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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Anson Dorrance, June 11, 1991. Interview L-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Limited opportunities for female soccer players after college

This brief passage reveals something about the coaching profession, career opportunities for female players, and Dorrance's coaching style. Dorrance describes the few post-collegiate professional opportunities for female players and the "horror stories" he has heard about female players' experiences with coaches in places like Italy. For many of these players, coaching is a natural next step, and perhaps the only one.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Anson Dorrance, June 11, 1991. Interview L-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

What happens to these top players who come here? Is there anything for them to do with their soccer ability after they've graduated?
The only thing they can really do to pursue soccer is to end up coaching. A lot of them do. It's really funny, though. Some of the really talented people had the same reaction I did at first. I didn't really take this profession that seriously at first, because I don't think it's a very serious profession. And so, someone who has a lot of talent, I think, among our women didn't really look at it first like it was a really serious profession to pursue. And yet, some of them have gotten involved in it and they love it. I mean, it's almost natural because I was thinking back to my attraction, the way I ended up in it. All my memories about soccer are so positive, it's logical for me to pursue it. But, even though they're real positive, I never would give it any great value. So, you're caught in this dilemma. You're caught in this dilemma of really enjoying it, but thinking that you would grow out of it eventually and it's just not the sort of thing an adult pursues. And so, you're sort of caught in that dilemma of you know, "It's time to grow up." What's that kipling quote about, "When you're a man, you put aside childish things," or something. So when you grow up, you don't really think this is one of the things you're still going be excited about. That's why it was an incredible and wonderful surprise to realize that I still am. And some of these other girls that are pursuing it now do enjoy it. But that's all they can do really, is coach. There are some professional leagues abroad. A couple of our kids played in them; Emily Pickering and April Heinricks from some of our older teams played professionally in Italy for a year or two, but didn't enjoy it. Actually, they didn't enjoy the way women were treated in Italy by men who coached the women, which further confirms the fact that as a coach, I was getting further and further away from the way males would traditionally coach. We were hearing the horror stories of these domineering, macho coaches that just put up with no dissent and had no real rapport. And horror stories of their playing expenses in Italy and a lot of it had to do with the way they were treated by the people that ran the clubs who were men. But other than that, coaching is about the only direction they can go in.