Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Getting a Head Coaching Job

Posted by admin October - 29 - 2009 - Thursday

Now that football season is drawing to a close, coaching positions will begin to open up and hungry assistant coaches will be looking to secure a HC position! 

I want to share a few tips that may help you in the application process:

1- Be sure that you know what you are getting into before committing to even applying.  I have a coaching colleague who wanted to be a HC so bad that he “grabbed” 2 different jobs without really evaluating what he was getting himself into.  The second one only lasted about a month and he stepped down because the school refused to pay him!  The “red light” should have been that the job came open in late July!  So, do some research on the school; it’s administration and the history of the football program before you apply.  Surely, some bad programs can be turned around with the right person at the helm.  But with no support from the administration or community, you are in for a rough ride.  So ask questions; take a tour of the facilities; talk to players; talk to their parents and boosters— get a “pulse” on the program and school before you sign a contract.  And even before you apply.  You can always say “no” later.

2- If you are going to go through the process, it is important to present yourself to the search committee as professional as possible.  Put together a first class resume and mail it to the principal or AD as soon as possible.  You don’t want to miss deadlines.  When you meet for your interview, dress professionally.  Find out how many people will be on the committee and have a folder of personal information presented to each one of them (bring a couple of extra folders in case more show up.  There’s nothing more embarrassing than to not have material for everyone in attendance!).  Your “philosophy of coaching” is important to have in the material along with information on how you will run your program.

3- When you meet, remember that Body Language is critical to how you come across to the committee interviewing you.  You should have your family “grill” you with questions before you meet for the real deal.  Videotape the family interview session and have your wife or close friend critique your performance.  Non verbal cues like your posture, facial expression, eye contact (very important!) voice volume are all important in how you present yourself.  If you do not know the answer to a question, say so!  There’s nothing worse than watching someone try to come up with an answer when it’s obvious that they do not know the answer!  Simply respond:  “That’s a good question.  I do not have an appropriate response to it right now.  But I will research it and get back to you.”  Then once you find the answer, you be sure to email or call that committee member and tell them what you found out.  When you leave, make sure to shake each hand and thank them for the opportunity to meet with them.  Within a day or so, it is appropriate to write a note, yes write!, and thank the head of the committee again for allowing you the chance to interview.  Some of you may wonder if letters of recommendation help.  Yes… but don’t overdo it.  Two or three letters from “key” people can be helpful; but don’t send a mail truck full of letters to the committee.

I think it’s pretty obvious that the interview is the key.  However, you have to realize that sometimes the interview process is simple perfunctory.  The principal may already have in mind whom he wants to hire; but he is required by his school system to go through the motions of an interview process.  Don’t get frustrated.  There are good jobs out there.  It may require a few “no’s” as you build your resume.  Keep applying!

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