Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science, Kinesiology - Athletic Training Concentration

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Tamerah Hunt

Committee Member 1

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 2

Nancy Malcom


Context: Female athletic trainers are making great strides in a previously male-dominated profession and are also becoming more prevalent in working with male sports teams. Female athletic trainers working within male sports often face gender bias and discrimination which has been found to come from male coaches of these sports. While previous studies have shown male coaches may demonstrate practices of gender bias towards female athletic trainers working in male sports, no studies have focused directly on the male coach and female athletic trainer relationship. Purpose: To examine the experiences and perceptions of female athletic trainers currently working with male coaches in male sports in the NCAA and examine the male coach-female athletic trainer relationship from the point of view of the athletic trainer. Design: Qualitative research utilizing a multiple case study design. Methods: Six collegiate female athletic trainers were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format via Zoom. Participants were asked questions that aimed to gain information regarding female athletic trainers’ experiences and perceptions of working with male coaches in male sports and information about the interactions between the two parties. Interview transcripts were coded and analyzed by the research committee. Results: Four themes emerged from participant responses which included the background of the female athletic trainer, advantages of working with male coaches in male sports, challenges faced and navigation of challenges, and factors for success in current role and relationship. Conclusions: Overall, participants described having a good relationship with their male coaches and numerous factors were identified as playing a role in that relationship. This study revealed how one’s background and prior relationships and experiences can shape current ones, and identified different advantages and challenges present for female athletic trainers working with a male coach in a male sport. Advantages included having a differing view from one another, as well as acts of chivalry, and male coaches having higher standards and being taken more seriously. Challenges faced included gender, age, and experience. Furthermore, participants offered valuable insights of how to tackle those challenges and provided factors for success within their roles and relationships with male coaches in male sports.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material