SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Female coaches are a rare sight in boys sports but one Tooele baseball coach is challenging gender stereotypes.
"When I walk out there I don't think about anything...I'm just the coach," said Linda Kimball.
Kimball is no doubt turning heads because women coaching a boy's or men's team is unusual in the grander scheme of athletics.
"She doesn't worry about what others think," said Lora Gibbons, whose son plays for Coach Kimball. "She cares about the kids."
Linda learned the game of baseball from her father and two older brothers. She's coached the sport for seven years. The last three seasons have been spent with Tooele's Little League All-Star team. Five days ago, they won a state championship.
"They didn't win this 'cause of me," Kimball said. "They won it because they're willing to do their best all the time."
And Kimball knows her stuff. Just ask anyone who's coached against her.
"When she starts beating you, then you realize she knows her stuff," said Tim Gibbons.
According to a study
in the journal Gender & Society
, only 6% of little league baseball and softball coaches in America are women.
"I just wanted my boy to like baseball and that's how I started and it's continued," said Kimball.
Linda isn't the first woman to coach little league baseball and she won't be the last. Her players love having her as a coach, even if they do get teased about it every now and then.
"I just say she's awesome," said Tooele All-Star Carter Filion.
Any challenges Kimball has faced along the way have been offset by her passion for baseball and coaching. She loves the game of baseball. Even more, she loves what the sport does for the kids who play it.
"I grew up a baseball fan," said Kimball. "I just think baseball is a neat game and it creates a lot of fun memories."
Coach Kimball and the Tooele All-Star team will play in the Pacific Southwest Regional in California next week. If they can win there, they'll advance to the Little League World Series.You can follow Emerson Lotzia on Twitter @EmersonLotzia. You can also interact with him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/emersonlotzia