What would you think is the minimum years of experience for a coordinator to have before trying to make the move up to head coach?
Is it different for each level of classification? (i.e. 4a vs 3a vs....etc.)
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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:20 PM
Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:47 PM
It does depend, not as much on the X's and O's but more so the maturity and leadership ability of the coach. A head coach has got to have not good, but great communication and leadership skills to be effective.
Sure X's and O's and having an ability to understand scheme and call plays is important, skills definitely learned as a coordinator, but if I were an administrator hiring a coach, I'd go with leadership and communication skills over all other.
As Sam Spencer said, every situation is different. I've seen young coaches step into situations and thrive while I've also seen them eaten alive. I've also seen the same with veteran coaches.
While I'm not the ultimate authority, I would like to see young coaches have at least 4-6 years of experience under a strong head coach before venturing out on his own. I know some coaches have proven this theory wrong, but around 30-32 is a good age for an early head coaching opportunity.
I feel your best coaches generally thrive between 40-60 years old.
I once thought youth and energy was the ticket, but now having had 10 years experience with CP after my coaching career and having interacted with the best of the best head coaches, there is no substitute for age and experience.
I appreciate both of those comments. I can see where age and experience could help, but I wonder if it also has to do with personality type as well. I'm sure we've all seen 30-60 year olds that couldn't handle being a leader in any situation. And we've all seen mid-20 year olds that exhibit a maturity beyond their years.
I think that sometimes a "fresh perspective" on the game seems like it might be a benefit with a young head coach. Innovation and creativity seems to come easier to the young. Having said that, sometimes the "old school approach" can work very well too.
I look forward to seeing more viewpoints expressed as well.
Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:43 AM
IMHO innovation and creativity can come from anywhere, like Chris said age and experience usually rules the day. Innovation and creativity when it comes to X's and O's a lot of the time backfires on young coaches(and older coaches too) trying to reinvent the wheel. It all comes down to how many adults do you have to manage... more adults(Coaches/Parents/Administration) the more age and experience helps, the less adults(Coaches/Parents/Administration) the more the situation lends itself to a young energetic guy that has to do everything on your own. When coaches fail, it is rarely because of X's and O's and more about the relationships with players/parents and administration, that's where age and experience matter.
Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:59 AM
Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:00 AM
Chris, I agree. Years ago the retiring coach often became the principal. Leadership experience mattered. Today, we see many 30 year old principals who have no idea what it is like to be responsible for organizing 40 student athletes into a team that 2500 screaming fans will support. Experience is a great teacher. With that said, I have seen young coaches with tons of enthusiasm who didn't "pay their dues" but turned out to be great coaches. It also depends on the type of experience.
Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:42 AM
Speaking of administrations and youth, we're starting to see more and more young principals running the shows in high schools. Many of these young leaders have fast tracked from either the elementary or middle school levels and many have never had much experience leading, much less coaching a sport.
Often times these administrators don't care anything whatsoever about football or hiring a coach, it's seen as a hindrance or unwanted extracurricular. I've seen of late that the younger the principal, the younger the coach. It also seems that gone are the days where the head football coach is the second most powerful man on campus, now it seems these young administrators want "yes men" who will quietly do their jobs and leave them alone.
Its a great observation and point. With experience and to a lesser degree age comes confidence. One of the toughest tasks in any management/leadership role is having people who report to you with much more experience in their role than you have. It is by its nature an uncomfortable relationship and many times the less experienced individual will be intimidated and punt on the entire scenario. They want someone who will " do what they are told" versus having to have to listen and in some cases acquiesce authority.
MAny of these leadership positions are being filled by the first wave of the millennial generation which is causing even further frustration with baby boomer HC's.
Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:10 AM