Like most of you coaches, I’m a numbers guy!  And I’m a Special Teams Freak!   Read my stuff on the Shield Punt here (I’m not sure anyone has written more about it!).

I think that there are a TON of “hidden yards” in the Special Teams game that coaches at the high school level fail to really examine and think critically about.

For instance, if your punt unit is kicking the ball on an average of 35 yards, and you are giving up a 10 yard return, you are netting 25 yards on your punt.  If your opponent is kicking 37 yards on average and giving up only 2 yards on average, they are netting 35 yards.  That is a 10 yard difference!  Now, think about if you punt 5 times in a game, you are giving them 50 yards of field position.  Yet, if you receive 5 punts, you are only gaining only 10 yards.  This is a 40 yard difference.  That’s four first downs!

That is a lot of territory.  


Dan Kelly, the best kicker I’ve ever had. He earned a scholarship to the University of Hawaii from Linfield Christian where I was his Head Coach. Told him after watching him kick ONE football “You will play on Saturdays if you decide to play football.” Here he is three years later beating Nevada and Colin Kaepernick on a 45 yard field goal with 11 seconds left.

I think that stats in the Special Teams game are very overlooked.  How many times have you broken down your kicking game stats vs. your opponents?  It’s a great thing to do every game, and then for your first three game total, your first half total, first eight game total, and then your ten game season total heading in to the playoffs.

With Hudl and some other programs out there, maybe this Excel doc is outdated, I don’t know.  I’m a little old school with stat docs!

If you don’t have a KICKING GAME ANALYSIS document, try this one.  Let me know what you think!

Kicking Game Analysis Document



I received an email from a coach who I’ve worked with for a few months now as he is preparing for a head coach gig.  When he shared with me about his experience with a school during the last month, I thought that it would make good educational reading for the rest of us.

I speak with coaches nationwide regarding the job search process as part of my consulting business.

I hope you learn some things here about the process of becoming a head football coach!  Obviously, I’m leaving the coach’s name and the name of the school where he interviewed out of this.  Heck, we even agreed to keep the state out of it.

Coach Fore,

I wanted to share my recent experience interviewing for a varsity head coach position with a school in the south.

A little background: I have been a varsity assistant coach for eight years and recently gained my teaching certificate with a social studies endorsement. A few weeks back I was contacted by this school about a social studies and head varsity coaching position.

Needless to say, I was extremely excited. After a phone and online interview, I was invited to come visit the school and meet with administration. Since I live in the Northwest, it would be a significant investment to drive 13+ hours each way but I eagerly agreed anyway. (Worth noting: the school would not reimburse me for travel expenses.)

When I arrived at the school I met with the superintendent, athletic director, and principal (whom I first interviewed with). It wasn’t until this face to face visit that I learned more information about the position.

First, resources and finances were extremely limited. I knew ahead of time that this was a small school but I was informed that the budget for the program was less than $1,200.

Next, I was told that there were three members of my staff who were teachers in the building. I was required to keep them on as varsity coaches because their coaching salary was tied to their teaching contract. Essentially, they were going to be varsity coaches as long as they felt like it.

Finally, I was told that there were three non-teachers who would required to be on staff because “They are strong community members and it would be smart for the program.”

Like many assistants, I have always wanted to be a varsity head coach. With that said, everything about this position just felt wrong and I eventually told them no. Many reading this may think I’m crazy for doing so but I went with my gut feeling and truly do not regret it.

If nothing else, I gained valuable experience and learned valuable lessons:

1. Ask questions. Coach Fore has posted numerous articles about questions to ask before taking over a program. I asked many of those questions but was either given a non-answer (“Let us get back with you on that”) or found their answer unsatisfactory.

2. Know how much control you’ll have over staff. I was told by more than one of my coaching friends that no staff control is a kiss of death.

3. Trust your gut. If everything inside of you is telling you not to take a job, then don’t. Once I was able to remove myself from the fantasy of running my own program, I was that the reality was pretty scary.

I don’t know if I’ll ever receive another opportunity to run my own program. But in the event I do, it will be when it feels right.

Thank you!

Coach (Name left off intentionally!)


Most of you probably do this, but I know that not all of you do.  If you do not, you’ve GOT to start this year!

Using a “Live Drive Sheet” on your sidelines is KEY to being able to call an effective game offensively specifically.  I have this form in my OUTSIDE THE LINES MANUAL, along with 100 other forms for you to use.  Take a look at that here.

If you don’t have a form like this and want it, please email me with DRIVE SHEET in the subject line.  I’m happy to send it to you.  My email is coach at

I usually use my backup quarterback for the purpose of keeping the Drive Sheet.  Obviously, if he is in there playing a different position, he won’t be doing it.  In that case, I will have the JV quarterback do this. I use it as a learning tool for him.  Whoever it is, I have this kid stand “in my hip pocket all night.”  I tell the kid, “if you miss a play, it’s your fault.  If I’m giving the play to be ran in to the huddle, or if we are in a no huddle situation using signals, I don’t care what it is, YOU are responsible for making sure to keep this up to the minute accurate!”  He learns VERY quickly not to talk to me, not to bother me and ask what I just said, what the play is, etc.  I’d say after the first quarter of the season, he never asks me again!  It’s a great way to piss me off as the signal caller.


The goal is to be able to study your play calling and your drives as the game goes on.  I refer to this sheet after EVERY single drive.  I take a look at it, make some notes right on it.

For instance, looking at old Drive Sheets, you will see sometimes where I circle two plays in a row very largely.  This shows me that these two companion plays worked well together.  Maybe I will come back to them later in the game, in the very same order.

Listen, I have used a Drive Sheet that went for a touchdown in the VERY same game for another drive!  Now, that is fun to be able to do.  I’ve literally just followed that drive.  The same exact drive, just called those same plays.  In fact, twice I just stepped aside and had my JV QB who was running the Drive Sheet that night call the plays in to the offense.  THAT is when you know you are having a great game, and things are clicking on all cylinders!

Here is what the form looks like, I use an Excel spreadsheet:


Base Left Jet Sweep 5
Base Left Jet Sweep Pass Inc Overthrew Z; wide open
Base Right Sap Weak Keep 0 Blitzed LB

I have a form with three columns.

As you can see, the first column has the PLAY NAME, the second column has the RESULT.  The third column is for any NOTES.

I will tell the person on Drive Sheet duty what notes I want written down.  Sometimes we have a note for every play, sometimes we don’t.  Usually it is just stuff that will help me later in that game.  Anything else can come from film.

Again, after every drive I will take this sheet and just make notes on it, and on my play call sheet.  I make note of every single incomplete pass.  I try to figure out why that pass isn’t working.  I take notes on the negative rushing plays.  Try to figure out if the play calling is leading to a play not working, or if we need to fix the blocking scheme.

I take note of the plays over ten yards.  If we run something a few times and notice it’s getting over 10 yards a few times in a row, you can certainly bet that we are going to be coming back to that play!!

At half time, I will gather my offensive coaches, and we will talk through this.  We might take some plays off of our Play Sheets for the second half.  We will try to find patterns that are working, plays that are looking great one after the other, etc.

This Drive Sheet is KEY to our entire half time breakdown.  I will take it right to our offensive players and say “Hey, what happened on that Strong Trap the first drive of the second quarter?”  Sure enough, the kids usually have an answer, they remember the specific play when you are able to pinpoint exactly when it was.  “Hey, remember after we scored on that long pass in the second quarter, the very next series we open with Base Right Strong Keep and it went for 18 yards, what did you guys see, why did it go so well?”

These are the things that you can bring up right to the kids if you have a Drive Sheet.  If you don’t, you are lost.

More on drive sheets later, and what I do with them after the games.

Here is the rest of the game’s drive sheet from the one I showed you earlier:

Base Right Strong 12
Aces Right Strong Pass Z go inc
Base Right Strong 16
Base Right Strong Waggle 29
Base Right Strong 3 TOUCHDOWN
Base Right Dead Strong 4
Midway 7 12
Base Left Strong Waggle Screen inc
Base Right Jet Sweep -2
Base Right Jet Split 12
Base Left Jet Split 1
Base Right Strong Keep Out 8
Base Right Weak Keep 13
Base Right Strong Trap -2
Base Right Strong Pass inc
Base Right Strong Keep 5
Base Right Strong Waggle Keep 10 TOUCHDOWN
Base Right Strong 3
Base Right Strong Keep 13
Wing Left Strong 5
Tight Right Strong Pass WX Switch 25 TOUCHDOWN
Over Right Strong Flood Y Screen 22 TOUCHDOWN


I am helping a French football team find a new Head Coach for the 2014 season.  They are looking for a veteran high school or college coach.  Must have at the minimum high school coordinator experience.  College coaching experience preferred, not essential.

Interested coaches need to send their resume to

The Falcons club Bron-Villeurbanne is the football club of the oldest suburbs of Lyon.
Founded by enthusiasts, the association has built over the years a history and a culture like no other in the Rhône.

affiche finale

Here is the offer:

Round trip ticket from the airport of your choice from/to Lyon, France.
Medical insurance
Free housing with all utilities paid
High Speed Internet
Public transportation pass
5 free lunch per week, from Monday to Friday.
Team Merchandising
Gym Membership
Salary: minimum would be 600€ per month in cash money.

The HC would be in charge of our Senior Team (+20yo) and has to coach the coaches of our youth teams (U20, U17, U15) and Senior B team.

It´s a 6 monthes contract from january 2014 to june. 600 euros = 791USD per month

Read more about this football club at

Interested coaches need to send their resume to



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


Board of Trustees

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


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.



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.


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. 


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 . . .


Had a great idea a today!  (At least I think it was!)

I get a ton of emails like this: “I’m interviewing for the Head Football Job at XYZ High School in XYZ City.  Do you have a list of interview questions?”

I do have a short list, basically it is what I ask when I interview head coaches.  So, I will send that out to folks who ask.

But what I would love to put together for coaches is a list of interview questions that they get, from all over the nation.

I don’t want to just google “football interview questions.”  I could come up a long list.  I want REAL, LIVE, CURRENT interview questions that guys are getting, or that YOU as an Athletic Director of Head Football Coach interviewing assistants ACTUALLY use!

Email me the interview questions you have heard or asked for either a Head Football Coaching job or Assistant Football Coaching job.

By sending me an email at, you are giving me permission to use what you provide.

Just copy and paste this below in to an email and send it to me at

1.  What job did you interview for?

2.  What level of football? (Youth, High School, College, NFL)

3.  What school or team was it for?  

City/State too please.  (If you want this to be anonymous, put anonymous or leave blank.)

More or less than 900 students?

4.  What were the questions?

5.  What is your name?  (If you want this to be anonymous, put anonymous or leave blank.)

By sending me an email at, you are giving me permission to use what you provide.


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.


Athletic Department

                                                     END OF SEASON REPORT

 SCHOOL YEAR:                              

SPORT:                                        (Indicate BOYS or GIRLS)


COACH:              ____   ASSISTANT(S): ________________________________________


OVERALL:   WINS:                         LOSSES:                                TIES:       

LEAGUE:      WINS:                         LOSSES:                                TIES:        

LEAGUE FINISH:                  

PLAYOFFS: YES:               NO:                 RECORD:      WINS:             LOSSES    











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




An Eight Laces (C) Publication


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



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?


  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.



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!




Since I broke down a blocked shield punt the other day, I thought it only fair to show an example of a great one!

It’s from this years BYU – Notre Dame game.  Watch the video of this punt here.

The goal of the shield punt is to get down the field very fast.  It all starts with the alignment.  The idea is to spread the field with your linemen by creating large gaps between each one of them.  At the high school level, I’ve taught one yard splits for the last 10 years using this.  The college level guys are starting to spread them out with even further splits.  See the formation below.


What you are doing with these large splits is spreading the defenders out, therefore forcing them to try to block the punt up the middle, through the A/B gaps.  It’s here where you will have your shield, normally your larger linemen type sized kids.

The other thing it does is spread the speed guys way out there to where they won’t be able to get in and block the kick off of the edge at all.  In fact, with the one yard splits I’ve taught, I once measured it out.  I put my punters heals at 14 yards.  With the distance they go, a kid would have to run a 2.9 forty to get to the kickers foot.  That ain’t happening!  I had a physics teacher on my campus figure this out.  (I just am not that smart!)

Here is what the formation and defense will look like after the snap.  Notice the four guys coming through, usually just about untouched.  And notice how stinking wide their widest guys are.  They will NEVER get to the foot of the punter this wide!

Below will see four guys rushing the shield.  With your big boys in the shield, at the high school level I use my offensive linemen, it’s pretty safe to say that you can create a wall about 4 yards wide.  These boys need to be tough to absorb the blow!  Notice the linemen on the bottom of that shield.  Look at his left foot.  Perfect.  He has put that foot in the ground and he’s not giving up any ground.  Again, notice how far away those edge guys still are, I love it!

The thing I love this most about the spread punt is that your kids get down field QUICK!  You usually have 7 guys getting off of the line of scrimmage very fast.  Here, Notre Dame brought 6 guys, and have 1 deep.  That leaves only 7 to block BYU’s 7 guys coming down the field.  I like that mismatch, don’t you?!

See some of my high school shield punt cut ups here to see how they get down field and create a turnover.

Notice all of these white shirts down the field with nobody to block them.  This is the reason that this punt is being used so widespread across the college football landscape this year.  It’s going to be interesting to see when it gets in to The League.  It will be there soon!


With all of these defenders in his face, the returner doesn’t have many options.  He just doesn’t have enough green grass in front of him to do anything with.  I also love seeing this kid fumble the ball.  It happens often.  Those returners panic.  They get scared.  This is one of those tough things in practice many coaches don’t practice, 7 guys running full speed at you as you try to make a catch.

Look at the BYU defenders collapse on him to make the open field tackle.  The Notre Dame returner actually loses yards this play.

There you have  it!  A picture perfect shield punt.

Read about how I install and teach it here.    I’ve got in on this site in a three part series.

Watch the video of this punt from BYU to Notre Dame here.


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.)



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


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.


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  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.



• 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



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.



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



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.





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?







These little tidbits are GOLDEN NUGGETS from one of the best to ever coach this great game!  Coach Bud Wilkinson was 93-10-2 in the 1950s as the Head Coach at the University of Oklahoma.

I came across this great information years ago, and have always referred back to it, every single summer.  I do that to remind myself of the essential errors that coaches make, to try to avoid them myself!  Enjoy!



You get very few victories on tactics. Victories come if you can out block, out tackle, out fundamental your opponent. Red Sanders quote: “Intimidate them physically”!

Decide on an offense and defense that will suit your personnel then stick to it. Depth of morale can be determined by a kid’s reaction to a loss. If morale deep, they’ll blame themselves. If morale shallow, they’ll blame you.

Subtract the number of different plays used in the game from the total number of plays you practiced. If this number is too large you better get rid of some plays. It is difficult enough to know when to run off- tackle, but if you have four ways to run off-tackle, you will never get the right play. Beauty of Split-T was it’s very limited number of plays!



Don’t just put an X or an O on the board. Put up the boy’s name. Immediately his limitations affect the offense or defense you put up. Whale of a lot of difference between Dick Butkus and Humpty Dumpty.

It is a mistake to be able to play blue chippers only one way. Say best kid you have can only go on offense. Say opponent has ball for 45 minutes. These are 45 minutes he cannot help you.


Use this as a resource when searching for your next Head Football Coach position.

What are your qualifications for the assistants that I will bring/hire?

What kind of technology is there currently within the football program?

Video cameras, projector, editing software? DVD duplicator? Place to watch film?

Is there a Booster Club?  School or sport specific?

Any kind of big disruptions during the season? Annual retreats?  Fall musical/productions?

What types of off-season programs are available?

What is the football budget?

Practice fields

Equipment – sleds,bags

Basic football gear

Locker rooms



Varsity room

Training room

Weight room

Game day headphones

Trainer?  Training supplies?

Coaches offices

Uniforms game, practice

Spirit pack


Field preparation?  Who is responsible for it?

Budget for clinics?

What kind of fundraising is expected of me?

How many spots are there for assistants?   How much is the stipend for assistants?

Anybody from last year’s staff that has expressed interest in coaching again?

What are the hours of practice during the school year?  When is school out? Any restrictions on practice length?

Do we share the football field with anyone else during the year?

Out of season workouts allowed?  Is there a weight room?  What are the restrictions on off season training?

Can I have minimum requirements to play on the team?  Ex: attendance at off-season program.

Please explain what the parent volunteerism is like within the football community?

Is there a Booster Club for football?  How does it operate?  Who are board members?  How much do they raise on an annual basis?