Do NCAA Division 1 Coaches Teach Classes?

The title pretty much says it all, but if you want more…

What could they possibly teach? The only thing I can think of is that maybe the football coach might teach Football Coaching 101 to Phys Ed majors (ditto for the basketball coach, etc). But then again, one would think that the head coach at Big Impressive University has bigger fish to fry.

Furthermore, are coaches at less popular sports (women’s Lacrosse, anyone?) expected to teach in order to pull their weight, as it were? (Meaning that a head football coach is directly involved in a program that brings in millions of dollars to the school, whereas the women’s Lacrosse coach: not so much).

At the small D-I university I work for: a handful of coaches teach phys-ed classes related to their sports, but the basketball and hockey coaches don’t. They teach at summer camps for their respective sports, but that’s about it. Can’t be much help beyond that, I’m afraid.

As for big-name coaches, though–Bobby Knight taught phys-ed classes when he was at Indiana, and I believe Joe Paterno also taught for a while at Penn State, though not by the time I went there in 1989. (Another interesting trivia bit about JoePa: of all the employees at the Penn State University system, he has worked there the longest.)

I guess you missed this story.

Historically, it was the case. Knute Rockne spent his entire coaching career at Notre Dame doubling as a chemistry professor.

At the D-1 school I played basketball at, the head coach didn’t teach any classes. However, we did have an assistant coach that taught basketball.

I covered athletics for the student newspaper at a midmajor D-I school. Out of 20+ sports, I believe the women’s basketball coach and the wrestling coach were the only head coaches to teach a class (the former taught a Women’s Studies class about women in athletics once every other semester; the latter a class in sports medicine every semester, an area in which he was an accredited expert).

None of the other head coaches taught class; most didn’t have the time, between recruiting, fundraising, media relations, coaching, etc. Several of their assistants taught classes, however, typically PE classes in their respective sports. My understanding is that this is typical for most D-I institutions.

If I may HeyHomie, I’d like to take this on a related hijack and ask a related question:

For those that don’t teach classes, do they hold an academic rank of “Professor” or “Assistant (or Associate) Professor,” or are they simply specialized employees? IOW, could Coach Smith also be properly called “Professor Smith?”

Zev Steinhardt

What were his tests like?

Based on your location I thought I would make a little Jim Harrick, Jr. joke. :smiley:

I was looking through the bios of the coaches at UCLA and I don’t believe any of them teach any classes at UCLA. There are no physical education classes at UCLA.

The big sports have coaches who are just fulltime for that sport, such as football and basketball (both men’s and women’s).

The women’s gymnastics coach actually has a background as a dance teacher and still works a freelance choreographer. (Don’t scoff, her team has won back to back NCAA championships and five overall).

The longtime men’s volleyball coach, Al Scates (he’s been on the job for 42 years) used to be a junior high school teacher in his spare time, but he just coaches volleyball now.

Golf coaches at big school usually are teaching pros at country clubs as well.

UCLA’s women soccer coach was Joy Fawcett for a while, but she stepped down to concentrate on playing for the national team and having children.

No. Or at least, not usually.

Slight hijack: I have always assumed that coaches at public high schools are required to teach. Is this true?

In the public high school that I went to, the varsity football coach taught “hygiene” or something silly, usually to the remedial students.

Mullinator played at a school that required reading and writing. And adding.

Coach K is an Executive-in-Residence at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in the Center of Leadership and Ethics (COLE). It mostly pertains to fundraising right now, but after this basketball season he will be teaching there in the off-season.


Even more of a hijack, but at my private high school, all of the coaches were teachers, some of them gym teachers, but some of them english teachers and that kinda stuff.

Generally true I think…in terms of the time involved in coaching (1-2 hours before/3 hours after school plus games for three month stretches), it is probably easiest to hire someone who already works those hours. I don’t think most public school districts have the money to waste on a “full-time” coach.

Same at my (public) high school in suburban New Orleans. Many of the school’s coaches were physical education teachers, but quite a few taught other subjects (most notably geometry, history, and English).

Theory and Practice of Counting to One Hundred By Twos - 5 credits

Intermediate Dribbling - 3 credits Lab - 1 credit

Stalking The Wild Cheerleader - Field Work Required - 3 credits, may be repeated for credit

Sports Ethics - Seminar - .5 credits, may be challenged if you are a starter.

I’m pretty sure it was at least a statewide requirement that the coaches teach classes when I was in high school. I had a football coach for driver’s ed.

Other coaches were teachers first - the honors chemistry teacher coached girls’ tennis, but it’s not like they hired him to coach tennis and then found out that hey, let’s give him an AP Chem class. His team did quite well, however, as I recall.

Most public schools require that the head coach have a teaching credential.

Private schools don’t have such a requirement and many of the high school football powerhouses in California just hire a football coach who doesn’t do anything else.

Sports Illustrated has an excellent feature this week on De La Salle High in Concord, CA, which has the nation’s longest winning streak (ever) of 151 games. It’s head football coach, Bob Ladoceur is a religion teacher at the school and doesn’t come across as real “win at all costs” guy at all. It was a fascinating piece worth seeking out.

Minnesota and Michigan do not require that high school coaches be teachers. That said, most coaches are teachers, since like any other school job, it’s posted for people who are current employees before it’s posted for the general public.

I was head alpine ski coach for a public high school in Minnesota, and I’m not a teacher. I am, however, a Minnesota certified coach (it was my minor in college).

Heh, I didn’t even think about that. UncleBill was right, I went to the school that required a tad more work and effort than UGA. Plus, our basketball conference is a tad bit better than the low-rent SEC.