Media Coverage for Women's Sport
Coaching athletes always has been one of Holly Hesse’s strengths.
Honored this spring for her 25th year of coaching softball at Missouri State, Hesse is the winningest coach in the Missouri Valley Conference. In her time, she has led teams to NCAA Tournaments and all the while became one of the longest-tenured coaches in the MSU athletic department.
But coaching for Hesse is more than arriving to the ball fields. As Title IX celebrates its 41st anniversary today — the legislation paved the way for the rise of women’s athletics — Hesse is carrying out its legacy.
One of many examples is her leadership within the Alliance of Women Coaches as well as the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy, of which she is on the board of directors. For the past decade, Hesse has criss-crossed the country to work at women’s coaching conferences and today travels to Atlanta for the academy, which mentors females on enhancing their coaching skills, right down to managing personalities.
“I absolutely love coaching coaches at this point,” Hesse said. “It’s just invigorating to me. For the older coaches that have been in coaching a long time, it’s great to see the passion and the energy of the younger coaches. And for the younger coaches, it’s great to get the knowledge and the experience and the perspective of the older coaches.”
However, despite so many reasons to celebrate Title IX’s enormous achievements, Hesse says far more must be done, or at least that those in leadership positions cannot take their collective foot off the gas pedal.
That is why she has directed her passion, too, to the Alliance, designed to combat a downward trend of women’s coaches in all levels of NCAA, at least in the percentage of coaches, according to one study.
Created in 2011, the Alliance is similar in function to the Black Coaches and Administrators organization, which attempts to appeal to big-time NCAA schools in their interviews and hiring of minority coaches and administrators for major sports. Still in its early stages, Hesse said, the Alliance has the same aim as the BCA, only for female coaches at all levels.
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