Auburn Mountainview Head Coach Alyse Lacey in an animated discussion with the referee. (Ben Ray / The Reporter)

Auburn Mountainview Head Coach Alyse Lacey in an animated discussion with the referee. (Ben Ray / The Reporter)

Auburn Mountainview coach claims gender discrimination in officiating

Girls basketball coach Alyse Lacy said she is tired of the lack of communication toward female coaches.

At an average basketball game, referees interact with head coaches and players quite frequently — from informing coaches why a foul was called to telling players to get out of the key to avoid a violation.

In the instance of Auburn Mountainview girls basketball coach Alyse Lacey, she believes that she was intentionally ignored by officials in the Lions’ 57-20 loss to Hazen on Dec. 19.

She wouldn’t name a specific example, but, “to simply put it, I am tired of being ignored as a head coach because I am female,” Lacey said.

“I am frustrated with the ongoing issue because it is an ongoing issue. I think male coaches get treated differently,” Lacey said. There is some truth to that — boys coaches routinely get multiple warnings from officials to back up off the floor, or that a coach is doing too much.

After timeouts and fouls in the game against Hazen, Lacey felt that she was left on an island and ignored by the officials who called the game. In the fourth quarter, Lacey was given a bench warning, which was followed by a highly animated conversation with that official.

“It was a culmination of things. As a coach I like to ask questions and get clarifications. I’ll say ‘Hey can you give me some clarification so I can help my athletes.’ But I think it was a culmination of things, trying to get their attention,” Lacey said.

She wasn’t aware that she would be given a warning. Lacey said she was just trying to talk to the officials.

“We hadn’t talked at all at that point. I tried to get their attention multiple times, whether it was a time out or during a free throw. Or asking a question during a free throw: ‘Was she set was she not set?’ I didn’t know it was coming because I hadn’t talked to them yet. I tried to get their attention all game and one little comment set them off,” Lacey said.

When given a time to apologize or explain the lack of communication to Lacey, “he told me I better be careful.”

Coaches will have an adverse opinion than the referees, more often than not. That point isn’t lost with Lacey, but she wants to work toward a compromise when she is on the floor.

“I understand I am going to have a different perspective than refs at one point or another. But we should have a professional enough relationship to work together to put the best game together as coaches and refs. But if they aren’t willing to engage with me and help my athletes avoid fouls — that’s kind of my job to have that relationship with referees,” said Lacey.

Lacey’s claim is that because she is a female head coach, the referees treated her differently. To her point, after making her case to the officials that she wasn’t being kept in the loop or heard after calls, her dad (assistant coach and athletic director Chris Carr) was sitting on the bench and said something to the officials and was given a technical foul.

“It was pretty frustrating my dad had made a comment (they heard). It was kind of frustrating they heard him, but the whole game I had been trying to get their attention and they couldn’t hear me,” Lacey said.

She noted that it absolutely was confirmation that the referees were intentionally ignoring her.

In the postgame handshake line with Hazen Head Coach Shannon Rance, Lacey discussed the game, but specifics of the conversation Lacey couldn’t speak on. But Lacey summed up their conversation like, “Whew, that was a rough one.”

In regard to any action taken against the referees who were officiating, there is something in the works. Lacey could not comment to specifics.

“We already have a plan going and in action and hopefully that can help other coaches as well... We have a plan in action, and I hope it works,” Lacey said.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

After an initial word with the referee, HC Alyse Lacey had to take a step back. Ben Ray / The Reporter

After an initial word with the referee, HC Alyse Lacey had to take a step back. Ben Ray / The Reporter

From right to left the Mountainview coaching staff, (Chris Carr, Alyse Lacey, Jeff Lacey, Megan Butler, Kady Goodman).

From right to left the Mountainview coaching staff, (Chris Carr, Alyse Lacey, Jeff Lacey, Megan Butler, Kady Goodman).

More in Sports

Gabby Greenwood gives a yell after her home run against Graham-Kapowsin. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood falls in district championship, named five seed for state tournament

Kentridge makes second day of district tournament for first time since 2016.

Matthew Ledbetter leads off the game in the first inning at Sherman Anderson Field. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake baseball eliminated in Mount Vernon

Falcons fall 9-3 to third-seeded Bulldogs.

Christopher Moore went six strong innings against Stanwood. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake blanks Stanwood 5-0 in state tournament opening round

Falcons win behind solid performance from Christopher Moore.

Sarah Wright struck out 17 and allowed just two hits against Kentridge. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood fastpitch wins fourth straight league title

Wright and Conks down Kentridge 7-0 with 17Ks and 2RBI at the plate.

Quay Miller taking a shot during warmups in Canada. Photo provided by Seattle Storm.
Kentridge's Quay Miller fights for spot with Storm

Miller wrapped up her college career in March and now sets her sights on the professional level.

Dominic DesMarais on the mound against Curtis. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentridge baseball moves on in district tournament

Kentridge’s 1-0 win over Curtis is fueled by Dominic DesMarais, who pitched a complete game shutout.

Photo of an assistant referee. Ben Ray /
Amateur refs and umpires deserve more respect | Bench Talk with Ben Ray

Imagine you show up to do a hobby that you enjoy, and other people show up and just start ripping you a new one because of a minute decision you made.

Sarah Wright does her thing in the circle for Kentwood. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood outlasts Auburn Riverside in heavyweight clash

Sarah Wright dazzles and the offense gets the job done in 2-1 win.

Vote today for the Kent News's Athletes of the Year.
Vote for the Kent News Athletes of the Year

The online contest runs May 1 to May 8.

Johan Zuluaga gets some love from his teammates after scoring the game tying goal. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kent-Meridian soccer wins 3A NPSL with win over Auburn Riverside

The Royals have now won four straight to close out regular season.

Ethan Nonthaveth scores the second Kentwood goal for the Conks in a minute against Mount Rainier. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Tale of two halves for Kentwood boys soccer

Kentwood led 3-0 at halftime, but ends with 3-3 draw against Mount Rainier.

Juan Hernandez gives a scream after driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake steals a win on the road — and steals top spot

Falcons defeated Lions 3-2 in an intense battle for the lead of the NPSL.