Bob Grace via Coaches Choice Football Coaching Library
Making the Decision to Apply for a Head Football Coaching Position
Arriving at the decision to apply for a head football coaching position may be one of the most important career decisions a young coach may make. The application and interview process can be unnerving for many young coaches. For the unprepared coach, the initial interview can turn out to be a nightmare.
The approach to preparing for the application and interview process is akin to preparing for a big game. Entering into this process requires research and scouting related to all facets of the coveted head coaching position. The applicant must research the background of the program related to its successes and failures over the past seasons.
- Why has the program been successful, or in many cases why has it failed?
- What did the prior head coach do well or do poorly, and why is he leaving the position?
- What level of community support is apparent for the football program?
- Perhaps the most important question is: who will be making the final decision?
In researching the overall success/failure level of the programs, the prospective coach must look at the historical record of past players.
- Has the program been winning because of a high percentage of outstanding athletes, or losing because of a lack of athletic talent?
- How will the new coach develop talented players and how will he encourage talented athletes in the school population to join the football program?
- Is the departing coach retiring after a long, successful career, or has he been released from his position for a lack of success?
- What were the unique situations relative to the career of the prior coach?
- Is there a strong level of commitment from the booster club and community at large?
It is important to gauge the level of community support or community apathy for the football program before entering into the interview process. And finally, if possible, the prospective candidate for a head football coaching position should attempt to find out how the final decision will be formulated.
Will the final decision come from a consensus of athletic director, principal, superintendent, and Board of Education, or will one of those parties have a far greater role in the selection process? It is extremely important to gather as much information as possible about all of the parties that will be involved in the interview process.
The interview process will typically be comprised of two or three individual sessions. A typical scenario would have the athletic director conduct first round interviews and reduce the field of applicants to a more workable number, perhaps five or six. A second-round interview for surviving candidates may include the athletic director, high school principal, and perhaps the superintendent of schools. This second-round interview may possibly send two or three candidates to a third-round interview with a larger committee, possibly comprised of Board of Education members, additional teaching and coaching staff members, booster club members, community members, alumni, former players, and so forth. The process can take several nerve-wracking weeks to complete.
Think of the interview as an oral examination of all you happen to know about coaching football and the development of your total philosophy as it relates to coaching and teaching. The successful candidate for a head coaching position has typically done his homework related every possible phase of the football program. The following interview questions have been used in many if not most coaching interviews. The questions are broken down into two categories: General Interview Questions and Football-Centered Interview Questions. If you are planning on becoming a head football coach, you must begin your preparation for your interviews immediately. How will you answer the following questions? Your next job will depend on your reactions.
You can find out more about and purchase the eBook that this article is from at: 101 Tips for New and Aspiring Head Football Coaches.