BUILDING A BOOSTER CLUB

Who doesn’t need money this day and age?  Public schools have been hit hard by state budget cutbacks.  Private schools have lost kids to public schools because of their tuition.  I’ve been in both private and public schools the last few years.  I’ve spent most of my career in the private school sector.  We had to do quite a bit at those schools with a booster club.  Both privates I worked at were basically just starting a booster club when I got there.  So, it was fun to see them grow over time.  Booster clubs are key to the success of an athletic program!

If you have been around an Athletic Department long enough, you know that fundraising is as important an aspect of the duties of a Head Coach as anything else.  Just as important as ordering balls, or hiring coaches, is the ability to bring in revenue from a variety of resources.

Traditionally, a Booster Club is great way to get your stakeholders involved in raising money for your programs.  With thirteen of high school coaching under my belt, at four different schools, I have seen great Booster Clubs, average Booster Clubs, and poor Booster Clubs.

booster

 

 

What makes a Booster Club great?

On the flip side, what makes one poor? 

From my standpoint as an Athletic Director, a great Booster Club is one that raises enough funds with minimal input from me, the Head Coach or Athletic Director.

A poor Booster Club is one that drains your time and effort as the person who is virtually in charge of this vital aspect.

I grew up in a community who seemed to live and die with the success of their football team – Fallbrook, California.  Fallbrook High School was in one of its heydays in the 1980s when I was going to their games every Friday night as an elementary and junior high youngster.  Most of my friends went to play on this big dirt hill.  I went to watch football!

fall

My senior year.

 

In many years, it was like what you saw in the movie Friday Night Lights.  When the team was playing, the town shut down!  Local businesses would decorate their storefronts with red and white balloons to support the Warriors every Friday.  In a community like this, the Booster Club usually thrives. 

We had ONE high school in town, the Warriors were the only show.  In an environment like that, Booster Clubs do very, very well.  And from what I remember as a player in the program, it did thrive.  I remember the Booster Club doing a lot of things for our coaches and players.  They would provide meals, clothes, jackets, hats, trips to UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego for our two a days.  They would have a party after every home game at one of the Booster’s homes.  Players and coaches alike would go to have some late night Mexican food and beverages.  I would consider it a great Booster Club.  In fact, it motivated me to give back to the Booster Club when I was older, while coaching at another school.  In fact,  I donated my entire coaching stipend from my first year as a Head Coach, back to the Fallbrook Football Boosters as they were raising money for a new turf field.  I’ve never said that publicly, and only do now to prove a point: good Booster Clubs motivate people to give, and to give back.

 

turf

When the Boosters were raising money for new turf for their field, I was motivated to give my first head coaching stipend. It was a way for me to say thank you, and give back to my high school football program.

 

On the flip side, I worked at a school where we had a really difficult time just getting parents to show up for a Booster Club meeting. 

There was not a strong tradition of winning there, and there was not a sense among the parents that they needed to support the players and coaches with what they saw were “extra” funds.   I would consider what I saw there as a poor Booster Club.  It was a poor Booster Club because the coaches had to do everything; that’s a dysfunctional Booster Club in my opinion.  It took us several years to build up parents to help serve on the board, and then help to put on events.  That Booster Club sucked a lot of life out of the coaching staff.  It wasn’t Boosters; it was coaches doing fundraising.

OUTSIDE THE LINES MANUAL: ATHLETIC DIRECTOR Edition

Are you an Athletic Director or aspiring Athletic Director?  

This manual has been created JUST FOR YOU! Why waste your precious time and energy creating documents, forms, surveys, interviews, etc. when it has already been done?  This manual has been created over the course of the last six years by an Athletic Director in the seat, doing the work day in and day out.

Only $19 for a zip drive emailed right to you!  $27 for a thumb drive mailed to you.

Coach Fore has compiled the very popular OUTSIDE THE LINES MANUAL for football coaches.  Hundreds of coaches across the nation have purchased the OLM Football Manual to make their life easier.  Many of them have been asking about an Athletic Director Manual just like it!  Here it is!

MORE THAN 100 DOCUMENTS TO START USING TODAY! 

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There are 10 sections + 1 bonus section.  The ten sections are:

Awards, Boosters, Coaches, Equipment, Transportation, History, Misc. Forms, Rosters, Game Management, and Buget.

Here is the BEST THING ABOUT THIS MANUAL: You get a zip drive emailed directly to you upon your payment that delivers all documents which you can edit RIGHT AWAY, and start using today!  That’s right, just insert your name and your school, print or email and bam, you are in business!  These are word and excel files that you get to use as soon as you download them!

 

Here are the contents of this manual: 

AWARDS
All League Certificate
All League Master List
All League Nomiination Form
All League Team Sheet
Historical Athlete of the Year Listing
Athlete of the Year Voting Form
Athlete of the Week Profile Form
Athletic Team Participation Certificate
Post Season Awards Order Form
Banquet Program Timeline
Certificate Master
Inventory of Pins/Patches
Scholar Athlete Certificate
Scholar Athlete Nomination Form
COACHES
Basketball Head Coach Interview Questions
Coach Wanted Ad
Coaches Checklist and Responsibilities
Coaches Season End Evaluation
Coaches Grade Check Form
Denial Letter To Applicant For Job
End of Season Report
Head Coach Interview Questions
Hiring Assistant Coach Process
Memo To Coaches About Grade Monitoring
Preseason Meeting Agenda For Coaches
MISC FORMS, SURVEYS
8th Grade Survey/Future Involvement
Athletic Team GPAs
Athletic Offerings
Athletic Sign Up Sheets
Schoolwide Athletic Survey/Future Involvement
Dear Incoming Freshman Letter
Fall Sports Banquet Flyer
Fax Cover Sheet
Game Schedule On One Word Doc
Game of the Week Advertisement
GPA Team Comparisons
Incoming Frosh Flyer For Summer Sports
Key Checkout
Master Athlete Clearance List
Medical Kit Checkout Form
Officials Receipt
Physicals Coming Soon Flyer
Return Check Notification Letter
Senior Night Questionaire
Social Media Policy
Sports Participation Data Form
Athletic Department Strategic Planning
Student Athlete GPA Waiver Form
Student Committee Meeting Questionaire
Envelope Template

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BUDGET
Athletic Department Overall Budget
Coaching Budget Worksheet
Officials Cash Receipt
Purchase Order Number Form
Running Budget Form

BOOSTERS
Booster Club Kickoff Meeting Agenda
Booster Representatives Needed Form
Golf Tournament – Team Mom Form
Golf Tournament – Dear Sponsor Letter
Golf Tournament – RSVP Database
Golf Tournament – Sponsorship Opportunities
Golf Tournament – Team Donation Form
Golf Tournament – Title Sponsor Invite Form
Golf Tournament – Dinner Talk To Sponsors Outline
Golf Tournament – Instructions To Teams
Golf Tournament – Student Volunteers
Golf Tournament – Theme Ideas For Baskets
RISK MANAGEMENTRisk Management Checklist                                              Football Risk Management Player Survey                         Action Report                                                                   Football Risk Management Plan
EQUIPMENT
Basketball Uniform Inventory Form (2)
Billing Statement
Jersey Inventory Control
Spirit Pack Worksheet
Track and Field Equipment Inventory Form
Equipment Inventory Form
Track and Field Equipment Checkout Form
Missing Football Gear Cost Form
TRANSPORTATION
Transportation Release Form
Transportation Calendar
Trasnportation Schedule
HISTORY
All Time All League/All Section Form
All Decade Flyer
All Decade Football Team Idea
ROSTERS
All Fall Rosters In One Place
Master List Of All Athletes
Roster Form (2)
Roster Projections
GAME MANAGEMENT 
Athletic Ticket Tally Sheet
Baseball Ground Rules
Concussion Protocol
Cross Country Finish Times Form
Game Schedule Worksheet
Locker Room Guidelines
No Food/Drinks Allowed
Super Fan Ticket Promotion Flyer
Super Fan Ticket
Ticket Control Sheet
Ticket Prices Poster
Track and Field School Record Database
Volleyball Season Scores Form
Volleyball Season Ticket Flyer
Volleyball Season Ticket
BONUS
2008 Case For High School Athletics
My First 24 Days As Athletic Director
2010 CVCS Atheltic Handbook
Get In The Game Campaign
Leadership Powerpoint by Chris Fore
Leadership Talk by Chris Fore                                             14 Legal Duties Of Athletic Personnel

Only $19 for a zip drive emailed right to you!  $25 for a thumb drive mailed to you.

 

BUY NOW

CHAIN OF COMMAND PART 2

CHAIN OF COMMAND PART 1 talked about establishing a strong and effective Chain of Command for your Athletic Department.  You read that there are three components to making a Chain of Command strong and effective.  The first component is that your superiors must be on board with what you are trying to do with your Chain of Command.  They absolutely must understand that the Chain of Command is to be supported at all times once it is made formal to your community.

The second main component of your Chain of Command is that you must publicize and communicate what your plan is.

 

 

You must put your Chain of Command in your Athletic Handbook, and make sure that your Coaching Staff discusses the Athletic Department’s Chain of Command often, especially at their first meeting to kick off the season.  The Chain of Command that I created when I first started as an Athletic Director is below:

“When a Student-Athlete and/or their parent/s have an issue that they feel needs to be resolved, there is a proper way to conduct the process. The proper way is to follow the chain of command, meaning the order by which you handle the matter. “

The Chain of Command is:

Student/Athlete and Parent

Asst. Coach

Head Coach

Athletic Director

High School Principal

Superintendent

Board of Trustees

It’s important that EVERYONE is on the same team! Remember, it’s all about the kids!

CHAIN OF COMMAND – ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION

a) Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees, responsible to the people, is the ruling agency for the School. It is responsible for interpreting the needs of the community and requirements to the professional organization.

b) Superintendent

The superintendent is responsible to administer the school according to adopted policies of the rules and regulations of the school board. It is his/her duty to establish a definite school athletic policy and to have an understanding of that policy.

c) High School Principal

The principal is the official representative of the school and is directly responsible for the general attitude of the student body and the conduct of the athletic affairs by the athletic administrator and the coach.

d) Athletic Director

The Athletic Director is directly responsible to the principal. The primary responsibility of the athletic director is the administration and supervision of the interscholastic athletic program. The athletic director’s duties will be those described in his/her job description and any others as designated by the principal. He/she will provide the leadership necessary for the day-to-day operation of the athletic department.

e) Head Coaches

All head coaches shall be responsible to the Athletic Director for the total operation of their respective sports programs. Head coaches shall act as official representatives of the school as they carry out their interscholastic athletic responsibilities.

CHAIN OF COMMAND

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN

1. Have your Student-Athlete meet with his/her coach to discuss the issue. On most occasions, this coach-to-athlete meeting can resolve issues or questions. As stated earlier, this is part of our young men and women learning to grow as adults.

2. Contact the coach directly to set up a meeting to discuss your concern. Some coaches may mandate that your child attend that meeting.

3. Please DO NOT attempt to talk to a coach before or after a contest or practice. Our coaches are responsible for supervision and safety of their athletes. In addition, these can be emotional times for both the parents and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.

If Another Step Is Necessary Beyond This Point

What can a parent do if the coach-athlete meeting (Step 1) AND the parent-coach meeting (Step 2) did not provide resolution?

4. Contact the Athletic Director to set up a meeting between yourself, your Student-Athlete, Head Coach and Athletic Director.

What can a parent do if the coach-athlete (Step 1) and the parent-coach (Step 2) and the Athletic Director-Coach-Parent meetings (Step 3) failed to solve the issue?

5.  Contact the Principal to set up a meeting between yourself, your Student-Athlete, Head Coach, Athletic Director and Principal.

The Chain of Command must be put in to your Athletic Handbook.

Parents and student-athletes should be mandated to sign a form each year acknowledging that they have read the Chain of Command.  This will put this document in front of them each year; hopefully it is just a review of the process on an annual basis, and not something they have experienced intimately!

There are several ways that you can publicize this Chain of Command on your campus.  Here are some ideas: in a campus wide newsletter your school uses, your athletic website, principal’s weekly emails home, in handouts at your preseason meetings, on handouts at open houses, etc.

Without publicizing your Chain of Command regularly, you will not have everyone on the same page. This is the second component of your Chain of Command.

CHAIN OF COMMAND Pt 1

I’m a BIG believer in having a proper Chain of Command for your athletic department; one that is strong and effective.  There are many reasons that a Chain of Command is necessary.  The phrase “Chain of Command” is most readily associated with the military, where their entire existence is heavily built on the command structure.  In fact, without a proper Chain of Command, our Marine Corps would not have the reputation that it does, nor would our Soldiers in the Army be nearly as effective as they are at doing their job.

 

 

 

For some of the same reasons that the military uses a Chain of Command, Athletic Directors, as well as Head Football Coaches, must have one in place for the workplace that they supervise.  Not having a Chain of Command in place may leave your coaches, student-athletes, parents, and administrators frustrated and without guidance.

I believe there are three important components to making a Chain of Command strong and effective.

The first component is making sure that your superiors, ie the vice principal or principal that you report to, and the person that that person reports to is completely on board with your Chain of Command philosophy.  If the folks “above you” as the Athletic Director, are not on board with what you want to accomplish, you will end of frustrated with the Chain of Command is not supported because it will be ineffective. 

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My 2003 Linfield Christian football team. A chain of command MUST be strong, together and unbreakable!

I’ve experience that first hand in my own career.  I’m sure many of you have been in a place where you had to make a difficult decision.  You spent days, weeks, maybe even months pouring over how to pull the trigger on the decision you had to make as the AD, or Head Football Coach.  Finally, you made the decision, and sure enough, somebody didn’t like it, so they went to your superior to complain. 

Your superior allowed for the complainer to voice his or her opinion without your knowledge, and BAM, the Chain of Command just fell apart, and you are frustrated!  Have you been there?!  It’s not a fun place to be. 

Therefore, the very first component of the creating a great Chain of Command is that your superiors must be on board!  They must buy in to the philosophy that you have.  If they don’t buy in to what you are trying to do with a structure and format of leadership, soon enough, your legs will be cut right out from under you, and you will end up frustrated.

More tomorrow on the other components of a strong and effective Chain of Command . . .

END OF SEASON REPORT

It is that time of year, the winter season is coming to a close. For our school here, both basketball teams are out of it, our winter season is officially over.  Now it is time to wrap things up with my head coaches.

Athletic Directors – what do you use to wrap up the season with your head coaches?

I use a very simple form.  This form is sent out to my coaches after their last game.  I have them fill this out and bring it to our one on one season ending review.  At this review, I also do a formal written survey of them.

This form helps to track school records, end of season awards, etc. etc.  I really like the simplicity of it. 

(I’ve compressed it below for you.)

3, Varsity Girls Start

Documenting your athlete’s performances are a critical part of the Athletic Director job.

YOUR HIGH  SCHOOL

Athletic Department

                                                     END OF SEASON REPORT

 SCHOOL YEAR:                              

SPORT:                                        (Indicate BOYS or GIRLS)

LEVEL:                                         

COACH:              ____   ASSISTANT(S): ________________________________________

 TEAM RECORD:

OVERALL:   WINS:                         LOSSES:                                TIES:       

LEAGUE:      WINS:                         LOSSES:                                TIES:        

LEAGUE FINISH:                  

PLAYOFFS: YES:               NO:                 RECORD:      WINS:             LOSSES    

FINISH:                                      

POST SEASON TEAM BANQUET AWARDS:

EAGLE AWARD

MVP

MOST IMPROVED

OTHER:

ALL-LEAGUE SELECTIONS:

ALL CIF, ALL COUNTY, ALL STATE ETC:

SUMMARY: PLEASE ATTACH A ROSTER AND YOUR SEASON STATS. 

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY FOR YOUR ATHLETES AND COACHES

Social Media is a BIG deal right now in our culture. It’s an even bigger deal for high school coaches and administrators who have to deal with the results of the typed word on the world wide web on a daily basis.  Most teenagers simply do not understand that their words on the internet are permanent and meaningful.

My oldest son is 6 years old.  He has this new thing where he says “I’m just kidding.”  Says something hurtful to his sister “I’m just kidding.”  Says something disrespectful to his mother, then tries to back out with “I’m just kidding.”  We are trying to teach him that the “just kidding” card does not take away what he just said.  It’s our duty as coaches and athletic administrators to teach our student-athletes that they can’t play the “just kidding” card after their tweet or post goes out for the world to see.

I sat down and wrote a Social Media policy that I think can work for just about any school, high school or college, around.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

For an original copy of this document without the logos and pictures, please email me at coach478@gmail.com.

 

(YOUR NAME HERE) ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES FOR ATHLETES AND COACHES

An Eight Laces (C) Publication

cropped-eightlaces.jpg

1.  Assume nothing is private, ever.  If you are putting your thoughts on the internet, there is no “invasion of policy.”

2.  Remember that your audience is vast, and unknowable.  You have no idea who will ever see what you write on the internet.  Anyone from your best friend on the team, to your head coach, to your biggest rival, to your teachers can see what you post.   Keep in mind that what you say can be seen by the world.  Your microphone to the world is right at your fingertips.  Be wise.

3.  It is against California Interscholastic Federation rules to engage and influence any non-(your name here) student for the purpose of enrolling at (your school here) for athletics,  Do not use social media for this purpose.  Refer anyone asking about our Athletic teams or department to the Athletic Director of Director of Admissions.

4.  Do not discuss injuries, either yours or that of any of your teammates.

5.  Never post pictures from the locker room, practice or game without the permission of the Athletic Director or Head Coach.

6.  Complaining about your coaches or teammates will NOT solve anything.  Talk to them directly to solve problems to make yourself and your team better.

7.  Do not talk about your opponents in a negative fashion.  Stay away from trash talking your past, present or future opponents.

8.  Your tweets and post can be permanent.  They are a permanent record.  You can’t take back what you put out on the internet for everyone to see.

9.  If you retweet something, you agree with it and promote it.  Keep this in mind.

10.  Play with your pads and your skills, not your mouth and your fingers on the keyboard

Student-athletes who violate the (Your school name here) Athletic Department Social Media Policy may result in disciplinary action – including temporary or permanent suspension from the team – as determined by the Athletic Director and Head Coach.

For an original copy of this document without the logos and pictures, please email me at coach478@gmail.com.

99 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE ACCEPTING YOUR NEXT HEAD JOB

99 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TAKING YOUR NEXT HEAD FOOTBALL COACH POSITION

By Chris Fore               COACHFORE.ORG

(This list may not be republished or reused without the consent of Coach Fore)

1                    Who was the last head coach?

2                    Why is the last head coach gone?

3                    How did he do last year?  Last 3 years?  Last 5 years?

4                    What areas did former head coach succeed in?

5                    What areas did former head coach struggle with?

6                    What is the salary?

7                    What are the benefits?

8                    What kind of retirement benefits are there?

9                    Does your district give tenure to teachers/coaches?  If so, how does that work?

10                Who will be my immediate supervisor?

11                How will I be evaluated as a coach?

12                Who is responsible for hiring and firing my staff?

13                Is there a stipend for coaching?  If so, how much is it?

14                Where do most of your faculty/staff live?

15                What are his assistants doing?  Staying or going?

16                How many assistants are on campus with jobs as faculty/staff?

17                Can you remove any of them if you deem it necessary?

18                Can you hire any coaches for faculty/staff jobs on campus?

19                How many coaches are on the staff?

20                How much are the coaches paid?

21                Do I have control over how much the coaches are paid?

22                Do you compensate coaches for spring and or summer practice?

23                Can I charge kids for summer camp participation and pay coaches out of this income?

24                Can I have a camp for the community to help raise funds for the program, coaching staff?

25                Are there any built in raises on a year to year basis?

26                Any financial compensation for playoffs?

27                Is there a budget for video production of games/highlight videos?

28                What kind of video equipment is currently being used?  Hudl account?

29                What kind of computer lab availability is there for the team?

30                Where does the team watch film and hold meetings?

31                What kind of transportation is used for the team to get to games?

32                Is there a van available for the equipment?

33                Is there a rooter bus to transport fans to games?

34                Do the cheerleaders ride with the team? If that has been done in the past, can we separate them for next year?

35                What is superintendent’s commitment to athletics?

36                Does the principal support athletics by attending games and communicating with coaches?

37                What is the budget for football like?

38                Do you have input with the budget on an annual basis?

39                What fundraising is necessary to fund the things you want to do?

40                Who pays for reconditioning helmet/shoulder pads?  School or Boosters?

41                Who pays for new uniforms when they are needed?  School or Boosters?

42                What does the current equipment inventory look like?

43                How old are the current uniforms and when will new ones be bought?

44                Is there a football specific logo?

45                If not, can I create one for marketing purposes?

46                What has been done in terms of leadership development for the players in the program over the last 3 years?

47                Is there money for staff development from the school budget?  Clinics? Hotel/food/transportation?

48                Where are the home games played?

49                Can I tour the facility?

50                What are the locker room facilities like?

51                Is there a place for coaches to use as a locker room/changing facilities?

52                How far is the locker room from the field?

53                Is there a field house for pregame, halftime?

54                What is the press box facility like?

55                How many coaches can fit in the press box facility for my team?

56                Is there a good place to film from at the press box?  Is it covered?  Electricity available close by?

57                What other teams use the facility/field?

58                When do they practice during the football season?

59                Do other teams use the field/facility during the summer?  If so, when?

60                Do any youth football programs use the field/facility during the football season?  If so, when?

61                Who is responsible for securing game management like the chain crew and officials?

62                Who is responsible for field set up like sideline markers?  Chains?  Goal post pads?

63                Who is responsible for hydration?

64                Is there an athletic trainer?  If so, how is he/she involved in the football program?

65                Student athletics trainers available for the football program?

66                If no trainer, how are injuries dealt with and who supervises the medical side of things?

67                Who has the team doctor been?  Is he/she planning on returning?  Contact info?

68                Who has been the Booster Club president/officers?

69                What is the Booster Club management like?

70                Can I get a copy of the Booster Club by laws?

71                What kind of politics are happening right now in the Booster Club?

72                How much money is in the Booster Club account currently?  Any outstanding expenses?

73                Can I mandate that my football players and their families help to fundraise?

74                Is there a youth football “feeder” program for our program?

75                If so, what programs naturally feed in to our program?

76                Is there a junior high school that feeds in to our high school?

77                If so, what school is that and what kind of relationship does our football staff have there?

78                What kind of rules are there at this school, the league, the section, the state regarding recruiting kids to our school and football program?

79                What kind of volunteers are currently invested in the program?

80                What does someone need to do in order to volunteer for the program?

81                Is there someone who oversees the stat-keeping?  If so, who is it?

82                Is there an equipment manager?  If so, who is it?

83                What are the minimum scholastic requirements in order to be involved in athletics?

84                Who monitors the grades of the football players?

85                How often are the grades monitored and used for eligibility?

86                Has the team had a study hall historically?

87                What have the practice hours been traditionally?

88                Are there any restrictions on practice? School, league, conference rules regarding practice?

89                Is there a weight room facility?  If so, can I see it?  If not, what plans are there?

90                How does your school deal with multi-sport athletes?

91                Can I mandate that my football players lift weights year round?

92                Can I mandate that my football players attend a summer program?

93                Who has the final say on the players who participate in my program?

94                Is there a strength and conditioning coach?

95                How is the school enrollment doing?

96                What attracts kids to this school?

97                What deters kids from coming here?

98                What is the administration doing to attract the top student-athletes in the area?

99                Which sport is this school known for?  How is that sport doing currently?

10 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE TAKING A NEW COACHING JOB

  1. The Administration

Does the administration support athletics?  Is it support in word or support in deed or support in both?  I’ve worked at three schools since 2001.  Five at one, five at another, and started at my third school back in June of 2012.  Before 2001, I worked as a substitute for a few different districts as well, but don’t really count those.

I’ve seen some really great administrators who supported athletics, and some who didn’t.  I’ve seen administrators who SAID they supported athletics, and some who said they did but really didn’t when push came to shove.  I’ve seen one principal who was at just as many athletic events as me, the athletic director.  He (Dr. Terry Gaunt of Capistrano Valley Christian Schools in San Juan Capistrano) is the best principal I’ve worked for.  He supported athletics in more ways than his coaches would ever know.  One reason, he was the former Head Baseball Coach, former Athletic Director, and he played collegiate baseball.  He grew up around athletics.  It makes a big difference when your key administrators have been athletic directors and or coaches.

One way to find out if the administration really supports athletics is by asking around.  Try your hardest to contact some coaches at the school, totally off the record.  It’s usually not what is said, it is what is NOT said that will key you in to the admin.  Get to campus early on the day of your interview and ask around.  Ask some kids, it’s amazing what they will say to a guy in a suit that they don’t know!

 

2.        The History

What has happened with the football program in the past? I like to look at four time

periods, and literally go through their records and total them up.  What was their record last year?  How about the last three years?  The last five years?  The last ten years?  Total up their win-loss record of those four different periods.  See what the win percentage is.  Look hard at why they have the win percentage they do.  Have they been able to win any league championships over the last ten years?  If not, what can you see in their league that might tell you why.  For instance, when I was at Capistrano Valley Christian, I was competing for three years against THE best small school in the state of California, St. Margarets Episcopal.  They won 42 games in a row, a State Championship, and three section championships.  How awesome they were in my league huh?!  AND, less than 2 miles from my campus.  Here I was in their league, and they had the best three year run in their school’s history.

How many different coaches have there been the last three, five, ten years?  That should tell you a little about the win/loss record being where it is.  It will also tell you a little about the stability of the program.  Obviously, if they’ve been through five coaches in ten years, we have an issue.  You need to determine what the issues might be.  These two historical perspectives are KEY as you investigate the job: win/loss record and coaching history.

excelfootball1

 

3.       The Enrollment

From 2001 to 2005, Linfield Christian went from 195 students to 450!  I left in 2006.  At Capistrano Valley Christian, enrollment went from 240 in 2006 to 172 in 2010.  Needless to say, football improved quite a bit while at Linfield, and got worse while I was at Capo.  I competed against Capo and we had common opponents in the 2001-04 seasons.  I was always impressed by them, and thought it would be a great school to work for.  BUT, I had NO clue what was going on behind the scenes with the enrollment.  A brand new school opened a few miles away that was just absolutely draining their 8th grade kids.  A large number of 8th graders were going to the newer, bigger, better school.  It had a very negative impact on the overall enrollment.  Not only did we go from 240 to 172 while I was there, we went from having ten international students to forty!

If you are going to a public school you might not have to worry about enrollment.  This is something that is so state specific, and area specific in your state.  I have no idea how enrollment issues effect a public school in Kentucky!!  But at a private school in Southern California, it’s tough to put together a competitive football program with an enrollment that is going down the toilet!

 

4.       The Money

Two areas here that are important: the money in your pocket and the money in your program!  How much are you going to be paid for your “day” job and your football job?  Sometimes coaches do not want to ask these questions, or really investigate this part of your job, for whatever reason.  But it is important for your family.  You single guys have a little more freedom here.  Us married guys don’t!  Will the money you will make be enough to meet the demands of your family?  I just had to turn down a job interview at a really decent program out here in a few divisions above where I’ve spent most of my career, because financially it just wouldn’t work for us.  Ask questions about camps in the summer too.  Coaches can make up some money by running summer camps.  You won’t retire off the money, but it can help supplement the minimal amount of money that coaching makes.  Instead of a nickel and hour, maybe you can make a dime!!  Ask about playoff money too.  Most schools don’t compensate their coaches for making it to the playoffs, and working hard for an extra one, two, four weeks.  Why is this?  The system most schools use mean that the more successful your program is, the less money you make.  Isn’t this weird?  I’m glad that school I just started at here in June, we were able to get the school board to approve playoff money. That’s how it should be everywhere.  Coaches, try to negotiate for this.  Our school is paying assistant football coaches $150 per week, the Head Coach $200 per week during the playoffs.

How much money will you have for your program?  We are all facing budget cuts these days, which means money is even more important to discuss!  A few ways schools do it: each sport gets a certain amount of money allotted to coaches they spend as they need, school has an overall athletic budget, school gives football a certain amount and rest is covered by boosters, etc.  It is very important to have an understanding of how the money works.  Do you have to fundraise for transportation, or is that covered? Do you have to pay to use the field during the summer or no?  What about an overnight camp you might want to have? How is this funded?  Can you do your own fundraising to buy the “over and above things?”  Get as much information as possible about the financial details of the football program at this new school.  My budget was once nailed for the reconditioning of helmets twice in one year!  I had to pay for the last guy who failed to send in the helmets right after the season, so I had to pay the bill in August; and then I had to pay when I got the helmets my team used eight months later.  I also had to raise money for a storage container at one school.  $2500 we had never talked about before I took the job.  Would it have been a deal breaker?  No, but it would have told me a LOT about the way money was handled.

 

5.       The Facilities

At Linfield Christian in Temecula, we put in a 1.2 million dollar beautiful Field Turf field in my first year as their Head Coach.  Three years later when I went to Capo, we practiced on one of the worst grass fields I’ve ever seen!   And we had to drive about a half of mile to get there as it was on another schools campus.  Again, something I didn’t investigate enough.  I knew they played their games off campus, but didn’t know about the practice situation.  That was a big headache I had to deal with.  Not ideal at all to get in your car every day and transport EVERTHING you need for a football practice.  That’s when I had to go and raise money for a storage shed for us to have at that facility.  There was no vision to have something like that there because “it was never done before.”  You see, they used to practice right on campus, on a nice field, and I knew about that.  But then the board decided to remove about half of the field because they put a driveway through that part of campus.  Talk about a game changer!

Find out about the game facility, the practice facility, the weight room, the locker room, everything you can think of facility wise.  Is there field hockey that you share the field with during the Fall?  Junior high football games to deal with?  Frosh, JV and Varsity have how many fields to use?  Where do you practice when the frosh team has a 3 pm game?  There are a lot of issues!  If you don’t HAVE to have the job, facilities might be something that turns you away.  Facilities can be one of those BIG headaches if not done the right way.

 

6.       The Philosophy               

What is the overarching philosophy of the school board and administration about athletics?  Is athletics something they do, or someone they are?  HUGE difference!  This philosophy of where athletics fits on a high school campus starts at the top, with the board of the school and works its way down.  You can have administrators who don’t buy in to the vision of the school board, but ultimately, the board will win that.  You can have an immediate supervisor in an athletic director who has athletics as a priority on campus, but if the “real decision makers” on campus don’t agree with his vision, it will not matter.

Does their philosophy play out with decisions on a daily basis?  For instance, do they really want to build a football program and do what it takes to make that happen?  Does the school have a philosophy to get as many coaches on campus as possible, or do they rely on walk ons?  If their philosophy is to get coaches on campus jobs, is it happening?  Is the proof in the pudding?  These philosophical issues are major in your football program.  What is the philosophy of multi-sport athletes and how does that play out on campus?  Again, this comes down to philosophy.  Make sure their philosophy matches yours.                                                               Here’s a good one which was a deal breaker for me at one school I interviewed at.  I left saying, “If they offer the job, I won’t accept it.”  Told my wife that same thing that night.  The school’s philosophy was that no extra-curricular activities could take up more than 2 hours per day.  No sports teams, no drama rehearsals, no debate clubs, nothing!  Totally impractical! I can agree with no more than 2 hours on the field.  But this included weight room, field time, film time, meeting time, etc. No more than 2 hours together on any given day.  The only exception was travel time and games.  Obviously, travel time and games will take more than two hours.  I gave them an example of a Monday: 60 minutes in the weight room, 60 minutes in the film room, 20 minute team meeting, 90 minutes on the field.  This is a total of almost four hours on Monday, our biggest day of the week.  They laughed at it.  I knew our philosophies didn’t match.  They were 0-10 this year (2012) . . . .

Our 2012 Excelsior team was given a proclamation by the Victorville Mayor for our CIF Championship.

Our 2012 Excelsior team was given a proclamation by the Victorville Mayor for our CIF Championship.

 

7.       The Area                                                                                                                                                                             

Is this an area you want to raise your family?  Do you see yourself living in this area for three years, five years, ten years, or twenty years?  What are you willing to sacrifice to live in the area this school is in?  My wife and I have been trying to get a job out in Texas since about 2006.  We would love to raise our family there, for a variety of reasons.  But it’s difficult for a California boy to beat a good old Texas boy for a job!  I mean, that’s what makes Texas high school football the best in the nation right?  I was close in 2006, was a finalist on a job.  Beat out 105 guys, lost to one.  They flew my wife and I out there first class, only time I’d ever been in first class ever!  Booster Club took us out one night. When the principal dropped me off at the airport, his last words were “Now Chris, if you don’t win after a few years, we will be replacing you!”  I loved it!

Back to the subject at hand – the job might be a good job, but will the area be a good fit for your family, and just as important, is the area a good crop for football players?  Is football important in the area?  Does your school have a football reputation in the area or is there another school in the area the “football school?”

 

8.       The Opportunity                                                                                                                                             

Sometimes, you want to just take any head coaching opportunity to get yourself in to that “head coaching world.”  What you really need to consider when thinking about that next job is “is this a good opportunity for my career?”  Sometimes you do have to be selfish, which kind of goes against what coaches teach and preach most of the time.  But the bottom line is that you have to do what is best for your career sometimes.  Will this opportunity get you closer to your end goal?  That is the question you need to use to filter your decision.  I often regret leaving Linfield Christian in 2006.  The main reason I did it was because I was very weary of the classroom, and I wanted to become an Athletic Director.  The AD there at Linfield was married to the Superintendent, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  Football wise, I was in a really great spot with a program we had really been able to do good things with.  I went to a school that ended up dropping to 8 man football after being there five years, mainly because of the enrollment, and things behind the scenes I didn’t know about.  In many ways, quite honestly, that killed my coaching career for a little while.  When I started looking elsewhere, all of a sudden, I was an 8 man coach.  I had only done it one year, with ten years of 11 man coaching, but you are only as good as your last job.

So, you really need to judge whether or not this move is a good opportunity not just for the short term, but the long term as well.  Y-O-U are the only one who knows that.

 

9.       The Tools                                                                                                                                                                           

What do you have at your fingertips to build the program of your dreams?  Does the school have what it takes for you to do what you want to do?  If they don’t, do they have the financial commitment to buy those things?  Again, I refer to Linfield Christian where I first became a Head Coach.  I would buy twenty four footballs per year there.  I LOVE having a lot of footballs around.  And I like them to be nice.  We would usually break out two new balls per week, and turn two old ones in to kicking balls, or give them to JV.  When I went to CVCS, they said “We ordered you five footballs for next year, one more than we ordered last year.”   I literally laughed out loud, I thought it was a joke.  But what I realized is the last coach only asked for that many balls.  When I asked for more, they bought them.  When I asked the parents for money for a new digital video editing system, one parent stepped up and wrote a check.  Those are tools.                                                                                                                                                                     I also consider the student-athletes on your campus as tools for your program.  Are the tools there?  I once hired a coach who came in and I would refer to “the kids here.”  He stopped me one day and said “Coach, kids are kids, it doesn’t matter where you are.”  A few years later, he agreed with me, “the kids here are different” he agreed.  Does this job have kids that make football players?  Let’s face it, sometimes schools don’t have the Jimmys OR the Joes!  Make sure you know what kind of tools you will have.

 

 10.   The Family

(My wife just saw my list and said “I’m glad that I’m number 10!!  As I told her, these are in no specific order!)      

Is this a good move for your family?  You know what they say “Happy wife, happy life!”  Will your wife be okay with this move, if you are married?  What are the positive and negative things for your family with this move?  For instance, at this school I just started at in June as the Athletic Director and Varsity Football Special Teams Coach, I’m now literally two minutes away from school.  And my son who started kindergarten this year, his school is between our house and my high school.  Talk about a LOT of convenience.  Before this job, as a married couple, I had never lived closer than a thirty minute drive to work.  We’ve been married almost nine years!  So, this move has been really great for our family.  The other thing is I’m making the same here in Victorville salary wise for my Athletic Director job as I did in South Orange County.  (If you know California, you know how huge this is!)  Again, a game changer for my family.

Men, we don’t always think of our families in our moves and career decisions, but you need to think of them in long and short term ways.  How many moves can your kids handle in and out of schools?  How many social groups can your wife change in and out of before she is over moving to support your career goals?  These are very, very important things to consider!

 

 

HIRING COACHES SERIES: FOUR PIECES OF ADVICE ABOUT YOUR RESUME

This is the second part on a series I’m calling “HIRING COACHES.”  Part One is here.

So, now that I’ve cast that very wide net, the resumes will start to come in.  Personally, I prefer to have coaches send me resumes and some letters of references before filling out the application for the school.  It depends on where you work, and if your school will allow that.  I’ve worked at one school that allowed that and one that didn’t.  No matter the case, I now have a stack of resumes to go through.

How do you stick out on paper among all those other resumes?  

One school I applied to in Texas in the Spring of 2012 told me they had close to 250 resumes for their Head Football Coach position!  In 2006, there were 105 candidates for a Head Football Coach/Athletic Director position in Carrollton, Texas.  I beat out 103 of them, but last to that 104th!  Anyhow, here is some advice on how to make your resume stand out.

4 PIECES OF ADVICE ABOUT YOUR RESUME

I’ve seen hundreds of resumes for coaching positions in my tenure as an Athletic Director.  I would estimate between 400-500 over the course of the last five years; and that’s on the conservative side.

Number One – Do Your Home Work About The School And The Position

Your resume should reflect what you have done in your career, BUT it should also reflect the job description of the position you are trying to get.  You should have a few different resumes that you can send out to potential employers.  For instance, a football coach who is a teacher should have both a “coaching resume” and a “teaching resume.”

To be honest, as an Athletic Director, I want to know about your athletic accomplishments and history.  I want to see details about your athletic background that most principals could care less about.  For instance, I want to know what the records of the teams you have coached at, how you have developed kids for college, etc.  I want to see the differences you made there as a coach.  Did you improve the program while you were there?  Not just a head coach, but an assistant.  As the Special Teams Coordinator, did the Special Teams improve under your leadership?  Put that on your resume.  But my principal could care less about that; he’s going to want to know how the test scores in your classroom improved!

That’s why I believe it is important to cater your resume to the school you are applying to.  Know what that school holds near and dear as values, and make sure you highlight that in your first few lines.  I’m not saying that you lie to them, never do that obviously!  But if the job announcement speaks about wanting a “seasoned coach with a passion for the game of football, yet someone who teaches about character first and foremost,” then you should reflect that in your resume, right there at the top of the resume.  It could read something like: “Passionate Veteran Coach Who Teaches Character First.”

Another piece of advice regarding doing your homework about the position and school.  I had a really horrible year as a football coach one year, 0-10.  It was miserable.  Two weeks after the season, I get this large packet from a coach, with a cover letter addressed to me, the Athletic Director.  The letter was about how he saw that we were 0-10, and that any good AD worth a  darn would surely fire that coach, and change out the leadership.  This guy claimed to be the answer to the problem, and he would surely turn the program around.  “When you fire your coach, your first call should be to me.”  Ladies and gentlemen, I was the AD AND Head Football Coach at the time!  It was clear to me that this guys did ZERO homework about our school!

resume

Number Two – Proofread Your Resume

It’s amazing how many resumes I’ve seen that have the WRONG school listed under “objective.”  I’ve seen people write under this objective headline towards the top of the resume: “To secure the Head Soccer Coach position at Glendale High School.”  When I got this at Capistrano Valley Christian School one time, I threw out the resume.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t even read it. That person might have been an Olympic soccer coach, I don’t know.  But what I do know about that person, they lack attention to detail, and I want a person with attention to detail!  If your resume is littered with grammatical errors, it shows that you are uneducated and lazy.  I’m probably not going to look at it very long.

Make sure that your resume is accurate.  If you mess up the dates that you were at a certain school, or you copy and paste your title from one school to the next, but then what you did at that position doesn’t make sense by what you type under that in the body, you aren’t going to look very good on paper.  Have a few different people look at your resume, it is always good to have a few different sets of eyes putting your resume under the microscope.

Number Three – Make The Format Easy To Follow

I’ve received these huge packages from folks who were applying to the job.  (And I’m guilty of sending out my Coaching Portfolio too easy in the process.)  As an Athletic Director, I’m a pretty busy person.  And when I have a position to fill, there are usually a lot of applicants.  Keep the format that you present yourself to an Athletic Director simple.  Make it easy to follow and understand.  I’ve seen some resumes with so much information on them, it’s just information overload, and my eyes don’t even want to read it.  Format your resume in such a way that it’s easy to trace your career path, while showing off the highlights to potential readers.

Again, this is why I think having several different resumes on hand is important.  Personally, I have four different resumes that I’ve used in the past: an Athletic Director resume, a football coaching resume, a Chaplain/Youth Pastor resume, and a teaching resume.  I’ve worked at five places in the last eighteen years: two churches, two private schools and now a public school.  My different resumes highlight different experiences I’ve had.  For instance, I’ve led several mission trips overseas, to Kenya, Mexico, and Pakistan.  I don’t put that information on my football coach resume, it’s just too much extra information.

Don’t send too much information with your first interest package or email.   I would advise you to send a letter of interest, your resume, two to three letters of reference and perhaps a philosophical statement.  Much more than that is probably too much with your first contact.  I even suggest making two contacts to show that you are interested in the job.  When a person reaches out to me twice, I know it is important to them.  If they keep bugging me though, that will turn me off!  There is a fine balance here you must figure out.

resume2

Number Four – Brag About Yourself!

You’ve got to highlight your accomplishments. I’ve seen SO many stinking boring resumes.  They just list the facts.  They list titles, and years and job descriptions.  Ho-hum.  You’ve seen one boring resume, you’ve seen them all.  Keep your resume simple and easy to follow but you’ve got to capture the attention of the AD.  You’ve got to pack that thing with facts and figures that make the AD reading it put it in the YES or MAYBE pile.  I always make three piles of resumes: yes, no and maybe.  Yes I want to interview this person, I might want to interview this person, and no way am I going to interview this person.  Get your resume in the yes pile by showing me that you’re a great coach.  Prove it on paper as best as you can.  Don’t tell me that you coached at XYZ School.  Tell me that you coached 3 collegiate linemen in one year, that you helped six kids get scholarships in just two years; tell me what programs you started to help improve the GPA of your team; tell me what the numbers were when you took over, and how you improved those while you were there.  Don’t just show me a win-loss record.  Show me what the winning percentage was BEFORE you got there, and what is was WHEN you were there.

You’ve only got 30 seconds with that resume in front of an Athletic Director, maybe up to a minute.  Brag about yourself early and often!  Make your career jump off that paper by using real stats, facts and figures that make the person reading it say “I need to talk with this guy.”

HIRING COACHES: One of the best parts of being an Athletic Director

HIRING COACHES: ONE OF THE BEST PARTS OF BEING AN ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

One of the topics I get asked a lot about from visitors to my blog, in fact three coaches just this past week, is about the hiring process.  “What are you looking for in a head coach, from your perspective as an AD?”   Or “What kind of advice can you give me about finding a football job?’  So, I’ve decided to write this mini-series on this exact topic: how I go about hiring coaches, and my advice to coaches looking for a job.

I’m a “rookie” AD in many aspects.  I’ve only been in the seat for five years.  I am one of 6,000 Athletic Directors nationwide who has earned the Certified Athletic Administrator credential from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators’ Association; and I do have my Masters Degree in Athletic Administration.  I’m saying that to tell you I’ve done my homework!  Some ADs out there haven’t; they are former coaches who are filling a seat, and some of them do a great job.  Then, you have what I call “career ADs.”  These are the guys who have studied the profession, and are always looking for ways to become better leaders professionally.  I count myself in the latter category.

  I’ve hired 19 head coaches over the span of my 5 year Athletic Director career.  (This is at two different schools.)  When I took over at Capistrano Valley Christian on July 1, 2007, I immediately had to find three head coaches!  Talk about getting thrown in to the lion’s den right away!

I’ve hired head varsity coaches for the following sports: Cross Country (1), Boys Basketball (2), Girls Basketball (2), Boys Soccer (2), Girls Soccer (1), Softball (2), Cheer (2), Golf (1) and Girls Volleyball (2).  I’ve hired four head junior varsity coaches: basketball (1) and football (3).  (I’ve been a Head Football Coach for eight years, so all three JV Head Football Coach hires were when I was the Head Football Coach.)

I’ve also hired about fifteen assistant varsity and junior varsity football coaches during my eight years as a Head Football Coach.  One year, we really expanded our coaching staff, added a JV program.  I hired five coaches that season alone.  I interviewed roughly twenty candidates for those five spots.

Needless to say, I’ve done a lot of hiring in my career.  I think it’s vital to have a lot of coaches on staff.  I’m now the AD at Excelsior Charter School in Victorville.  We were lucky enough to add thirteen paid coaching spots to our entire athletic department this year.  It’s part of my vision, to have more coaches in our programs.  I’m happy that the school administration and board has bought in to that vision.  When schools rely on a lot of volunteers, and have their programs understaffed, it’s very hard to build competitive teams.

I hired all four of these coaches at Capo Valley Christian.  Among the best staffs I've ever had!  One, Noel Johnson the far left, I had to talk out of retirement to be our Defensive Coordinator. He was a former head coach I competed against. So was Matt Cobb, in the middle; a great defensive line coach who was at a rival school.  Chris Wilhelm, second from right was a former player who became one heck of a running backs coach.  CJ Del Balso, second from left is one of my greatest hires ever.  He built a nationally recognized strength program for us, coordinated my defense for a while; he is now on a coach with the US Olympic Weightlifting team.

I hired all four of these coaches at Capo Valley Christian, and we went on to win the League Championship in 2010.   Among the best staffs I’ve ever had! One, Noel Johnson the far left, I had to talk out of retirement to be our Defensive Coordinator. He was a former head coach I competed against. So was Matt Cobb, in the middle; a great defensive line coach who was at a rival school. Chris Wilhelm, second from right was a former player who became one heck of a running backs coach. CJ Del Balso, second from left is one of my greatest hires ever. He built a nationally recognized strength program for us, coordinated my defense for a while; he is now on a coach with the US Olympic Weightlifting team.

CASTING A WIDE NET

            In my humble opinion, there are two ways to hire a coach: the lazy way, and the right way!  Some Athletic Directors are so overworked by their schools, that they simply don’t have the time and energy to do a proper coaching search.  They simply want to find a coach, fill the seat and move forward.  It is always easy to find a coach to fill a seat.  The key thing is finding the RIGHT coach for your kids and your program.

The first step I take to try to find the RIGHT coach is to cast as wide of a net as possible.  I will usually post the job opening on five to seven internet sites and blogs.  I will put it up on the school’s Facebook account, the Twitter account, and my own Twitter account.  Social media is a great place to advertise jobs.  I like to broadcast the job to the local newspapers as well.  Sometimes they will run an ad for you, and sometimes they will not.  Always depends on the time of year, and what else is happening.

I found a tremendous soccer coach on Craigslist one year.  He had posted his resume on there, and when I searched “soccer coach” on the site, I found his resume.  Here is a guy who had college coaching experience, but was looking for a job in our certain part of the county.  He did a fine job for us.

  Casting a wide net is important because you just never know who you might find out there.  As a high school Athletic Director, I don’t have the luxury of hopping on a private jet and flying around the nation like these college Athletic Directors do!  You are mainly stuck to the local city or maybe surrounding cities where you live.  If you have ability to connect a full time teaching job, or other job on campus to your coaching position, you are more likely to find a better coach out there. Many times though, at least here in California, we are having to hire walk on coaches only.  Therefore, your hands are tied because you have to find a person who is A: an experienced coach and B: has the time to work on this sport even though they have a full time job elsewhere.  This is a very unique person you need to find.  Therefore, casting a wide net is very important!

MY CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY

I took over as the Athletic Director at Excelsior Charter Schools in Victorville, California on May 29, 2012.  I was in the office of the main school building for not more than 5 minutes, waiting to meet with the Principal when our Superintendent saw me sitting there.  He came over, and welcomed me to the school as we exchanged pleasantries.  Not two minutes in to that conversation he said “Here is your first task from me: I need you to develop an athletic department concussion policy.”  Then he shared with me a few reasons why that was at the top of his list for me, the new AD.

So, I wrote that down on my Iphone to do list, and waited for the principal.  Later that day, I started gathering facts, making phone calls, and working on developing our Concussion Management Policy.  I used a variety of sources to put together this policy.  One of my main sources was the ImPact  website.  Through my research on this website, I found out that there was a doctor in our very own community, not even a mile from my office desk, who was trained by Dr. Mark Lovell.  Dr. Lovell is one of the creators of the ImPact test as well as one of the most knowledgeable doctors regarding concussions.  In fact, Dr. Lovell is the NFL’s director of neuropsychological testing.  This doctor in our community is Dr. Thomas Liu.  I was able to sit down with him for about an hour to learn  more about the proper care of concussions.  He was a great source for me in putting together this policy.  He looked it over himself, and made some suggestions.  Our kids are all getting ImPact baseline tested for football in a few weeks by Dr. Liu.

Dr. Thomas Liu Source: Victor Valley Daily James Quigg

Below is what I’ve developed for our Concussion Management Policy.  (I have replaced our school’s name with ABC School for this document.)

“ABC SCHOOL” ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY

By Athletic Director Chris Fore, Certified Athletic Administrator

The Purpose of a School Concussion Management Policy

The purpose of the “ABC School” Concussion Management Policy is first and foremost to protect both the short and long term health of our Student-Athletes.  Secondary to goal is to be compliant with local and state law.  Lastly, we have instituted a Concussion Management Policy so that we can educate our Student-Athletes, their parents, Coaching Staff, our Faculty and Staff, etc. about the dangers of concussions.

Maintaining a Concussion Management Policy will help our Athletic Department in the following ways:

• Maintain Safety – This policy will help to create a “safety first” response to concussions.

• Supports Best Practice – This policy uses nationally known and approved best practices

• Consistency – all coaches, Varsity and Junior Varsity, heads and assistants, volunteer and paid will follow this same protocol

• Protest the Student-Athlete – Return To Play protocol

The California Interscholastic Federation is the body which governs high school athletics in California.  CIF Bylaw 313  (Play It Safer) states:  “A student-athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time for the remainder of the day.  A student-athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and receives written clearance to return to play form that health care provider.”

What is a Concussion?

A concussion (or mild traumatic brain injury mTBI) is a complex pathophysiologic process affecting the brain, induced by trauma (direct or indirect forces to the head).  Disturbance of brain function is related to neurometabolic dysfunction, rather than structural injury.  Concussion may or may not involve a loss of consciousness (LOC).  Concussion results in a constellation of physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep-related symptoms.  Symptoms may last from several minutes to days, weeks, months or even longer in some cases.  In the end, a concussion is “An energy crisis for the brain.”                                                                                                                                                  SOURCE: ImPACT Seminar; Development of a Concussion Management Policy

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION

You can’t see a concussion, but you might notice some of the symptoms right away. Other symptoms can show up hours or days after the injury.  Concussion symptoms include:

Amnesia                                                Confusion

Headache                                                Loss of consciousness

Balance problems or dizziness            Double or fuzzy vision

Sensitivity to light or noise                        Nausea (A feeling that you might vomit)

Don’t feel right                                    Feeling sluggish, foggy or groggy

Feeling unusually irritable                        Slowed reaction time

Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays, facts, meeting times)

Exercise or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games may cause concussion symptoms (such as headache or tiredness) to reappear or get worse.

WHAT TO DO WHEN A COACH SUSPECTS A CONCUSSION

1.  Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs and symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced a bump or blow to the head or body. When in doubt, keep the athlete out of play.

2.  Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Health care professionals have a number of methods that they can use to assess the severity of concussions.

Coaches are responsible for documenting a suspected concussion.  To do this, a member of the coaching staff (If an Athletic Trainer, Doctor, or health care professional is not present) must record the following information, which can help health care professionals in assessing the athlete after the injury:

  • Name and age of Student-Athlete
  • Date, time, location and sport being played at time of suspected concussion
  • Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to the head or body?
  • Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and if so, for how long?
  • Any memory loss immediately following the injury?
  • Any seizures immediately following the injury?
  • Number of previous concussions (if known)?

This documentation needs to be submitted to the Athletic Director on the CONCUSSION REPORT FORM within 24 hours of the suspected concussion.  (See attached form at the end of this Policy.)

3.  Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and refer them to the fact sheet on concussions at www.abcschool.com.  This form should also be passed out the preseason parent meeting.  Make sure they know that the athlete should be seen by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.

If possible, we would like for our athletes to be seen by Dr. Thomas Liu at the Southern California Bone and Joint Clinic.  Dr. Liu has significant concussion training with Drs. Lovell and Collins who wrote the new NFL guidelines on concussions.  Dr. Liu’s phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.  His office is less than 2 minutes away from our campus.

Student-Athletes who are suspected to have sustained a concussion should not drive themselves home from practice or a contest.

4.  Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.

A Student-Athlete may not return to play, whether that is practice or a game, jogging as a warm up, or playing full contact until he or she is cleared to return to play by a licensed health care provider.  That clearance needs to be in the form of a written document from the health care provider.  A copy of that documentation needs to be given to both the Head Coach and the Athletic Director.

 

SUGGESTED PROGRESSIVE RETURN TO PLAY GUIDELINES

• Stage 1            – THROUGH 30-40% – No impact activities

• Stage 2            – THROUGH 40-60% – Some positional changes

• Stage 3            – THROUGH 60-80% – Strength, balance, concentration

• Stage 4            – THROUGH 80% – Aggressive training, avoiding contact

• Stage 5            – Full participation

 

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF A STUDENT-ATHLETE RETURNS TO PLAY TOO SOON

Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately (CIF Bylaw 313). Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.  It is well known that adolescent or teenage athlete will often under report symptoms of injuries and concussions are no different. It is the duty of the coach to place the health and safety of your Student-Athletes ahead of winning.

 

THE EDUCATION OF COACHES, STUDENT-ATHLETES AND THEIR PARENTS

As part of following best practices and guidelines, it is important to educate all constituents of the Athletic Department.

All members of the “ABC School” Coaching Staff must watch the National Federation of High School’s Concussion in Sports, What You Need To Know video to prepare for the 2012-13 school year.  They must present the Athletic Director with their certificate of completion once they have watched this video.  Coaches must also read the Concussion Information Sheet which all Student-Athletes and their parents/guardians must read and sign.

All Student-Athletes and their parents/guardians must read, sign and turn in the “ABC School” Concussion Information Sheet.  This document is a part of the 2012-13 Athletic Packet.  Student-Athletes are not eligible to begin participation in athletics until this document is read and accounted for via the Blue Sheet.

Our Concussion Management Policy as well as the Concussion Fact Sheet will be available for all Student-Athletes and their parents/guardians, as well as our faculty and staff on the schools’ website at http://www.abcschool.com.

 

ACADEMIC ACCOMODATIONS

There are times when a Student-Athlete must have some accommodations made to him or her by school officials.  These accommodations are at the discretion of the principal and or facilitator.

Why might a Student-Athlete need special accommodation after having sustained a concussion? There are two reasons a Student-Athlete may need special accommodations.  Number one, this allows the brain to return to normal.  And number two, it will help to minimize the anxiety level of the Student-Athlete.

Facilitators are one of the best sources for helping to determine what special academic accommodations may be needed for the Student-Athletes.  They are experts in observing the student’s “normal” social and academic behavior.

Any special accommodations must be communicated to the Student-Athlete and their parents/guardians, along with the Athletic Director and Principal.

“ABC SCHOOL” ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY

CONCUSSION REPORT FORM

 

NAME OF STUDENT-ATHLETE:                                                                        AGE:                       

DATE:                                    TIME:                         SPORT:                                                     

LOCATION OF INJURY:                                                                                               

 

CAUSE OF THE INJURY: (Be as specific as possible.  Was it a blow to the head?  A blow to the body that then caused a blow to the head?)

ANY LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS?  (Circle one)      Yes      No                               If so, how long was Student-Athlete unconscious?

ANY SHORT-TERM MEMORY LOSS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE INJURY?

ANY SEIZURES IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE INJURY?

NUMBER OF PREVIOUS CONCUSSIONS (IF KNOWN?)

 

 

A Look At My First 24 Days As Athletic Director

I took over as the Athletic Director at Excelsior Charter School in Victorville, California on May 29th.  It’s been a very busy first 24 days in the seat.  Yesterday (June 29) was my last day until August 8, as I’m not a 12 month employee.

Here is a synopsis of the major decisions, meetings, research, etc. from my first 24 days on the job.  Hopefully, this will be able to help any other ADs out there in the same boat.  It could serve as a framework or an outline for you.

 

1. Met with each Head Coach one on one to survey current state of each program

2. Updated schedules and solidified them for Fall and Winter seasons

3. Updated Athletic Packets and streamlined the system for kids/parents.  In the past, they turned in 7 different documents before they could participate.  Multiply this by several hundred athletes!  I narrowed it down to two documents they turn in now, AND added the CIF Concussion Notice they must read and sign for.

4. Created Athletic website by creating individual pages for each sport; each page has contact information for the Head Coach, and up to date practice schedules. There was none of this before I started.

5. Completed research on schools retiring numbers and creating a Hall of Fame; made recommendations to Superintendent

6. Completed research on coaching stipends and made recommendations to Asst Superintendent regarding paying our coaches more; recommended a “step” system to compensate coaches for their years and playoff appearances. For each game your team advances in playoffs, we will compensate you more for your time.

7. Attended an ImPact Concussion Webinar about creating an athletic department concussion management policy

8. Created the Excelsior Athletics Concussion Management Policy

9. Conducted a survey online for our faculty/staff, student-athletes and their guardians

10. Designed locker room and athletic storage for new gym; got quotes on these projects

11. Confirmed officials for both Fall and Winter seasons; Confirmed Fall transportation

12. Hosted physicals on campus for our student-athletes; 25 came.  First time we’ve ever done this.

13. Recommended moving to a quarter grading system for CIF G.P.A. regulations instead of semester system; the principal approved this new system. Now gives Student-Athletes four times to be eligible or ineligible instead of just two.

14. Met with concussion specialist doctor, and set up ImPact baseline testing for our football team in August.  This doctor was trained by the same doctors who wrote the NFL concussion guidelines and return to play procedures.

15. Set up an agreement with Neff Co to give our student-athletes another choice for letter jackets; this company will save them $125 and deliver a better product than what we have been getting.  Everything can now be done online.

16. Set up 2-4 games next year at the Minor League Baseball stadium where the High Desert Mavericks play. Will be used as a fundraiser for our baseball program.

17. Examined 2011-12 budget and created 2012-13 budget

18. Relieved Head Varsity Cross Country Coach, flew the position, interviewed and offered job to new Head Coach, she accepted.

TO DO LIST WHEN TAKING OVER A PROGRAM

 

The following is a list I’ve used twice while taking over football programs.  It’s not the “end all be all list” but should get you started on the right path!  From this list will branch off other things to figure out and plan.  It’s like a spider web, once you get in to it, it will keep untangling and untangling!

Contact coaching staff
Meet with players
Player Evaluation sheet to players
Spring Calendar
Summer Calendar
Master Calendar (May-Dec)
Fundraising
Offensive package for spring
CIF rules/regulations
Any money to spend now?
Spirit Package
     – white shirt
     – grey shirt
     – shorts
     – sweats
     – bag??
     – socks
     – prac. Jersey
Player Committee
     2 seniors, 3 juniors, 2 sophs, 1 frosh
Business Cards
Promotion schedules
Meet with custodial staff
     – paint goal posts yellow
     – lines on field
Booster Club Meeting w/ parents
Program for season
Website development
     – linfieldfootball.com
Theme for year
Letterhead
Theme nights for attendance
Reserved seating
Football camp for kids
     – When???
Scrimmage
     – Who?  When?  Where?
Inventory in HQ
Coaches apparel
     – hats, shirts, jackets
Directory of league coaches

INCREASING PARTICIPATION IN YOUR ATHLETIC PROGRAM (PART 2)

This is Part 2 of a 2 part series titled “Increasing Participation In Your Athletic Program.”  Click here for Part 1!

The first two keys are:

1.  WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN!

2.  GET YOUR NON-ATHLETES TO ATTEND GAMES

3.  CELEBRATE YOUR ATHLETES

If the kids on your campus feel and know that athletics is truly valued, and not just lip service, they will feel appreciated.  If they feel appreciated and respected, they will want to play.  If they feel as if the school is just using them, and they are just a spoke on the wheel, they won’t play.  Do you value your athletes?  If so, how do you show them that you do?

Celebrating Scholar Athletes.

One program I started at Capistrano Valley Christian was an Athlete of the Week Program.  Again, it was another way to promote the athletic program, while at the same time making kids feel important and valued.  Every Monday we would announce an Athlete of the Week from the prior week’s contests.

Coaches would nominate these athletes to me by 9:00 am Monday morning, and I would choose one.  Then, we would present them with an Athlete of the Week shirt in our 11:00 am homeroom, right there in front of the whole school.  We would brag about their accomplishments from the week before.  I would also do a short interview of them and put a profile about them on our website for one week.  They would be able to send this to all of their families and friends.

Athlete of the Week Sample Profile

Athlete of Week Sample Profile #2 – I would use this profile to create a document with pictures of the winner!

4.  MARKET YOUR PROGRAMS IN THE COMMUNITY

If your community is excited about athletics, the kids will want to be a part of what is going on.  If their family is at home talking about your athletic teams and programs, they will want to be a part of it.  If your athletic teams and department is respected in the community for pursuing excellence and winning championships, kids will gravitate towards that success.   Success breeds success.  Once that train gets going in your community, the kids at your high school who aren’t a part of it, will want to get on!

The community at large has GOT to know about what is happening at your high school in terms of athletics more than anything else at the school.  Athletics really does serve as the greatest promotional tool you have, and you must take advantage of it.

People hear and know more about athletics than your kids’ math scores and their homework; academic success rates aren’t published on a daily and weekly basis like your athletic scores and results are!          

A few ways to market your athletic program in your community:

  1. Coaches need to make sure they are reporting their scores after every single game to the newspapers.
  2. The athletic department needs to use social media venues like Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis.
  3. People want to see three things – people, action and results.  Make sure to keep these three things at the forefront of your athletic marketing.  People (pictures), Action (pictures and storytelling), Results (scores, statistics, storytelling).
  4. Use posters and schedules to promote your schedules and teams.  One program I’ve worked in the past will PAY you to create a poster and schedule by raising funds from local businesses in the forms of ads on those posters (see below).  This is a great fundraising opportunity, and a great way to promote your teams in the community.

    We passed out 1000s of these to our community to promote athletics. I had them made for free, while raising money for our program at the same time!

  5. Win!  Winning teams receive a lot of free coverage in the newspapers in the forms of stories and stats. The more you win, the more you will be in the papers.
  6. Community Appreciation Nights at major sporting events.  For about the last five seasons, I’ve had each home football game serve as a community outreach event.  For instance, we had a lot of military around our area in Temecula so I had a “Military Appreciation Night.”  All military and their families got in free to the game, and we honored them at halftime.  I’ve had a “Teacher Appreciation Night” where we honored our teachers and invited the media to cover the event.  This got teachers and their families to our games who had never been before!  I’ve had local football Pop Warner teams come and play at halftime.  This gets kids and their parents exposed to your program because they come to watch the game.
  7. Branding your logo.  Logo recognition in the community is a very important aspect of building your athletic program and identity.  Think about the images that are burned in your brain.  The golden arches, the Nike swoosh, the white coca-cola on a red background, the mouse ears.  Those logos don’t change, ever.  Is your school logo identifiable?  Is it burned in the minds of your community?

This is my alma mater's logo! I love it! Been the same logo since the early 90s!

My college alma mater's logo - Azusa Pacific University. Seeing this brings back great memories!

I’ve seen some schools have so many logos that people in the community have no clue who they are.  Logos, colors and team uniforms should be consistent from team to team on your campus.  When people see your logo on a hat, sweatshirt, t-shirt, bumper sticker, they should automatically know what school is represented.

8.  Community service projects.  Get your kids serving others in their community by helping to take          care of it.  This will garner an appreciation of what your athletic program and school is all about by those we serve.

     

A few of my football players serving the community in a warehouse where we were getting an event for Christmas ready for poor families.

      

5.  RECRUIT THE HALLWAYS

Girls are notorious for joining a team just because their friends are playing. You must harness that approach!

Now that your program is: winning, getting kids to the games, celebrating your athletes and making your athletics an important part of the community, the hardest part of the job is done!  However, if you don’t get kids out on your teams, you have failed in one major area – that is participation!

I’ve been working with teenagers for the last 16 years, and one thing I’ve learned about them: Teenagers desire to be a part of something larger than them.  Most teenagers are thirsting for a group to belong to because they are lacking connection and meaningful relationships in “real life.”  They have 800 friends on Facebook yet feel lonely.

However, they aren’t outwardly seeking to belong.  A majority of them aren’t going to show and communicate this need to belong to a larger group.  Therefore, coaches must reach out to them, and encourage their players to reach out to the other kids in their own hallways.  Most often, the kids on your teams will be able to recruit the hallways better than the coaching staff.  But they usually need to be taught how to do this.

INCREASING PARTICIPATION IN YOUR ATHLETIC PROGRAM (PART 1)

I’m going to do a two part series on one of the most important topics I can cover!  INCREASING PARTICIPATION IN YOUR ATHLETIC PROGRAM.

In this day and age of declining enrollments at many private schools, and complete apathy with teenagers at all schools, I think that it is safe to say that all coaches and athletic directors face what could be an overwhelming challenge to increase participation from your student body.  If you don’t have a plan, it is overwhelming.  If you have a plan, it helps you not be so overwhelmed by replenishing your roster each year.

This two part series will feature 5 keys to increasing participation in your athletic program.  I’ve been a high school athletic director for four years.  I had to face this head on as the school I was at lost FORTY, 40% of our students in a seven year period!  That is a TON of kids!  It was depressing for our coaching staff and athletes.  It was sad to eliminate levels, and some programs because we didn’t have enough kids.

I finally took it head on, developed a plan and we had success.  We increased athletic participation by 25% in the fall season, 23% in the winter season, and it went down a bit in the spring season because of a major coaching change in one of the sports.  This increased athletic participation led to a school record FIVE League Championships!  

The year before I started as the AD, we had zero League Championships.  In the four following years, we won: 1, 0, 3, and 5!  Nine in four years when they only had three in the four years prior to me taking over.  Listen, I hope you don’t get me wrong here, it wasn’t all about the Athletic Director in place.  But it WAS about the systems and procedures and complete overhaul of the athletic department that we put in place.  Remember, we had this success in winning League Championships while LOSING a ton of students, 40% of them!

Here are five keys to increasing participation, two today and three tomorrow!

1.  WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN!

Kids don’t want to spend their time in losing programs.  They need to be a part of a winning program and culture.  A vast majority of kids in this generation don’t care to be a part of a team unless there is something in it for them.

In this day and age when everyone wins a trophy at the youth level, and there seems to be a “national champion” around every corner, if your program doesn’t win, it won’t attract kids who are “on the fence” about playing.

My coaching staff celebrates our 2010 League Championship; one of five our school won that year. A record for the 35 year old school. Photo by http://www.jordananast.com

2.  GET YOUR NON-ATHLETES TO ATTEND GAMES

Increasing your non-athletes at the games and sporting events on your campus is a key to turning them in to athletes and participators!

The more kids you get out at events, the more popular your athletics becomes.  If athletics is popular, kids will play.

One idea I had a few years ago was to start a “Fan of the Year” contest among our student body because I noticed that we just didn’t have a lot of kids coming out to support our teams.  It’s hard to quantify in numbers how many more kids came out to games, but we did see an increase across the board in student participation.  We had a point system and gave kids tickets when they came to games.

For example, going to a home football game was popular and easy, so kids would get one ticket. Going to a girls tennis match was not popular, and not easy to get to.  They got three tickets.  These tickets were collected throughout the year.  At the end of the year we had a raffle, and gave away cash and prizes.

The “Fan of the Year” contest was a popular thing for us.  Interestingly enough, the very next year saw a record number increase in athletics!  In the fall season alone, 25% more kids played that next year!

My first game at CVCS, I could count the students at the game on two hands! By the time we implemented some of these keys, we would have a hundred kids line up to make a tunnel to welcome us back to the field after halftime!

END OF SEASON PROGRAM EVALUATION

Staying with the theme of forms to evaluate your program, here is another one that I’ve used quite often.  This form is in the coaching manual that I have for sale.  I’ve used this form in seven of my eight years as a Head Coach.  The one year I didn’t use this form is when we transfered to doing them online via Survey Monkey.  The great thing about doing an online survey is that you get instant results.  The tough thing is that you are limited to 10 questions for free, then you pay.  I probably won’t do the online version again because of that limitation.

A few reasons I think a survey of your players like this important:

1.  Allows them to have a voice in the program.  Most of us coaches think and say “it’s your program, I’ve got next year.”  But do you really mean that?  Is it really the kids program?  Or are you the egomaniac center of it?  I think that it goes a long way to give the kids a voice in the program.  It doesn’t mean you cater to them, it doesn’t mean that if they say “we don’t like running” that you stop running!  But it does let them know that you care about them as a person, and as a football player.

It's your players program, allow them to have a say. This was in 2003, our team took a trip to Hawaii for a game v. Baldwin High School on Maui.

2.  Sometimes the kids have some great ideas!  And these great ideas can make your program better.  Listen, we don’t know it all. We may think we do, but we don’t.  As soon as we stop listening to the kids we coach, we fail.  I’ve had some really great responses doing these surveys with my teams.  Sometimes we think something is working, but it is not, you are missing the boat.

One example is in pregame meals.  Several years ago, it was the tradition for the school I was at to go to Sizzler restaurant for our pregame meals.  Sizzler is a steak house, with salad bar.  We got a great deal at one of the places in town because the owners daughter went to our school.  Well, one year, a bunch of the kids wrote that they hated going there.  It had become an old hat.  I never knew that.  For whatever reason, none of my captains ever said anything, but when this hit my radar, and I brought it to my Player Committee, they all started laughing and said “yeah, we hate that place Coach.”

Well, maybe it seems like a small thing to you, but to me this was big.  Why make the kids go to a restaurant before the game that they don’t want to be at?  Plus the kids said that they steak just didn’t digest quickly enough.  I didn’t want ANYTHING to be a distraction before the game.  I wanted them to enjoy where we were at.  So, I made a change for the next season and let the kids choose a place.  They were so excited!!  You would have thought I took away conditioning for the entire year.  So, I gained their trust and confidence by this decision to let them choose.  It just wasn’t a battle I really cared about!  A little thing, but the players thought it was huge!  I never would have known that if not for the survey.

Another year, the kids told me we weren’t conditioning enough!!  Can you imagine that?  Again, this is something the kids would never come right out and say. But something like 40% of them thought we weren’t conditioning enough, and it was negatively impacting us during games.  I thought we were doing a fine job.  My coaching staff was blown away by this.  But we increased conditioning the next year.

Another Hawaii picture! Players at a luau the night after our game.

3. Confirms that you are doing things right.  It’s always nice to hear the kids say “Coach, you are doing everything right, don’t change a thing with this, or this, or this.”  It’s not that we need a pat on the back, but you want to make sure you are on target. That you are reaching them and teaching them.  So, that’s another reason I like to do these surveys.

Some kids will write one word, some will write entire paragraphs over the course of a few days.

Again, I encourage you to use this type of survey, or a survey of some sort.  If you are, I would love to see what you are using.  Email me at coach478@gmail.com

END OF SEASON PROGRAM EVALUATION 

  1. What did you like most about this past season?
  1. What did you like least?
  1. How did you feel about our practices?  The length?  The dress?  The tempo?
  1. How did you feel about our pre game routine?
  1. How did you feel about our halftime procedure?
  1. How did you feel about the offensive system, installation of plays, etc.?
  1. How did you feel about the defensive system, installation of plays, etc.?
  1. How did you feel about the special teams, installation of plays, etc.?
  1. How would you evaluate the captains and the leadership on this team?
  1. Do you think the team as a whole kept focused on the Never Stop theme and goals?
  1. VARSITY ONLY – In your opinion, did we accomplish these goals?  Circle one.

Strong CIF Effort    Yes    No                        Better Teamwork    Yes   No               Work Hard    Yes   No

  1. What did the coaching staff do that helped you the most as a football player?
  1. What did the coaching staff do that helped you most as a person?
  1. If you could change one thing about your football experience this year, what would it be?
  1. If I were the Head Coach, I would:

OUTSIDE THE LINES MANUAL – Bolster your administrative and organizational portfolio

I’ve created a coaching manual that includes 100 pages of the administrative and organizational essentials for every head coach.

I’ve titled it the “Outside The Lines Manual” because it is more about the off the field administrative details of the job than the x’s and o’s of the game.  It’s all about the things “outside of the lines” which have a dramatic effect on the what happens between the lines!

Are you a coach who is very strong with your “between the lines” knowledge and ability yet struggle with having the time and desire to organize and effectively communicate the little things to your players, parents, boosters, etc.?  Or do you just want to see what someone else is doing in many aspects of organizational management?

I’ve purchased manuals like this before from coaches at clinics.  The bad part about that is you have to still go and type out anything you want to use from that manual.  With my Outside The Lines Manual, I will send you a USB Thumb Drive with every document on it so that you have a digital copy that you can edit and personalize for your program!  The framework is done. Just add your logo, information, player’s names, etc.

I’ve been a Head Coach for 8 years.  This manual has been created over hundreds of hours over the last 8 years.  My strengths are in the areas of organizational management and administration.  I have experience as an Athletic Director managing the many moving parts of a high school athletic department, as well as being a head football coach.  I’ve earned my Masters in Athletic Administration and am a Certified Athletic Administrator.

I’ve put together this 100 page manual for coaches who are new to the head coaching job, or coaches who want to bolster their portfolio of documents.

Included in the “Outside The Lines Manual” are the following documents:

Personnel Section

  • Coaches Evaluation –  Players grade your coaching staff in 10 key areas
  • Coach Evaluation – You grade your coaching staff in a number of categories
  • Player season evaluation form – players answer 15 questions about season
  • Coaches Directory – Address, email, phone numbers, etc. on one easy document
  • 2 Sample Player Behavior Contracts
  • Contact information form; all of your players contact information on one form
  • Letter to incoming freshmen in your district about playing for you
  • Coach Interview Form – use when interviewing potential coaches
  • Letter to Parents about removing their son from your program
  • Letter to 8th grade parents about your program
  • One on one coach-player meeting after season agenda
  • Player Committee Program Structure – Developing a leadership committee

Game Management Section

  • 2 point chart – Helps you quickly decide if you should go for 1 or 2 after TD
  • Offensive Play Call Sheet – organize how you will call your offense.  2nd and short pass?  3rd and short run?  Quickly find your plays
  • Coach’s Responsibilities Chart
  • Kickoff Coverage Rules and Notes
  • Field Goal/PAT Rules and Notes
  • Field Goal Block Rules and Notes
  • Kick Return Rules and Notes
  • Punt Return Rules and Notes
  • Home Stadium FAQs for your opponent – where to get water, where to dress, where to stretch, field pass and field access information, etc.
  • Football field diagram
  • Pregame schedule to the minute
  • Game Day charts: Special Teams personnel chart, Offense/Defense Depth Charts
  • Halftime Organization and Procedures
  • Roster form for two teams
  • Chart for developing your first 10 plays offensive script
  • Sideline Passes document
  • Wristband form
Recruiting Section
  • Recruiting Player Information Questionnaire
  • Recruiting Letter to college about your player
  • Recruiting Profile for your potential college players
  • Letter to colleges about recruits in your program

Stats Section

  • Defensive stat leaders  – record the top 10 players in 6 areas
  • Box score form
  • Defensive stats form for each game and season totals
  • Offensive drive sheet – document every drive of your season, and total them up
  • Misc stat form – track first downs, penalties, punts, fumbles
  • Opponent offensive stat sheet
  • Offensive Play Call Sheet – list your plays and result as they happen during game
  • Players of Game for year in one place
  • Special Teams game stats sheet
  • Special Teams Player of the Year totals
  • Special Teams Graphs – graph punters totals, returners totals etc.
  • Offensive Stat Leaders for games and season

Equipment Section

  • Equipment turn in notice for your players; tells them when you are collecting gear and reminds them what to turn in
  • Equipment check out form for your players
  • Jersey inventory control sheet
  • Letter to player/parents about missing gear
  • Road game equipment list for coaching staff
  • Road game instructions for your players
  • Spirit pack worksheet for putting together your order

Postseason Section

  • Banquet outline for recognition and thank yous
  • Form for your kids to vote for postseason awards
  • Highlight video and individual game film order form

Strength and Conditioning Section

  • 40 times chart
  • Year to year max comparisons
  • Blank form for maxes
  • Weight Room rules and requirements
  • Workout program – 4 days a week

Scheduling Section

  • Season calendar sample – My 2010 football calendar from June-December
  • Overnight camp agenda and schedule
  • Overnight camp flyer of what to bring and information
  • Sample practice schedules
  • Spring practice schedules

Boosters Section

  • Sample First Booster Club Meeting Agenda to rally the troops
  • Join The Booster Club form with varying levels of financial commitment

Misc Section

  • First 30 Days On The Job to do list; 11 key things to complete in your first 30 days as Head Coach at a new school
  • “To Do List” after taking over a new program
  • Purchase Order Form to order equipment, etc.
  • Kids camp registration form including name, payment information, shirt size
  • 2 Preseason Parent Meeting Agendas
  • Season goals
  • Parent FAQ Handout
  • Profile information collection sheet for Football Game Program
  • Player Profile for Football Game Program
  • Football Game Program sponsorship form
  • Scouting Calendar Form – schedule which games you need to scout
  • Scouting Checklist – what to look for in your future opponent
  • Senior Night letter to parents
  • 10 Training Camp Guidelines
  • Transportation Release Form
  • 4 Keys to Turning Around A Program
  • “Up Next” – information sheet about your opponents to send to your fans
  • Weekly recap form with game summary for your fans
  • Philosophy Statement. Areas include: Why I Coach, My Objectives As Coach, What I Get Out Of Coaching, On Preparing, On Winning, On Losing, etc. A great form to have in your portfolio for future employers.

TO ORDER YOUR MANUAL TODAY

This comprehensive 100 page manual is available for you in a digital format on a USB flash drive.  You have access to personalize all of these forms for your specific needs.

The Outside The Lines Manual is $28. This includes shipping. (If you want to pay for expedited shipping, we can work that out as well.)

If you would like to receive this manual via email only, the cost is only $20. There will be several emails as not all files will fit in one email.

There are two ways order your manual.

1.  Send a check, money order or cash, with your shipping address, to:

  • Chris Fore, 6867 SVL Box, Victorville, CA 92395

2.  Pay via Paypal.  My email address to pay via Paypal is coach478@gmail.com. Send me an email with your shipping address.

3.  Email me at coach478@gmail.com with your ATM/Debit Card information; I need your 16 digit number, security code on the back and your mailing address.  If you are concerned about the safety of giving me this information via email (which I totally understand), let me know you want to use a credit card for payment, and we will do it over the phone.  I used Intuit for this payment method.

Manuals will be mailed or emailed to you as soon as I receive payment.

If you have any questions about this Outside The Lines Manual, please don’t hesitate to contact me at coach478@gmail.com!  Thank you!  Chris