Only 14.3 percent of Division I coaches are women, the fewest since 1992, according to a national survey by the former Brooklyn College professors R. Vivian Acosta and Linda Jean Carpenter.
Longtime female coaches say that many qualified candidates, especially those who are mothers or plan to be, leave the profession rather than juggle the demands of coaching and motherhood.
Fewer, they say, are willing to uproot their families to pursue jobs, as men routinely do, or toil for 10 years at modest pay for a chance to be a head coach when so few women are hired. Most Division I assistants make $40,000 to $50,000 a year. The median salary for Division I head coaches is $125,100, according to the 2004-10 N.C.A.A. Gender Equity Report.