I was asked recently my opinion on why less teachers are coaching and why more and more high school jobs are being filled by non-teachers? Below are some of my thoughts on this subject. I would love to hear feedback of others on this trend and whether it is a good thing or bad thing.....
When I was a high school AD, we had more head coaches and assistant coaches who were non-teachers and worked in the community. Teachers just did not want to deal with the headaches and politics involved with high school coaching these days. A teacher has more control over their classroom and less control in their coaching capacity, especially compared to the past. In addition to the superintendent, principal, and AD, the coach has to answer to parents, boosters, and even players.
Other reasons for this trend? Pressure to win and less focus on fundamentals, fun, sportsmanship. I believe this is parent-driven. Parents want results......they want college scholarships. Fund and sportsmanship don't garner scholarships.
Time commitment - if you want to win, you have to put in the time. Film meetings, strength and speed workouts, attending camps and clinics, 7 on 7 leagues, summer leagues, fall leagues, etc.....
Extra red tape and time commitments- coaching certifications, rules meetings, CPR training, first aid training, AED training, background checks, main booster meetings, sport-specific booster meetings, athletic council meetings, fundraising events.
Public scrutiny - with traditional media and social media, everything a coach does is being watch and scrutinized. Say one cuss word or drink a beer, and the world knows about it.
Pay - it's not worth $1500-$2500 to a teacher to deal with all of the above when there are so many other avenues they could take to make that extra $.
One bad incident with a player or parent tends to make a teacher think, "screw this, I don't need this headache!" Also, the classroom teacher is also being faced with these same types of commitments and requirements and headaches in their teaching job, so why would they want to add anymore to their plate? I think a teacher who coaches, always wants to to focus on the professionalism of the teaching/coaching craft. In my experience, too many non-teachers don't care about or understand the professionalism involved with coaching young athletes.
I my last year as AD, we went to a pay to participate program. We were also forced to make all assistant coach positions at the high school level, and ALL junior high coaches VOLUNTEER positions. Each program was forced to do additional fundraising in order to pay their coaches. That was one of the reasons why that was my last year as AD. It was ridiculous.
The answer in my opinion is better support by administrators and better pay. You look at the schools that have successful sports programs coached by teachers, you will find big budgets and big salaries. And I think that $ needs to come from the general budget, not boosters. Otherwise, it increases the pressures. So in other words, it is only going to happen in school districts that are wealthy.