What's the Job Description of a Head Football Coach?

Explore the career requirements for a head football coach. Get the facts about job duties and education needed to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Head Football Coach?

Head football coaches direct and organize football programs for high school or college teams. Opportunities may exist at the professional level once enough of a track record of winning and years of coaching experience have been established. Head football coaches coordinate and oversee any assistant coaches as they work to ensure that players fully understand the fundamentals of the game. They run practices and drills to prepare their players for their next opponents. Head football coaches may also scout other teams and watch film to prepare plays and game plans. They make all of the decisions during a game. Depending on the level they are coaching at, they may also be involved in recruiting new players. The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Physical education, exercise science, sports science
Key Responsibilities Arrange practices; develop game strategies; motivate staff and players
Certification Mandatory for high school and college positions
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all coaches and scouts)*
Median Salary (2016) $60,049**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Does a Head Football Coach Do?

As of March 2011, job postings found on Monster.com mentioned that academic head football coaches are in charge of arranging practice sessions and track meets. In some cases, they may teach physical education classes. Other duties include managing and instructing team members in an effort to win games, motivating football players before and during competitive events, and analyzing team strengths and weaknesses, while instituting game strategies based on such information. Head football coaches are also responsible for maintaining records regarding team performances.

What Education Is Required?

Public high school and college coaches must usually hold bachelor's degrees. Some commonly chosen majors include kinesiology, physical education and physiology. An undergraduate kinesiology program might consist of classes on such subjects as gymnastics, varsity sports, coaching of football, motor development, biomechanics, physical conditioning, weight training, psychology of coaching, sports officiating and motor programming.

As a physical education major, you'll take classes on educational psychology, human growth and development, elementary physical education, curriculum development, adapted physical education, education technology methods and secondary education classroom management. If you choose to major in physiology, your curriculum might include human physiology fundamentals, cell physiology, immune system physiology, directed research, environmental physiology, metabolism and endocrinology, inflammation and disease, muscle biology and cardiovascular physiology.

What Other Qualifications Must I Possess?

If you'd like a head coaching job, you must have in-depth, comprehensive knowledge of football and its rules, and you should actually have years of experience playing and teaching the sport. Such experience can be attained by attending football camps, playing on a school team or serving as an assistant coach. Some head coaching jobs at larger high schools and universities with competitive teams may require previous head coaching experience.

You must become certified or licensed if you'd like a head coaching position in a public high school or college. Several organizations offer coaching certifications, and their requirements vary. Additional qualifications include the ability to motivate and lead others, along with excellent communication skills. During the hiring process, it may be necessary to undergo drug testing and background investigations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Athletic trainers, middle school teachers and high school teachers are a few related careers that require a bachelor's degree. Athletic trainers also work with athletes, but focus on preventing and treating sport-related injuries and illnesses. They work with athletes from all kinds of sports. Middle school teachers educate kids who are typically in the 6th through 8th grades. They may teach one or multiple subjects, and help prepare the children for high school. Some high school head football coaches may also be high school teachers. These teachers educate kids in the 9th to 12th grades and get them ready for college or a career.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »