Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Assistant Coaches

Posted by admin March - 27 - 2018 - Tuesday

I spent about an hour on the phone this morning talking with my Defensive Coordinator when I played high school ball back in the 60’s. “That’s the 19— 60’s… not 18!!!!!!!!) Coach is 82 but still sharp as a tack. We kicked around some stuff and I asked him if he’d ever wanted to be the head coach at the high school I played at and he coached at for over 20 years. He went into administration and never looked back.

Our discussion did go into talking about being an assistant coach. He told me that “I never really had the desire to be the head man. I just wanted to be the best assistant coach I could be!” We talked about my “right-hand man” who coached with me for 15 wonderful years and, knowing him too, Coach Calhoun remarked about how organized Coach Burke was in the classroom. I told him that it was the same way on the practice field.

Coach went on to say that “it’s hard to find one good assistant coach. If you have 2 or 3, it’s a real blessing.” It made me think about what traits are we looking for in a great assistant coach??? I can state numerous things that I think are important but let me just list 3 here today. They are:

1- LOYALTY… to you as the head coach and to the program. You need assistants who you know are going to support you… especially off the field, in the community!!! What did President Lincoln say? “A house divided cannot stand!”

2- Work Ethic. Too many folks want “something for nothing.” I see a plethora of men who “just want to wear the shirt.” Just like we joke about those players who “just want to wear the jersey on Friday…” there are too many guys out there right now who want the recognition but don’t want to do the work that goes with it. I tell head coaches that they need to establish a policy of Responsibility and Accountability…. for their staff and players!

3- Purpose. Why are you coaching? It kinda ties in with #2 above. Too guys want to feed their own ego instead of being “in it” for the kids!!! It’s nice to get recognition— nothing wrong with that! but… if that’s the primary reason that you’re coaching, you are in it for the wrong reason.

A good assistant coach is worth his weight in gold. Make sure you, as the HC, let him know how much he is appreciated!

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