Courtesy of Scott Wallace, Tennessee State Athletics
Tennessee State University softball head coach Genee McRath and volleyball head coach Donika Sutton enjoyed record-setting campaigns in the 2022-23 athletic year. They have been invited to participate in Denver, Colorado’s WeCOACH Women Coaches Academy Programs. This will be the 20th anniversary of the academy,
WeCOACH will host its premier programs, the 52nd class of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy (WCA) and the 6th class of the NCAA Academy 2.0, in Denver, Colorado, from May 21-24, 2023. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Women Coaches Academy, where some of the most talented collegiate women’s coaches will have the opportunity to elevate their leadership skills and hear the experiences of championship coaches This is made possible through a longstanding partnership with the NCAA.
The keynote speaker for both academies is Dawn Staley, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of South Carolina. Staley is a two-time national champion coach and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She’s one of the most decorated participants in United States women’s basketball history, having won three Olympic gold medals with Team USA as a player and later was head coach of another U.S. gold-medal winning team.
As part of the anniversary celebration, a record-setting 102 women coaches of all experience levels and sports will be participating in WCA Class #52. NCAA Academy 2.0, a master learning program, will feature 20 coach participants. The classes include representation from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA, community colleges, the U.S. national team, and internationally.
McRath, whose team went 22-26-1, 12-11 in the OVC, directed the program to its first OVC postseason tournament since 2001. The team won their first-ever OVC postseason win. She was selected to participate in the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy May 22-24. Sutton’s team won the OVC tournament for the first time since 2007. The team qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Sutton will take part in the NCAA Academy 2.0 on May 21-23.
Founded in 2011, WeCOACH is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit dedicated to recruiting, advancing, and retaining women coaches in all sports and levels through year-round professional growth & leadership development programs. Prior to Title IX, over 90% of women’s collegiate sports teams were coached by women. Today, 50 years later, data indicates that number has decreased to a stagnant 41% in all three NCAA Divisions, with only 7.3% women coaches of color. Five percent of women coach men’s teams, and at the youth level, the data is hard to estimate; approximately less than 20% of teams are coached by women. As part of its year-long Title IX 50th Anniversary campaign, WeCOACH launched MOVE the NUMBERS to help change women coaches’ landscape and impact history for the next 50 years. For more information, visit wecoachsports.org/50th.