Jan 18, 2013
Hispanic Female Coaches A Rarity In Arizona

Frank Villa had his eye on hiring Lisa Contreras to coach girls basketball under him at Avondale Westview for at least a year before she finally agreed to take the job.

Now head coach of the boys team, Villa was impressed with Contreras’ knowledge of the game. He knew her personal story — playing at Phoenix Carl Hayden when girls basketball was, at best, undervalued, walking on at Phoenix College and then earning a full scholarship at Western New Mexico.

It was a narrative from which Villa thought the girls of the Westview basketball team, many of them Hispanic, could benefit.

“I needed a good freshman coach, Villa said. And she’s a strong, young Hispanic lady that’s going to come through and be able to teach my girls, who will have someone to look up to. Because it’s always men in those spots.”

Contreras, 39, initially said no. She didn’t know if she could make that kind of time commitment. A year later, she was ready.

By the 2011-12 season, four years after her hire, Villa had moved over to the boys program, and Contreras was in her debut season as varsity girld head coach. This season, the Knights are 24-0.

Contreras has yet to pace the sideline opposite another female Hispanic head coach.

Glendale Apollo girls basketball coach Susan Prado-Ortiz knows that feeling of professional loneliness better than anyone. When she started coaching in 1980, Prado-Ortiz said, she knew of one other female Hispanic head coach in any sport, much less basketball.

She hasn’t seen many more since.

“It was a rarity, Prado-Ortiz said. A rarity.”

When she started at Apollo in 1989, basketball still wasn’t a popular sport among Hispanic girls. Prado-Ortiz, who also has coached girls volleyball and softball at the school, traces her love of the game, and athletics in general, through a series of female role models and coaches she had dating back to elementary school.

They were the kind of living examples Villa hoped Contreras would provide at Westview.

“They were great role models, Prado-Ortiz said. They seemed to have passion and love their job, and to this day, I feel very fortunate, very blessed that I look forward to coming every day. It’s not a job, it’s a career. I love doing what I do.”

Hispanic Female Coaches A Rarity In Arizona

AZCentral.com

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/preps/articles/20130117female-hispanics-still-lacking-among-coaches.html?nclick_check=1

Frank Villa had his eye on hiring Lisa Contreras to coach girls basketball under him at Avondale Westview for at least a year before she finally agreed to take the job.

Now head coach of the boys team, Villa was impressed with Contreras’ knowledge of the game. He knew her personal story — playing at Phoenix Carl Hayden when girls basketball was, at best, undervalued, walking on at Phoenix College and then earning a full scholarship at Western New Mexico.

It was a narrative from which Villa thought the girls of the Westview basketball team, many of them Hispanic, could benefit.

“I needed a good freshman coach, Villa said. And she’s a strong, young Hispanic lady that’s going to come through and be able to teach my girls, who will have someone to look up to. Because it’s always men in those spots.”

Contreras, 39, initially said no. She didn’t know if she could make that kind of time commitment. A year later, she was ready.

By the 2011-12 season, four years after her hire, Villa had moved over to the boys program, and Contreras was in her debut season as varsity girld head coach. This season, the Knights are 24-0.

Contreras has yet to pace the sideline opposite another female Hispanic head coach.

Glendale Apollo girls basketball coach Susan Prado-Ortiz knows that feeling of professional loneliness better than anyone. When she started coaching in 1980, Prado-Ortiz said, she knew of one other female Hispanic head coach in any sport, much less basketball.

She hasn’t seen many more since.

“It was a rarity, Prado-Ortiz said. A rarity.”

When she started at Apollo in 1989, basketball still wasn’t a popular sport among Hispanic girls. Prado-Ortiz, who also has coached girls volleyball and softball at the school, traces her love of the game, and athletics in general, through a series of female role models and coaches she had dating back to elementary school.

They were the kind of living examples Villa hoped Contreras would provide at Westview.

“They were great role models, Prado-Ortiz said. They seemed to have passion and love their job, and to this day, I feel very fortunate, very blessed that I look forward to coming every day. It’s not a job, it’s a career. I love doing what I do.”






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