Online Master’s in Athletic Administration

Future team leaders may need to focus more on acquiring a coaching degree

The subject of coaching degrees was recently brought up in an opinion piece by Brian Gearity writing for the Hattiesburg American. The author expressed himself by stating that the U.S. lags behind other nations when it comes to the subject of sport coaching. Gearity explained that there are no current requirements for those who decide to coach a sports team, especially in the professional and collegiate categories.

Indeed, it may seem that many successful coaches do not have a bachelor’s in coaching. Many of these men and women were former players who apprenticed under other coaches and so on. Such coaches as the legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski, at Duke University, acquired his bachelor’s from West Point and became an officer in the military. Krzyzewski would go on to learn from Bobby Knight before becoming a head coach.

Bill Bellichick Belichick, one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, does not have a coaching degree but did acquire his bachelor’s in economics from Wesleyan University.

Although neither Krzyzewski or Bellichick have a degree in their chosen career field, they are both educated and may have used skills learned at their universities university’s to achieve greatness in their respective sports.

While a coaching degree may provide insight to many leadership fundamentals, an education along with putting time in the trenches of a sport may be the key to coaching at any level. Today, those who do acquire a bachelor’s in coaching and then go on to work as an assistant may garner more benefits than their heroes of yesterday.

Despite Gearity’s claim that the U.S. is behind others in the requirements needed for coaching, many state systems do require these qualifications. For instance, New York necessitates its high school coaches to meet a number of demands such as having fingerprints on record and being CPR certified. Coaches in the Empire State also need to have earned their master’s degree, completed coaching courses and have five years of experience at the interscholastic level. Those with a bachelor’s in coaching with some already established background may be ahead of the game when applying for these types of positions.

Those looking to someday break into collegiate or professional sports may need to have both a degree and the relevant experience in order to lead a team on the field.

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