Celebrating 24 Female Coaches for International Women’s Day 2020

The FCN have paired up with fourfivecbd to celebrate 24 female coaches, 1 for every hour of International Women’s Day 2020.

The 24 female coaches come from a range of sports including Boxing, American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Track & Field, Rugby, Netball, Aussie Rules Football and Volleyball.

Whilst there may be a lack of women coaches around the World compared to their male counterparts, there is certainly a huge number of female coaches to have chosen from and whittling it down to just 24 was no easy task!

These women, along with the thousands of others around the Globe, are inspirational in their own unique coaching journeys. Whether it’s inspiring others to take part in sport, being trailblazers, or leading their teams or athletes to Olympic successes, these women all have a story to share from us all to learn.

During IWD 2020 on the 8th March, visit the fourfivecbd instagram account for more!

Below are our 24 female coaches and their biographies, in no particular order!

Rachel Bower

Rachel is a Boxing Coach from the UK who has been an avid blogger for the FCN for a number of years. She has shared stories of her journey from coaching the Metropolitan Police Boxing Team, coaching celebrities for the BBC’s Sport Relief and her experiences of coaching for England for the first time! A former national champion herself, Rachel now runs Rathbone Amateur Boxing Club in central London. She also coaches for England and holds a position on the England Boxing Coaching Sub Committee. 

Lori Locust

Lori Locust is an American Football Coach from the US. After coaching the sport for a number of teams in both the men’s and women’s game, Lori was hired by NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Assistant D-Line Coach in 2019. Previously to the Bucs, she had coached for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance American Football during the leagues inaugural season. She also served as a defensive coaching intern for the Baltimore Ravens during the 2017-2018 training camp. Lori is now among a handful of women working in the NFL and continues to inspire more women to follow her lead.

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone is a Tennis Coach from Australia. She is a former professional player, specialising in doubles with 11 ITF doubles titles to her name eight of which came in the 2002 season. Now based in the United States, Sarah currently coaches American player Alexa Glatch and Serbian world number 39 Aleksandra Krunic. Stone began working with Krunic’s team at Indian Wells in 2018. Under Stone’s coaching tutilage Krunic won her first WTA tour title at ‘S Hertogenbosch defeating Coco Vandeweghe and Kirsten Flipkens along the way. As a result, Krunic reached a career-high ranking of 39 on the WTA tour. in 2015, Sarah founded the Women’s Tennis Coaching Association which is the only professional global organisation formed solely in support of coaches working with female players.

Alyssa Nakken

Alyssa Nakken is a baseball coach from the US. She attended California State University, Sacramento, where she played college softball for the Sacramento State Hornets as a first baseman. Alyssa joined the Giants’ baseball operations department as an intern in 2014 and worked for the team on health and wellness programs. The Giants promoted her to the major league coaching staff as an assistant coach in January 2020, making her the first full-time female coach in MLB history. Though she will wear a baseball uniform, she will not be in the dugout during games, as there is a seven coach maximum, and those seven were hired prior to her.

Kristi Toliver

Kristi Toliver is a basketball coach from the US. In 2009, she was the third pick of the WNBA draft, going to the Chicago Sky. In 2018, she became a full-time assistant coach for the NBA team Washing Wizards, in between playing for the WNBA team the Washington Mystics. Due to an obscure WNBA clause that applies because both her teams share an owner, she makes only $10,000—a pittance compared with the $100,000 to $1,000,000 that her male counterparts earn for the same job. Kristi has however just signed to play for the LA Sparks, so is unsure how both basketball roles will work out being 3,000 miles apart!

Cathy Walker

Cathy Walker is a Track & Field coach from the U.K. A UK Athletics Level 3 Performance Coach in Speed, Relays, Combined Events, Strength & Conditioning and Mentoring, Cathy coaches both GB and recreational athletes, able bodied and disability. Cathy started coaching in 2002, making it her full time role in 2008 and has since added to her skills by becoming IAPC&M Level 5 Life Coach using hypnotherapy and counselling

Natalie Nakase

Natalie Nakase is a basketball coach from the US. Whilst only 5 foot 2 inches tall, Natalie played basketball at high school and college where she was a walk-on for the UCLA Bruins basketball team. In 2008 after injury ended her playing career, she took her first coaching role with a women’s team in Germany called the Wolfenbüttel Wildcats. In 2010, she moved to Japan and became an assistant to Tokyo Apache after volunteering to prepare a scouting report for one of the team’s opponents. After the team folded at the end of the season, she took on an assistant role with a men’s professional team in Japan, which midseason lead her to become the first female head coach in Japan’s men’s league after the current head coach stepped down. In 2012, she took a year long internship at NBA Team the LA Clippers, and soon became the first women to sit on the bench as an NBA assistant coach.

Joanna Hayes

Joanna Hayes is a Track & Field Coach from the US. She is a former 400m and 100m hurdler, having won Gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Joanna has spent most of her coaching career working at college level, with male and female short and long hurdlers (100 / 110m hurdles & 400m hurdles).  Her athletes have achieved everything from winning Pac-12 Championships, NCAA Championships and the NCAA Indoor Championships. In November 2018, Joanna took on the up and coming track star Sydney McLaughlin, the then 19 year old who had already represented USA at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 as a 16 year old.  Following that in 2017, Sydney put together one of the greatest high school careers in U.S. history.  At the NCAA Championships on June 9th 2018, Sydney won the women’s 400 hurdles in 53.96 and followed that up about an hour later by splitting 50.03 on the fourth-place 4×400 relay to help the Wildcats finish fourth in the final team standings. After the NCAA Championships, McLaughlin announced her intention to forego her remaining three years of college eligibility and turn pro. At the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Sydney took Silver, but it took a World Record by Dalilah Muhammad to beat her.

Katie Sowers

Katie Sowers is an American Football Coach from the U.S. Katie played American Football in the Women’s Football Alliance League before becoming a coach. In 2016, she became an intern at the Atlanta Falcons and remained with them as an intern scout until she moved to the San Francisco 49ers in June 2017 thanks to her involvment in the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program. With the 49ers, Katie resumed working as a seasonal offensive assistant until her promotion to offensive assistant in 2019. In her first season as one of the 49ers offensive assistants, the team won the NFC Championship sending the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV, allowing her to become the first female and first openly gay offensive assistant in a Super Bowl.

Marianne Spacey

Marianne Spacey is a football coach from the U.K. As a player, Marianne earned 91 caps for England and is considered one of the best English footballers of all time. She is now one of the small number of women coaches around the World with the highest football coaching qualification the UEFA Pro License, and has worked at a number of football clubs across the country. In December 2013, Marianne was appointed assistant to England women’s manager and was part of Mark Sampson’s coaching staff when the Lionesses came third at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015. In July 2018, Southampton F.C. announced that Marianne would be joining as the head of girls and women’s football technical department, based at the Staplewood Campus full-time and also overseeing the club’s Regional Talent Club. In her first season as head coach of the senior women’s team, who play in the FA Women’s National League, Division One South West, the team completed the double, winning the league title (with a perfect 18 wins from 18 games) and League Cup

Edniesha Curry

Edniesha Curry is a basketball coach from the U.S. As a player, Edniesha played in the WNBA from 2002 with Charlotte Sting, Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks and went oversees to play in Greece, Israel, Hungary and Poland. Edniesha became a coach in 2009 and spent some time coaching in Vietnam, China, Israel and Palestine and has been involved in coaching at NBA Jr clinics, NBA Assistant Coach Program and the NBA G-League. In 2018, she was hired by NCAA Division 1 Men’s Team at the  University of Maine. She is the only female coach out of 1,300 in the entire league!

Maral Javadifar

Maral Javadifar is a Strength & Conditioning Coach from the U.S. The same year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Lori Locust, they also hired Maral. The Bucs are still the onlu team in the NFL with two female coaches. Maral completing her Sports Physical Therapy Residency at Virginia Commonwealth in August of 2018. Prior to her time at VCU, Maral worked as a physical therapist and performance trainer in Virginia, while also serving as a guest lecturer at George Mason University. A native of Queens, New York, Maral played basketball at Pace University in New York City. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Pace, she then earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from New York Medical College.

Marina Armstrong

Marina Armstrong is a Track & Field coach based in the U.K. Marina achieved her Masters in Athletics in 1983 in Moscow and since relocating to the UK she now holds a UKA Level 3 Sprints and Hurdles Qualification. Marina has developed a strong group of hurdlers who have amassed a large number of English Schools and English Championships medals as well as International representative honours. At the British Athletics Outdoor Championships back in August, her athletes walked away with 3 medals and in October, hurdler Chris McAlister represented GB at the World Championships in Doha. Marina has continued her groups successes as her athlete Jessie Knight has taken the 2020 British indoor season by storm.

Annick Hayraud

Annick Hayraud is a Rugby Coach from France. She played for her Country throughout the 80’s and 90’s, a time when women rugby players got no recognition. In 2003, she took on Head Coaching role with her club AS Romagnat Rugby Féminin having gained her coaching qualifications in 1996. In November 2016, she was a member of the steering committee of the French Rugby Federation as well as being Head Coach of the Women’s National Team. She is the only female coach in the Men’s (or women’s) Rugby Six Nations Tournament.

Joanne Stuckey

Joanne Stuckey is a football coach from the U.K. When she is in the UK, Joanna volunteers as a coach with Warden AFC in her home town Luton and is a huge Luton FC fan! Joanna has spent many month volunteering in Brazil, where she coaches a boys team called Boanerges FC in Fortaleza. Joanne has been a blogger for the FCN since 2015 and continues to share her stories and thoughts on coaching as a woman, her thoughts on women’s sports and her journey in Brazil.

Jennifer King

Jennifer King is an American Football Coach from the US. Jennifer coached basketball for many years, stating that no one would let her coach football when she began her coaching career. As a basketball coach, she won national title in her respective leagues, but continued to study the game of football – even playing quarterback and wide receiver in a women’s tackle football league. Between 2018 and 2019 she was an intern coach for the Carolina Panthers NFL team. In 2020, Jennifer was hired by the Washington Redskins working with the offensive staff throughout the offseason, training camp and regular season. She will assist Coach Randy Jordan with the Running Back players.

Liz McColgan

Liz McColgan is an athletics coach from the U.K. As an athlete herself, Liz has a number of medals to her name including Gold from the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo for the 10,000m, Olympic Silver from the 1988 Games in Seoul also in the 10,000m, two Commonwealth Gold medals IN THE 10,000m and Gold at the World Half Marathon Championships in 1992. Now based in Doha, Liz runs her own athletics club as well as coaching her daughter Eilish McColgan to World Championship and Olympic level and European Silver in the 5,000m in Berlin in 2018.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a football coach from the U.K. Having coached since 2001, Emma has coached a number of women’s team in the UK and the US including the Long Island Lady Riders, Iona College, Arsenal Ladies (as an Assistant), Chicago Red Stars and since 2012, Chelsea Women. Emma is now the most successful coach in English domestic football as she has taken her team to multiple league wins, the FA Cup and the semi-final of the Champions league. In 2016, Emma received an MBE from the Queen.

Debbie Laycock

Debbie Laycock is a Netball coach from the U.K. Debbie is a UKCC Level 2 qualified coach and has experience in coaching netball to participants from 2 years old to 102 years old, from grass roots to performance pathway athletes. Her passion for the game is infectious and she has held done a number of professional and voluntary roles in coaching and organisation. Debbie is also a ‘C’ Award umpire and plays netball (when not injured) for Meon Netball Club in Hampshire. Recently Debbie has set up Netball in the Community; giving netball opportunities to the people of Portsmouth and Coaches Network;  a supportive space for local netball coaches to share best practice, gain support and help each other out, on their netball coaching journeys.

Phoebe Schecter

Phoebe Schecter is an American Football coach from the UK and US. Phoebe moved to Cheshire, England from Connecticut, USA in 2013 to work for a member of the Dutch Olympic equestrian team.  It wasn’t until this move, that Phoebe fell in love with American Football.  She joined a women’s football team as a Defensive Linebacker and got the bug for contact sports.  Having competed and captained the GB team, she also became Captain for the England team at the World Kabaddi Championships! She got involved coaching a youth team which escalated into her firat internship at the University of Laverne in California. From there, she applied to the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship after her mentor Sam Rapopport recommended she do so. In 2017, Pheobe became an intern for the Buffalo Bills NFL team which led her to work at the University in Rhode Island. The following Spring Phoebe did an internship with Stanford and reapplied to the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship with the Bills again and was able to stay on for the season.

Kara Lawson

Kara Lawson is a basketball coach from the US. As a college player, she played under the legendary Coach Pat Summitt and went on to play in the WNBA for the Sacremento Monarchs, Connecticut Sun and the Washington Mystics. Kara won Olympic Gold in the 2008 Games in Beijing and retired in 2015 to focus on her broadcasting career with ESPN. As Coach, Kara has worked with USA Basketball’s 3-on-3 teams in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While serving as coach for the U19 boys and girls 3-on-3 teams, she guided them to four World Championships including three straight for the U19 girls (2017, 2018, 2019) and the first ever for the U19 boys in 2019. Also in 2019, she became an assistant coach for the NBA team Boston Celtics.

Mo Marley

Mo Marley is a football coach from the U.K. Mo is the legendary England player and coach who has had a huge influence on some the best players in English women’s football history including Farah Williams, Jill Scott, Toni Duggan and Rachel Brown. Mo had a 24-year association with Everton, joining the club in their former incarnation as Leasowe Pacific in 1988. She won the 1989 Women’s FA Cup and captained the team to the FA Women’s Premier League title in 1997–98. After taking over as manager in 2002, she led Everton to the 2008 FA Women’s Premier League Cup and the 2010 FA Women’s Cup. Mo led Everton into the UEFA Women’s Champions League on three occasions, before standing down as manager in October 2012. In September 2017, she was named as the interim manager of the England women’s national football team.  In October 2018 she was appointed the permanent manager of the newly resurrected England under-21 women’s team.

Peta Searle

Peta Searle in an Aussie Rules Football Coach from Australia. As a player, Peta played football for ten years starting her career with the Scorpions at the age of 20 and then moving onto the Albion Football Club, Parkside Football Club and then the Darebin Falcons. She played over 100 games, won five premierships, represented Victoria on seven occasions and was named on the all Australian team three times. Peta began her coaching career in 2005 with the inaugural Victorian under 19 team. Between 2006 and 2013, she coached a number of clubs including the Western Jets, the Victoria VWFL Academy, Port Melbourne Football Club and the Western Bulldogs. In 2014, she was hired as development coach for the Saints, becoming the first female coach in the men’s AFL league. In 2019, Peta was appointed the head coach of the St Kilda Football Club ahead of them entering the AFL Women’s competition in 2020.

Lang Ping

Lang Ping is a volleyball coach from China. As a player, she won Gold at the 1984 Olympic Games in LA, beating the home team and has a handful of World Championships and FIVB Gold medals to her name also. In 1995, Lang became the head coach of the Chinese national team for the first time and guided the squad to the silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics and silver at the 1998 World Championships in Japan.  Lang resigned from the Chinese national team in 1998 due to health reasons. In the following year, she took a head coaching position in the Italian professional volleyball league and enjoyed great success there, winning various honours and the coach of the year award multiple times. She was selected 1996 FIVB Coach of the Year. Lang is currently the Head Coach to the Chinese Women’s National Team, after serving as Head Coach for a number of years as the Head Coach to the USA Women’s Team. In 2016, she became the first person ever to have won Olympic Gold as a player and Coach for the same country, after leading China to Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.