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Become An Assistant Coach

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Working As An Assistant Coach

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Stressful

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Coach Do

An Assistant Coach is responsible for motivating, guiding, and instructing sport teams, working under the supervision of a head coach. Another duty is to make sure players, equipment, and facilities are well-prepared and organized.

How To Become An Assistant Coach

Coaches and scouts typically need a bachelor’s degree. They must also have extensive knowledge of the sport. Coaches typically gain this knowledge through their own experiences playing the sport at some level. Although previous playing experience may be beneficial, it is not required for most scouting jobs.


College and professional coaches must usually have a bachelor’s degree. This degree can typically be in any subject. However, some coaches may decide to study exercise and sports science, physiology, kinesiology, nutrition and fitness, physical education, and sports medicine.

High schools typically hire teachers or administrators at the school for most coaching jobs. If no suitable teacher is found, schools hire a qualified candidate from outside the school. For more information on education requirements for teachers, see the profile on high school teachers.

Scouts must also typically have a bachelor’s degree. Some scouts decide to get a degree in business, marketing, sales, or sports management.

Other Experience

College and professional coaching jobs also typically require experience playing the sport at some level.

Scouting jobs typically do not require experience playing a sport at the college or professional level, but it can be beneficial. Employers look for applicants with a passion for sports and an ability to spot young players who have exceptional athletic ability and skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most state high school athletic associations require coaches to be certified or at least complete mandatory education courses.

Certification often requires coaches to be a minimum age (at least 18 years old) and be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. Some states also require coaches to attend classes related to sports safety and coaching fundamentals prior to becoming certified. For information of specific state coaching requirements, contact the state’s high school athletic association or visit the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Although most public high school coaches need to meet these state requirements in order to become a coach, certification may not be required for coaching and sports instructor jobs in private schools.

Some schools may require coaches to have a teaching license and complete a background check.

Certification requirements for college coaching positions also vary.

Additional certification may be highly desirable or even required in order to become an instructor in scuba diving, tennis, golf, karate, or other individual sports. There are many certifying organizations specific to the various sports, and their requirements vary.

Part-time workers and those in smaller facilities or youth leagues are less likely to need formal education or training and may not need certification.


To reach the ranks of professional coaches, a candidate usually needs years of coaching experience and a winning record at a college. Some coaches may not have previous coaching experience but are nevertheless hired at the professional level due to their success as an athlete in that sport.

Some college coaches begin their careers as graduate assistants or assistant coaches to gain the knowledge and experience needed to become a head coach. Large schools and colleges that compete at the highest levels require a head coach with substantial experience at another school or as an assistant coach.

Other college coaches may start out as high school coaches before moving up to the collegiate level.

Scouts may begin working as talent spotters in a particular area or region. They typically advance to become supervising scouts responsible for a whole territory or region.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Because coaches instruct, organize, and motivate athletes, they must have excellent communication skills. They must effectively communicate proper techniques, strategies, and rules of the sport so every player on the team understands.

Decisionmaking skills. Coaches must choose the appropriate players to use at a given position at a given time during a game and know the proper time to utilize game-managing tools such as timeouts. Coaches and scouts also must be very selective when recruiting players from lower levels of athletics.

Dedication. Coaches must attend daily practices and assist their team and individual athletes in improving their skills and physical conditioning. Coaches must be dedicated to their sport, as it often takes years to become successful.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to relate to athletes helps coaches and scouts foster positive relationships with their current players and recruit potential players.

Leadership skills. Coaches must demonstrate good leadership skills to get the most out of athletes. They also must be able to motivate, develop, and direct young athletes.

Resourcefulness. Coaches must find a strategy and develop a game plan that yields the best chances for winning. Coaches often need to create original plays or formations that provide a competitive advantage and confuse opponents.

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137,533 Assistant Coach jobs

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

$50,349 Estimated

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
Assistant Coach

$50,932 Estimated

Oberlin College and Conservatory
Oberlin, OH
Asst Coach Women's Lacrosse

$37,000 Estimated

Chapman University
Orange, CA
Assistant Coach - Continuous Recruitment

$41,601 Estimated

YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties
Lakewood, WA
Physical Activity Coach

$40,345 Estimated

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

$50,349 Estimated

George Washington University
Washington, DC
Assistant Coach, Women's Rowing

$47,583 Estimated

Curry College
Milton, MA
Asst Coach, Men's & Women's Tennis

$43,500 Estimated

West Virginia Wesleyan College
Buckhannon, WV
Pitching Coach / Recruiting - Asst. Coach Baseball

$40,000 Estimated

University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
Asst Mens Soccer Coach

$30,000 Estimated

Depauw University
Greencastle, IN
Asst Field Hockey Coach and Strength / Conditioning

$40,000 Estimated

University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
Asst Womens Soccer Coach

$30,000 Estimated

Castle Rock, CO
Assistant Coach - Boys Basketball - Sophomore

$35,351 Estimated

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

$40,000 Estimated

Northeastern University
Boston, MA
Assistant Coach - Women's Field Hockey

$43,500 Estimated

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
Assistant Coach

$43,500 Estimated

Wagner College
New York, NY
Assistant Field Hockey Coach - Grad Asst

$45,058 Estimated

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

$35,000 Estimated

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

$35,000 Estimated

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
Assistant Coach

$43,500 Estimated

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Real Assistant Coach Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Coach--Coach/Sports Professional I University of Oklahoma Norman, OK Jun 10, 2015 $90,000
Assistant Coach, Men's Ice Hockey Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY Aug 03, 2016 $80,000
Assistant Coach, Men's Ice Hockey Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY Jan 06, 2016 $76,294
Assistant Coach, Men's Ice Hockey Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY Sep 04, 2015 $71,271
Assistant Coach, Men's Tennis Arizona State University Tempe, AZ Aug 22, 2016 $70,000
Assistant Coach University of Oklahoma Norman, OK Jan 06, 2016 $70,000
Assistant Coach University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA Jan 07, 2016 $63,045
Assistant Coach University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Jul 06, 2016 $62,833
Assistant Academy Coach Jersey Premier Soccer, LLC NJ Mar 15, 2015 $61,859
Assistant Coach The Ohio State University Columbus, OH Feb 17, 2015 $60,573
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Top Skills for An Assistant Coach


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Top Assistant Coach Skills

  1. Prospective Student-Athletes
  2. Player Development
  3. Girls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Recruited and met with prospective student-athletes to discuss their experience and goals.
  • Provided specialized post player development.
  • Served as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the Team R.I.E.N.G girls' basketball for 2 summers.
  • Coached and taught Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman teams comprising approximately 82 athletes each year.
  • Constructed exercise and performance programs for the male, female soccer team, and the swim team.

Top Assistant Coach Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire an Assistant Coach

  1. Girls On The Run
  2. Hibbett Sports
  3. Crossfit PISA
  4. Captel
  5. University of St. Thomas
  6. University of Wisconsin
  7. Super Soccer Stars
  8. The Potomac School
  9. St. Mary's Hospital
  10. Keystone Oaks School District
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