Whether to stay at your present head coaching job or move to another school is a decision that many coaches deal with almost on a yearly basis. Here are some of the items that coaches must consider when they decide to accept another head job or not.
Finances- Money always tops the list. A considerable raise can increase the things you can give your family and in later years increase your retirement account. But there are other financial considerations as well. Is your wife going to need a job and will it pay as much as her present position? The cost of child care, rent, etc. may be greater in a new community, particularly if you are in a larger city.
Success- Do you have an opportunity to be successful at a new school? What kind of athletes are you going to have and how does the number of quality athletes compare to the teams around you that you need to compete with? Who is in your region? What has been the culture of football around the school? Are there too many athletes “walking the halls”? How important is football to the school and community? It is always a good thing to check out the history of the school in football. How many 10 win seasons have they had in the last 25 years? How many winning seasons? If the answer is not many, you may want to investigate as to why before you take the job. The job may pay you $10,000 more and you may work very hard, but if you don’t win enough games in 3 or 4 years, they may want to make a change. The bottom line is that you must win to keep that good paying job.
Other Responsibilities- What other duties will your job entail? They may pay you extra money for being athletic director but in this day and time there are a lot of headaches and a lot of travel and time involved. What is your class load? In bigger schools today, the head football coach may not teach anything outside of a weight class where he has other coaches to help. In smaller schools the teaching load could be considerable. It is one thing to teach physical education. There are no papers to grade. It is a bigger deal if you will have four history classes at your new job. Will you have help maintaining the football field and field house? The hours you put into your daily job that is outside coaching football can wear you down in a few years time.
Your family- You may love your new position but if your wife hates her new job, you could have some problems. Does the new community hold the same activities like dance, gymnastics, baseball, etc. for your children as where you live now? Coaches that have older children with lifelong friends must consider whether or not to move those children to a new school, forcing them to leave their friends. If your son is the 8th grade quarterback, are you going to a bigger school where he might not be the best quarterback in the 8th grade? How far from grandparents is this move going to take you? Sometimes a new move may take a coach and his family to the city after living for years in a small town. Will they be happy? Will the things that the city provides be enough to counteract what they will miss about that small community? Finances may not be enough to off set the change in your family’s living conditions.
Coaching Staff- High school is not like college where a new coach is hired and then he hires his staff. You may have to make due with the staff left by the previous coach. Will you be able to bring in some coaches to help you that you trust and have confidence in to run part of your team? Sometimes there may be a coach or two on the staff that wanted the head coaching job but got turned down. Are they going to be willing to put it away and do a good job for you? If not, you will have constant staff problems. If you have a coach who is a problem, is the school going to help you remove him and get someone in his place? It is important to determine the quality and experience factor of the staff at the new school and what areas they might be the most help. What are the coaches on the staff paid and is this a school that would attract a good young coach? There have been a lot of good coaches who never achieved what they thought at a new school because they could not get and keep quality assistants.
The next installment will finish the list and look at the most important thing to think about when changing jobs.