Kahn. “The feedback we continually receive is that this program is ‘life-changing’ – the 41st class of the WCA proved to be just that. The week is powerfully transformative on so many levels and uniquely connects female coaches across all NCAA divisions and sports. On behalf of the Alliance staff, Board and community of coaches, we are forever grateful for the partnership of the NCAA in their support of female coaches.”

The NCAA Women Coaches Academy was held in conjunction with the Women Leaders in College Sports program, the NCAA Institute for Administrators Advancement. The two organizations held a joint session bringing female coaches and administrators together for focused dialogue, learning and networking.

Carroll University Head Softball Coach, Amy Gradecki, and University of Memphis Head Volleyball Coach, April Jauregui, were selected as the Judy Sweet Award winners for Class #41. This award, named after Alliance co-founder Judy Sweet, recognizes two members at each Academy whose spirit and dedication to their own and to others’ personal and professional success has made an impact on their peers. The honor is granted via nomination by fellow classmates.

NCAA Women Coaches Academy Class #41

Anahit Aladzhanyan – Occidental College (Basketball)
Kate Anderson – University of New Hampshire (Skiing)
Suzanne Behme – University of Rochester (Lacrosse)
Nora Boerger – Lenoir Rhyne University (Lacrosse)
Samantha Borawski – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (Softball)
Ange Bradley – Syracuse University (Field Hockey)
Sarah Brady – Iona College (Soccer)
Jacey Brooks – Bowling Green State University (Basketball)
Michele Canning – New York University (Soccer)
Johanna Clair – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (Softball)
Eden Denney – Central College (Volleyball)
Melissa Devore – Limestone College (Basketball)
Colleen Doherty – Quinnipiac University (Rugby)
Olga Elkin – Iowa State University (Tennis)
Kaitlyn Ferguson – Penn State University (Swimming)
Juli Fulks – Transylvania University (Basketball)
Amy Gradecki – Carroll University (Softball)
Mary Gunn – Southeast Missouri State University (Tennis)
Cassandra Haase – Newbury College (Lacrosse)
Kelsey Hinton – College of William & Mary (Gymnastics)
April Jauregui – University of Memphis (Volleyball)
Ashley Kaufman – Washington and Lee University (Soccer)
Kim Kearney – North Carolina A&T State University (Bowling)
Amy Kiah – Wofford College (Soccer)
Jessica Klein – Iowa State University (Volleyball)
Amy Kolowsky – Appalachian State University (Soccer)
Kristin Kunzman – University of Virginia’s College at Wise (Basketball)
Yvette Lewis – Norfolk State University (Track & Field)
Emily Mansur – Hofstra University (Volleyball)
Taylor Marshall – Florida Institute of Technology (Lacrosse)
Laurie Mayernik – St. Thomas Aquinas College (Field Hockey)
Kate McArthur – Millikin University (Soccer)
Kelly McNiff – University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (Basketball)
Athena Miller – Dartmouth College (Swimming & Diving)
Jashell Mitchell – North Carolina Central University (Football)
Gabrielle Moore – Jackson State University (Tennis)
Jaresha Obey – University of the District of Columbia (Basketball)
Jill Pace – Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (Basketball)
Ashley Petak – Regis University (Volleyball)
Chelsea Popplewell – Colorado State University (Diving)
Lara Preacco – Florida Atlantic University (Swimming)
Tanya Roberts – formerly, University of Rhode Island (Soccer)
Harley Roller-Kashman – Albany State University (Softball)
Julia Steier – Huntingdon College (Lacrosse)
Bailey Thornton – Agnes Scott College (Volleyball)
Emily Wang – Eastern Illinois University (Tennis)
Brianne Weaver – Bowdoin College (Soccer)

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Partners with ARMS Software

May 25, 2017

The Alliance of Women Coaches and ARMS Software have announced a partnership which will extend the mission and reach of both organizations.

“We are thrilled to announce this significant partnership with ARMS Software,” said Alliance Executive Director Megan Kahn. “Working with a company like ARMS aligns seamlessly with the Alliance’s vision and commitment to better the landscape for current and future female coaches and women in sport. I am confident our community of coaches, supporters and allies will immediately feel the impact of this partnership.”

ARMS Software has a singular mission to change the future of college athletics administration forever. They are the most innovative, fastest growing technology company in the college athletics industry and are currently working with over 100 university athletic departments across the country with dozens of new clients being added every quarter. The ARMS team is a group of veteran, proven technology entrepreneurs that have built some of the most successful software companies in North America over the past 20 years. Along with this technology expertise, the ARMS leadership team has been involved in college athletics as student-athletes, administrators, university board members, and major philanthropists for decades.

“The entire ARMS Software team is extremely excited to become a strategic partner with the Alliance of Women Coaches to further their mission to educate, support, and empower a diverse and inclusive community of women coaches with integrity and resiliency,” said Mike Hurt, CEO of ARMS Software. “As ARMS continues to positively change the landscape of college athletics, we strive to interlock with groups whose mission and values truly mesh with those of our company and our people. We believe that our organizations are a perfect match to meet this goal and this partnership allows us to help serve a critically important constituency within our athletics industry.”

The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 and has become the premier organization that empowers the community of women coaches with the education and resources they need to stay in the game and inspires others to follow in their footsteps.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit

For more information on ARMS Software, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Forms Allied Partnership with Snodgrass Partners Sports Recruiting

April 24, 2017

The Alliance of Women Coaches has joined Snodgrass Partners, Inc. as an allied partner. The partnership extends the mission and reach of both organizations.

The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 and is dedicated to leading the field of women coaches – of all sports across multiple levels – by providing support, resources, and unparalleled events and programs for education and career development, including the premier NCAA Women Coaches Academy.

“This is an exciting partnership because both of our organizations share the same passion for diversity and inclusion,” said Kahn. “Our educational programming and community of support are game-changers for so many women to stay and advance in the progress. We hope to better the landscape for current coaches and the next generation of female coaches. Snodgrass Partners has the expertise to help us reach new audiences and shows a commitment to seeking diverse coaching candidate pools.”

The Alliance joins other thought leaders who serve as allied partners for Snodgrass Partners, including The Kovacs Institute, Forward Progress Athletics Consulting, Moore Leadership, and True North Sports.

Founded in 2001 by former NCAA Division I athlete and coach, Steve Snodgrass, Snodgrass Partners is an Executive Search and Consulting firm that has conducted hundreds of successful assignments for regional, national and international organizations. The firm’s new Sports Recruiting and Consulting practice offers a rare combination of intercollegiate athletics experience and proven recruiting success to identify coaches for intercollegiate Olympic sports programs and professional/leadership talent for tennis and golf clubs.

“Megan has great perspective and experience as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator,” said Tom Jacobs, athletic administration veteran who is president of Snodgrass Partners. “We are proud to partner with her and the Alliance of Women Coaches to help both of us extend our reach in assisting female coaches by offering educational, leadership, and career-enhancing opportunities.”

For more information on this partnership, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Announces Three New Members to Board of Directors

February 6, 2017

The Alliance of Women Coaches adds three new members to their Board of Directors, as announced by Cecile Reynaud, Board President. “Our three new Board members are an outstanding addition to an already talented Board of Directors. They each bring a particular expertise and vast experience in a variety of areas to continue to grow the Alliance of Women Coaches as an organization. Their service and ideas will assist the Alliance in supporting our members in every sport and at every level,” said Reynaud.

Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, former director of athletics at Columbia University and Denver University, will begin a three-year term this month. The past fall, she was named a 2016 NACWAA Lifetime Achievement Honoree for her tremendous contributions to intercollegiate athletics.

Dr. Murphy presided over one of the most successful periods in Columbia University Athletics history, capturing 30 Ivy League titles in 12 different sports and one NCAA championship during her 11-year tenure. She remained connected to her basketball roots by serving on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and the State Farm Wade Trophy Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Committee. She also developed an elite leadership-training program for college women’s basketball coaches, The Center for Coaching Excellence. Dr. Murphy also served as the University Advisor on Athletics Issues until retiring from Columbia on June 30, 2016, when she joined The PICTOR Group as a senior partner.

photoElizabeth M. King will also begin a three-year term on the board of directors. She is the managing partner of Elizabeth M. King Consulting, LLC, specializing in HR Management consulting, leadership, and coaching.

King recently retired as the vice president of Human Resources Solutions and Services for Starbucks Corporation. During her tenure, the company grew from 1,100 to 24,400 coffee shops in 4 countries to now 74+ countries. This significant growth provided numerous exciting challenges and opportunities for King during her 19+ years with the company serving in roles in Human Resources and Global Technology.

In her last role at Starbucks, she managed Human Resources (HR) systems, including in-house payroll, various HR services and a HR call center for the 180,000 employees in North America.

King is known for talent development and provided several career movement opportunities for those on her team throughout Starbucks. She also led the implementation of the company’s global payroll system and several other systems in numerous international markets.

King is passionate about the value of women in sports after being a softball student-athlete at Penn State University. She continues to mentor and give back to the Nittany Lions.

photoJulie Hermann also assumes a three-year term on the Alliance Board of Directors. Hermann most recently served as the director of athletics at Rutgers University, from May 2013 to Nov. 2015. Hermann’s initiatives and improvements in two years “On the Banks” were far-reaching and impactful, including transition to the Big Ten Conference. She also launched a partnership with IMG College, spearheaded the restructuring of development which lead to a record-setting year with regard to fundraising revenue, and increased the football season ticket holder total to 31,016 in 2014 as the highest in program history.

Prior to Rutgers, Hermann spent over 15 years as the executive senior associate athletic director at the University of Louisville, helping them build in excess of $250 million worth of facilities while elevating the Cardinals to national prominence in several sports. Before transitioning into administration, Hermann was a college head coach and USA Volleyball assistant coach. She was the head volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee from 1991-97. Other coaching stints included assistant coaching positions at the University of Georgia and the University of Wyoming, after a stellar All-Big Eight volleyball player at the University of Nebraska.

In her years in college athletics, Hermann has served on many community boards and numerous NCAA and conference committees, including chairing the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee. She also recently completed seven years of service on the board of NACWAA, serving a four-year term before being on the executive board and becoming president.

The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 and has become the premier organization dedicated to leading the field of women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources, and unparalleled events and programs.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Announces New Staff Members

January 16, 2017

The Alliance of Women Coaches has announced two additions to their national staff beginning today.

Hannah Krieger, former executive director of Sportswomen of Colorado, has assumed the position of Director of Strategic Relationships for the Alliance. “We feel fortunate to add someone of Hannah’s caliber to our staff,” said Megan Kahn, Alliance Executive Director. “Her experience in both the coaching profession and nonprofit sector will be invaluable to the growth of the Alliance.”

“I’m thrilled to take on this role and join an incredible staff,” said Krieger. “The Alliance plays a vital role in providing support for women coaches, and I am grateful to be a part of that. I’m eager to help grow the organization and look forward to working with coaches and supporters around the country.”

Since July 2014, Hannah was the executive director of Sportswomen of Colorado, a nonprofit focused on celebrating and empowering girls and women in sport in the state of Colorado. Previously she spent three years with the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club, overseeing their Soccer for Success program for under-resourced communities in the Denver and Aurora areas, and managed over 3,000 youth soccer players and 350+ coaches and volunteers in their U4-U10 programs. Hannah has coached competitive and recreational soccer for over fifteen years and holds a U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) B license, a U.S. National Youth License and a NSCAA Urban Soccer Diploma.

photoThe Alliance named Katie Brophy Miles to a new part-time position, Membership Engagement Manager. Brophy Miles will also continue her coaching duties as Head Women’s Golf Coach at Georgetown University, where she in her 6th season.

“Katie is one of those unique individuals that has an ability to connect with people across many levels,’ said Kahn. “She brings a tremendous perspective as a current Division I coach, LPGA professional, NCAA Women Coaches Academy graduate, and current member of the Alliance’s Coaches Council. I have no doubt our membership and Women Coaches Academy graduates will immediately feel Katie’s impact on our ability to reach and engage more women coaches.”

“Being a member of the Alliance has been one of my proudest professional affiliations, and I look forward to joining their talented staff,” said Brophy Miles. “I plan to utilize my current role as a head coach to engage the membership in creative, new ways.”
In 2016 Brophy Miles earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors while guiding the Hoyas to conference championship team runner-up finishes in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Prior to Georgetown, she was an assistant coach at Indiana University, where she helped lead the Hoosiers to three top-five finishes at the Big Ten Championships and four NCAA postseason appearances. Brophy Miles remains active in the Ladies Professional Golf Association as a LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals “Class A” Instructor and LPGA Mentor. This past year, she served as Director of NCAA Partnerships for Women’s Golf Day, an inaugural event sponsored by 400 golf courses in 28 countries worldwide.

The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 and has become the premier organization dedicated to leading the field of women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources, and unparalleled events and programs which address the needs and interests of its members.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Announces Partnership with Coaches Inc.

November 2, 2016

Today the Alliance of Women Coaches and Coaches Inc. announce a partnership that will assist in legal and career counsel.

Coaches Inc. is a sports marketing agency that represents college and professional sports coaches, offering services in contract negotiations, legal consultation, career planning, and marketing and promotional opportunities.

“The partnership with Coaches Inc. is significant for us,” said Alliance executive director Megan Kahn. “If we want to be a game-changer in retaining and increasing the number of women in coaching, we need others in the industry eager to help our cause. Coaches Inc. is well-respected in the industry and is willing to assist us in better positioning female coaches in the marketplace for head coaching jobs. Additionally, it’s an invaluable benefit for our members to have access to legal consultation with Coaches Inc.”

Coaches Inc. will also contribute to the Alliance by providing educational sessions at future NCAA Women Coaches Academies. The NCAA Women Coaches Academy, conducted in partnership between the Alliance and the NCAA, is a unique, transformational in-person learning opportunity for female coaches.

Founded in 2006 by former NFL Coaches Association attorney Dennis Cordell, Coaches Inc. has grown into a dynamic company with an impressive current client list of professional and collegiate football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball coaches.

“We’re very excited to partner with the Alliance of Women Coaches, and look forward to the opportunity of providing the membership assistance in any career-related matters and advancement opportunities,” said Garry Rosenfield, attorney with Coaches Inc. “The Alliance is well-known for enhancing and enriching the professional lives of its membership, which is a passion we share as an organization.”

The Alliance of Women Coaches is the premier organization dedicated to leading the field of women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources, and unparalleled events and programs which address the needs and interests of its members.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit
For more information on Coaches Inc., visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Announces Partnership With LGBT SportSafe

October 12, 2016

lgbtss-final-full-logo-clearThe Alliance of Women Coaches and LGBT Sport Safe announced a partnership that will assist in creating inclusive athletic communities for coaches, administrators and student-athletes alike.

Launched earlier this year by co-founders Nevin Caple and Dr. Eric Lueshen, the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program was developed to create an infrastructure for athletic administrators, coaches, recreational sports leaders and professional sports leagues to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer inclusion.

“The Alliance is proud to take the lead as the first organization to partner with LGBT SportSafe,” said Alliance executive director Megan Kahn. “This partnership is another expression and opportunity for us to live out our mission and values in being a diverse and inclusive community. We are stronger together.”

LGBT SportSafe utilizes a new benchmarking framework to help athletic leadership champion a culture of respect and inclusion. The “3-Peat Model” addresses the importance of Programming, Policy and Public Awareness at all levels of sport, while offering incentives to institutions, teams and leagues that reach inclusion goals. The program, which launched with Founders Club members, University of Nebraska, University of Oregon, and Northwestern University, offers benefits for member institutions that actively engage in inclusion. These include a Gold, Silver or Bronze medallion for the athletic department website, a listing in the LGBT SportSafe national registry of inclusive athletic and recreational sport communities, and exclusive access to Coaches Corner, a comprehensive online resource for LGBT inclusion in sports which provides everything from webinars and model policies to discussion forums and best practices for athletic professionals.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Alliance of Women Coaches. The Alliance has played an integral role in creating opportunities for women, people of color and LGBT coaches to be valued and respected in their profession,” said Caple. “It means a great deal to announce the partnership during LGBT History Month, recognizing the trailblazers who paved the way for this partnership to exist.”

The Alliance of Women Coaches is the premier organization dedicated to leading the field of women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources, and unparalleled events and programs which address the needs and interests of its members. The NCAA Women Coaches Academy, conducted in partnership between the Alliance and the NCAA, is a unique, transformational in-person learning opportunity for female coaches. LGBT SportSafe practices will continue to be incorporated into the three Academies conducted annually and attendees will learn best practices and policies critical to creating an inclusive environment.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit
For more information on the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Names Ann Walker as Director of Events & Communication

August 2, 2016

photoAnn Walker, a former softball and All-American basketball player at Iowa’s Northwestern College before a long career as a coach and athletic administrator, has been named Director of Events and Communications for the Alliance of Women Coaches.

“To hire someone of Ann’s experience and caliber is a home-run for the Alliance,” said Megan Kahn, who previously held Walker’s new position before being named Executive Director. “Ann’s passion for developing leaders, her capacity and generosity for supporting coaches, and her tireless work ethic make her a perfect fit. Our members and NCAA Women Coaches Academy graduates will quickly see and feel Ann’s impact on the community of women coaches.”

Ann, who brings over 25 years of experience at the NCAA Division I and II levels at Creighton University, Minnesota State University, the Sunshine State Conference, Nova Southeastern University and most recently the community college level at Clark College, will bring valuable perspective from the view of a coach and an administrator.

“Being a college coach, I’ve lived in other coaches’ shoes,” Walker said. “I’ve had the heartbreak of losing recruits. I’ve had to deal with bosses I didn’t get along with and who were no longer supportive. I know the value that organizations like the Alliance provided me — the networking, the support – and now I can give back in that manner. I can now be a role model, be a mentor, and serve the community of women coaches in a larger capacity.”

Ann served on the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Committee for five years, chairing the national committee in 2008-10. She was also recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) as its 2012 Division II Administrator of the Year.

Ann will organize the Alliance’s national and regional events that help educate, empower, and support women coaches at all levels of athletics. In addition, she will manage the Alliance’s communications efforts through its website and other media platforms. Walker’s hiring completes a reorganization of the Alliance’s staff that began with Kahn’s designation as incoming Executive Director two months ago when Marlene Bjornsrud announced that she would step down after two years in that role.

The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 and has become the premier organization that empowers the community of women coaches with the education and resources they need to stay in the game and inspires others to follow in their footsteps.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit



Alliance of Women Coaches Partners with Four NCAA Division I Conferences to Host Women Coaches Leadership Forum

May 19, 2016

Alliance of Women Coaches Partners with Four NCAA Division I Conferences to Host Women Coaches Leadership Forum

The Alliance of Women Coaches in partnership with the America East Conference, Northeast Conference, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and Patriot League hosted a Women Coaches Leadership Forum on Tuesday, May 17. The one-day educational workshop was held on the campus of Marist College.

With the assistance of funding from the NCAA Office of Inclusion, the Alliance partners with conference offices to host regional events for women coaches. Workshops were piloted in 2015 in New Jersey with the Big East Conference and in California with the Big West and West Coast Conferences. After receiving positive feedback from WCC commissioner Lynn Holzman, Northeast Conference commissioner Noreen Morris felt strongly about offering this development opportunity for her coaches and administrators in the northeast region of the country and was able to collaborate with her fellow colleagues Amy Huchthausen, America East commissioner; Jennifer Heppel, Patriot league executive director, and Jessica Hegmann, MAAC senior associate commissioner in structuring the format for the Leadership Forum.

“When the NEC SWA’s originally discussed the need to provide more professional development for our younger female coaches, I don’t think any of us envisioned this level of success! The comprehensive forum far exceeded our expectations with over 100 participants and 22 presenters from within the four host conferences,” said Morris. “It’s our hope that events like this hosted throughout the country will help increase the number of female head and assistant coaches at the collegiate level.”

With over 100 coaches and administrators in attendance, the Forum sold-out in a matter of weeks and had a wait-list of over forty coaches wanting to attend. The event featured panels consisting of coaches and athletic administrators, as well as networking and breakout sessions.

“We know from experience that women coaches are looking for three things: information beyond the X’s and O’s, inspiration to keep them fired-up, and connections with female coaches across sports, across divisions, and across the nation. Our one-day workshops provide all three elements in an environment that is upbeat and fun,” said Alliance executive director Marlene Bjornsrud.

“The NCAA office of inclusion commends the Alliance of Women Coaches and the leadership of the America East, MAAC, NEC, and Patriot League for joining together to provide a transformational learning and networking experience for women coaches. These types of partnerships and quality programming are significant for supporting women to persist in and to be successful in coaching and mentoring student-athletes,” said Amy Wilson, the NCAA’s director of inclusion.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, women coaches, especially at the NCAA Division I level, have plummeted from over 90% women coaching women’s teams to 42%. Patrick Elliott, Binghamton director of athletics and panelist said, “Providing a forum to support development and growth opportunities for female coaches is extremely important in college athletics. I appreciated interacting with many talented aspiring female coaches, and thank the four sponsoring conferences for the opportunity to share in the day,”

The Alliance provides educational opportunities and resources to support and retain women in the coaching profession. “The Leadership Forum gave a group of women the opportunity to start a conversation – a conversation about the very unique experiences and circumstances for women coaches. You don’t realize how necessary these types of forums are until you are in the thick of it,” said Lenika Vazquez, Canisius head women’s volleyball coach.

“The Women’s Coaches Leadership Forum served as an excellent platform for us female coaches to share, learn and connect with each other around the collegiate coaching profession,” said Casey Brown, Holy Cross head women’s soccer coach. “There was a lot of added-value in sharing the experience with similar conferences and across all sports, and I know I was especially proud to represent Holy Cross and the Patriot League with this special opportunity.”

What They’re Saying About the Forum

“It was amazing to see and hear the passion, commitment and aspirations of the attendees as they talked about their roles as coaches, mentors and role models. Forums such as this are critical to ensure we continue retaining and recruiting women into the coaching profession and the work of the Alliance is a huge piece of this effort. I’m proud that our four conferences collaborated with the Alliance on this forum and look forward to even more opportunities in the future.”
-Amy Huchthausen, commissioner, America East Conference

“This was a great opportunity for a group of accomplished women to come together and share their ideas. I was particularly interested in hearing the thoughts from the younger generations in attendance. Gatherings
like these go a long way towards allowing the next group of leaders in college athletics to reach their full potential.”

-Theresa Grentz, head women’s basketball coach, Lafayette

“The positive collaboration and efforts to bring together many great coaches and leaders in the four conferences was not only phenomenal, but allowed women across all sports to share dialogue and solutions on our most relevant and current issues within our leadership spaces.
-Becky Carlson, head women’s rugby coach, Quinnipiac

“Thank you Alliance of Women coaches for putting together, along with the NEC, America East, MAAC, and Patriot League, a fantastic Forum. As an AD it was inspiring to share ideas, commonalities, concerns, stories, and creative ways to solve problems. More importantly it was a great way to empower and bring in amazing women coaches to network and gain new support systems.”
-Irma Garcia, director of athletics, St. Francis Brooklyn

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches or the Women Coaches Leadership Forum, visit



Bjornsrud Hands Executive Director Baton to Kahn

Leadership Transition to Begin August 1

May 2, 2016

photo-Marlene BjornsrudMarlene Bjornsrud, who has served as Executive Director of the Alliance of Women Coaches for the past two years, will step down effective Aug. 1.

Bjornsrud, who has strengthened the organization’s business foundation during her tenure while fine-tuning its programs to support and advocate for women college coaches, will serve as Director of Strategic Relationships during the transition to new Executive Director Megan Kahn.

“I was honored when the Alliance offered me the opportunity to build the coaching profession that I love so much,” Bjornsrud said. “Now, having accomplished the goals the Board of Directors and I agreed upon, my goal is to support and mentor new leaders like Megan in carrying this important work forward.”

Cecile Reynaud, President of the Alliance’s Board of Directors, said “We have been fortunate to have Marlene lead us for the past two years. We will miss her leadership. Her experience in working with non-profit organizations allowed us to put sound policies and procedures into place. She has grown the membership tremendously and has established strong relationships with the NCAA, National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators, various sport coaching organizations and many others.”

photo-Megan KahnKahn has been with the Alliance for four years, most recently as Director of Events and Communication. A former college assistant basketball coach in Texas, she has worked as an athletic administrator with the Atlantic Coast and Atlantic 10 conferences and formed her own consulting company.

“The fact that Marlene wants to stay on in a new role speaks to her passion for this work,” Kahn said. “I adore Marlene both personally and professionally. She just has this amazing ability to connect on so many levels. The Alliance is now in a unique position to be true difference makers, to create awareness and change cultures. I feel blessed with this opportunity to lead the Alliance in its important work for every current female coach and every young girl who may follow in her footsteps.”

An important aspect of the Alliance’s work is establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with the NCAA, the governing body of college sports, and with athletic administrators at the institutions where women coaches work.

“Marlene is a passionate advocate for women coaches and brought that passion and dedication to her leadership of the Alliance,” said Dr. Amy Wilson, Director of Inclusion for the NCAA. “Megan is well-positioned to guide the Alliance to continued success and I look forward to continued partnerships with the Alliance team to provide meaningful educational opportunities for women coaches.”

“Marlene is a true servant leader and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and work with her,” said Patti Phillips, CEO of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators, better known as NACWAA. “We are excited for Marlene’s next venture and equally excited for the energy and expertise that Megan will bring to the position.”

The Alliance of Women Coaches was founded in 2011 by Judy Sweet, a former athletic director at the University of California, San Diego and NCAA senior vice president, and Celia Slater, former head women’s basketball coach and senior woman administrator at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. The Alliance has become an important and trusted voice, resource and community for all women coaches.

Before coming to the Alliance, Bjornsrud was executive director of the nonprofit Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative in San Jose, Calif., which she founded with Olympic and World Cup soccer stars Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy. BAWSI called female athletes to service as mentors and role models for school-age girls in high poverty communities.

She began her professional career as women’s tennis coach at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, moved to Santa Clara University as an athletic administrator and then became general manager of the San Jose CyberRays, a member of the first women’s professional soccer league in the United States. In 2013 she was honored in Switzerland by the International Olympic Committee with its Women and Sport Award for the Americas.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit



Coach from India Participates in NCAA Women Coaches Academy

December 17, 2015

Anjana Turambekar grew up in a small village in India where few girls played soccer and her parents didn’t want a daughter who did.

photoGetting from that environment to her current position of the All India Football Federation’s grassroots manager for the entire country meant forfeiting her family’s support and fighting through social taboos that few women in American sports today have ever encountered.

Her story and her ability to share it are why the Alliance of Women Coaches was so pleased that Anju, as she likes to be called, was invited by the U.S. State Department to participate in the NCAA Women Coaches Academy Dec. 7-10 in Denver. Meeting with so many American women at all levels of sports administration is why Anju was happy to be here.

“My biggest joy at the Academy is Anju’s impact on American coaches,” said Marlene Bjornsrud, the Alliance’s executive director. “Her level of gratitude, her coming from nothing. It shows everyone here that the community of women coaches is really a global community.”

“We all face common struggles,” said Amy Wilson, the NCAA’s director of inclusion, which focuses on international issues in a portfolio of concerns including women, LGBTQ, minorities and students with disabilities because foreign students are athletes at U.S. colleges and universities, which also hire foreign coaches.

“Women in coaching, internationally, face the same issues we do here,” Wilson continued, giving the declining number of women in administrative and coaching positions as an example. “Bringing diversity to academia is important. We don’t have the same kinds of boundaries we used to have. We’re really in an era where we can work together.”

As a player Anju participated in India’s U-17, U-19 and Senior Women’s national championships, played for Pune University in the All India Inter University Football Tournament and represented her home state of Maharashtra at the high school national championships.
Kelli Davis, who manages the Sports Visitors Program through the State Department’s Office of Sports United in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, picked Anju from the alumni of previous sports exchanges with whom she stays in contact.

“Her compassion and her love for inclusion in empowering young women and girls through sport is why Anju was invited,” Davis said.

Since being named to her current position two years ago, the 28-year-old woman whose own family and village tried to discourage her love of sports and soccer has developed and implemented a grassroots development plan for 11 Indian states, organized 87 soccer festivals for more than 8,000 kids and conducted workshops to train more than 650 coaches.

“I feel proud to say that whatever I am today is because of sports,” Anju said. “I came out of the house; I came out of the village because of sports. Sports empowered me to study life. Sports kept me going to achieve something in life. Once it was hard for me to speak to one or two people and now I am comfortable speaking to 50 or 100 people at a time all because of sports.”

Soccer has taken her to Britain and Holland for advanced coaching training and to the United States on a previous visit, sponsored by the State Department, when she was a guest at the NCAA Women’s College Cup in San Diego.

“There are no boundaries to the community of women coaches,” Bjornsrud said. “We all, regardless where we are located, are stronger together than we are as individuals. Every woman has something to offer and every woman has something to receive.”

Anju said the Academy was another chapter in a “wonderful, wonderful life.”

“In the States you have great sporting culture that I enjoy,” she said. “It’s really good. In the States I think there are so many opportunities to grow. Going back to India, where they really lack in education and sports opportunities, I hope to show how one can grow in modern world. When you have that culture of opportunities, when have that confidence from sports, you get chances to learn and explore.”

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches and the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, visit



New Members Named to Alliance Board of Directors

November 30, 2015

The Alliance of Women’s Coaches is pleased to announce four new members of our Board of Directors whose terms begin this month.

They are:

  • Charmelle Green, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator at The Penn State University;
  • Tim Hall, Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County;
  • Amanda (A.J.) Janney, Head Field Hockey Coach at Indiana University; and
  • Lori Kerans, Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Senior Woman Administrator at Millikin University.

“I have long admired the work of the Alliance of Women Coaches and its commitment to inspiring, empowering, and developing women coaches,” said Green, “I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Alliance Board, and continuing the good work that has made a positive impact on many.”

Green was an all-America softball player at the University of Utah, graduating in 1991. After working in a recreation program in Salt Lake City and creating an advisory board for developing an arts program for inner city youth, she was named assistant softball coach at Notre Dame in 2001.

After four years in coaching, during which she earned her masters degree at Indiana University South Bend, Green moved into athletic administration at Notre Dame as head of the Office of Student-Athlete Welfare & Development and the sport administrator for women’s swimming & diving. She was hired at her current position at Penn State in 2011.

Hall, who earned his bachelors in sports administration from the University of Toledo in 1994 and masters from Kent State University in 1998, said he was “both humbled and honored to be asked to serve.”

“The Alliance of Women Coaches is a fantastic organization,” he said, “one that truly lives its mission by working unfailingly to advance the promotion and impact of women in the coaching industry.”

Prior to coming to UMBC in 2013, Hall held a series of fundraising and administrative positions at Youngstown State University, Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Eastern Kentucky State University, Kent State and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Hall has also held positions with the NCAA including, most recently, chairing the Committee on Women’s Athletics in 2014.

Janney is in her first season as Indiana’s field hockey coach after 10 years as head coach at Temple.
“Being part of the Alliance and attending their events has really changed my career,” she said. “It’s helped me look at my profession in a different light and understand how empowering the position of coach is.”

Janney is a 1999 graduate of Wake Forest University, where she lettered all four years, and a former member of the USA National Indoor Team. She was an assistant coach at James Madison University and the University of Pennsylvania before being named Temple’s coach.

Kerans said she’s “a happy recipient of good things from the Alliance” who now stands on the shoulders of women coaches who preceded her. “I see the Alliance as a way to have an impact; it means I have some skin in the game.”

She was a basketball and softball player at Millikin, from which she graduated in 1985. After earning her masters at Illinois State University, she was named Millikin’s basketball coach and over 29 years compiled a 286-131 record with an NCAA Division III national championship in 2005.

For more information on the board of directors, please visit



“We champion women leaders. Our partnership with the Alliance is important for both of us to be able to grow. We are in this business together.”
– Gina Krahulik, NACWAA Director of Leadership and Education

Experience of Coaches at NACWAA National Convention Is Transformational

October 28, 2015

Asha Jordan and Sahar Nusseibeh went to the 2015 National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators convention as guests of NACWAA and returned feeling a greater sense of connection between women coaches and women administrators.

Their transformational experience took place Oct. 11-13 in Tampa, Fla., during meetings, socializing with other women in college sports and hearing the inspirational stories of women in leadership such as Sheila Johnson, the NACWAA Honor Award recipient.

Johnson is the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams, the WNBA Washington Mystics, NBA Washington Wizards and NHL Washington Capitals.

photo - Asha Jordan“The experience was unbelievable,” said Jordan, who begins her second season as women’s basketball coach at Portland, Oregon’s Lewis and Clark College in November. “It was nice to be in a large space with hundreds of women there – it was a feeling of just connectedness and empowerment being in groups of women who were really passionate about college athletics.”

Which is exactly what NACWAA hoped she would experience, said Gina Krahulik, its director of leadership and education.

photo - Sahar Nusseibeh “It’s important for us just to be able to expose more women to our industry, to connect,” Krahulik said. “We champion women leaders. Our partnership with the Alliance is important for both of us to be able to grow. We are in this business together.”

Jordan and Nusseibeh, who is beginning her third year as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University, are recent graduates of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy. They attended the convention on scholarships as part of its growing partnership with the Alliance.

“I had my eyes opened,” Nusseibeh said. “The number of women in coaching positions is dwindling, and the people who hire coaches are administrators. It’s extremely important for coaches to look outside our coaching silos and connect with administrators. They want to help women in coaching and they have the power to do that.”

Jordan said her takeaway was that both the Alliance and NACWAA have similar philosophies.

“Both see themselves as organizations of change,” she said. “We’re working for the same causes. At end of the day, we’re all on the same team.”

At the forefront of both organizations’ concerns are that women reverse their declining numbers in college coaching, Krahulik said. One of the ways NACWAA hopes to do that is by helping women into more leadership positions such as athletic directors and conference commissioners.

“When you’re on college campus,” Krahulik said, “women tend to be in the minority in athletic departments. We want women to leave our convention knowing they are a very vital part of collegiate athletics and to change them to be better.”

Nusseibeh said the convention made her aware of her role beyond coaching a team.

“I realized ‘Hey, I’m a woman. This is what’s happening to women,’” she said. “Years from now when I am a head coach somewhere, that will be my soapbox. I will use my position to continue to educate and make young women aware of what we need to do and be.”