Football Coach  What They Do

Just the Facts


Insider Info

dotIf you're looking for a 9-to-5 type job, try looking into another field -- literally!

"During football season, we put in 80 to 90 hours a week," says Mike Van Diest. He's the head coach of the Carroll College Fighting Saints in Helena, Montana. Practices and meetings often run into the weekend.

Not all of that time is spent on the football field. Much time and effort is devoted to reviewing game and practice video, as well as recruiting.

"Over the last 10 years, recruiting has become a big, big part of our jobs," admits Brian Towriss. He coaches a university football team. Office work includes fund-raising, managing the program's finances and organizing other coach's schedules.

dotThe football coach usually reports to an athletic director, and often also to the school's vice-president, president or-vice president of student affairs.

Many coaches now also wear (at least) two hats: coaching and teaching. "At the college level, we have an additional role to play as an academic counselor as well," says Towriss.

dotWomen are making their mark as football coaches, too. "Because this is relatively new for women to be in the sport, I feel that's where the next generation of coaches will come from...from within the ranks of players," predicts Christie Martin. She is a defensive coach with the SoCAL Scorpions of the WPFL (Women's Professional Football League).

dotFootball season, like the academic season, is limited to several months. The football coach's job, however, is not.

"With off-season programs, weight training, running, conditioning, high school football camps kids can attend during the summer, it's really a year-round career," says Van Diest.

During the so-called "off-season," coaches routinely work 40 to 60 hours a week.

dotPhysical fitness is a must in order to keep up with the demands of this job.

Mental fitness is a must too, says Van Diest. "There's a mental toughness about coaching in terms of believe in what you do and not wavering from that when you're not successful. If you happen to lose, or there's some adversity that strikes your program, you have to stick with your game plan."

At a Glance

Help players achieve their potential

  • Recruiting is a big part of the job
  • You should be physically fit
  • Post-secondary education is important