Female Coaches


Emerson Lane, Digital Reporter

There are 40 male coaches currently at Waterford High School and only 14 female coaches. Nationally, the ratio of female coaches to male coaches is 33% to 67%. Few sports teams have female coaches, and even fewer have a full female staff roster. In the past year, WHS has added two all-female coaching teams: girls’ basketball and volleyball.

Waterford girls’ volleyball has been a program since 2006, and until this season the team had a majority male coaching staff, including Alfredo Agsalud, Joshua Eudy, Beau Luca, and Matt Maynard. Amanda Tourjee was the first female assistant coach on the team. After Coach Matt Maynard resigned last year, Amanda Tourjee was announced as the 2022 season head coach. She then officially added Coach Vanessa Kobyluck as the varsity assistant and JV coach and kept the previous year’s freshman coach, Jaclyn Bono. The coaches agree that the environment is more positive and understanding this year. Coach Vanessa stated, “We all have understanding and mutual respect between the players and coaches, which makes the dynamic work better.” All three of the new coaches were previously Waterford High athletes and are from a younger generation, with coaches who graduated in 2009 (Bono), 2014 (Tourjee), and 2016 (Kobyluck), which helps them connect with the girls. One of the senior captains of the volleyball team, Emma Hall, comments, “We tell our coaches pretty much anything that revolves around volleyball, and we are never worried about approaching them. Our coaches understand us, and when they can tell something is wrong, they will come to talk it through with you. There is no barrier to communication with them.” Many other girls on the team commented that the environment is more fun and positive. A junior player explained, “While the practices and games are taken seriously, and the coaching staff is interested in your development as a player, they make sure to have fun while doing it.”

Our recently added girls’ basketball coaching staff includes Coach Sullivan (varsity), Coach Long (JV), and Coach Macca-Barnes (freshman). Coach Long and Sullivan were previously coaches at Clark Lane Middle School for many years. Senior basketball player Julia Knowles who has had these coaches for many years of her career believes her female coaches are approachable: “Coach Sullivan (head coach) is more like a bigger sister; you can go to her about everything and the atmosphere is positive. She is very reasonable and doesn’t demand too much out of you because she has an understanding of where you’re at because she’s been there/done that.” 

Many players believe coaches better understand them when they’re the same gender because many have faced the same struggles and life issues. The coaches who have gone through this experience before are known to think in similar ways as the players; Amarys Jimenez, a junior on the girls soccer team, has had a majority of male coaches all her life; she believes the male coaches are stricter and push you harder. Female coaches take games seriously, but you feel more comfortable with them and can connect with them more. 

 While girls find a closeness to their girl coaches, it is often the same for guys with their male coaches. Juan Morel, a junior basketball player has had coaches of both genders; he believes, “the guy coaching understands your sport and knows the speed of your game, while female coaches haven’t played at the same level and tend to not push as much.” He feels like he can go to his guy coaches about his life and use them as big brother figures to help him through sports and life issues.

Our new Waterford High School coaches have all had solid reports of their attitude and their new skills and input that have grown to improve all of our programs. The new female staff has added positivity to our sports environment and comfort to our players, and the sport has made the game more enjoyable. The future is female and Waterford High School is part of it.