A college football coach, particularly the head coach, is a general. He conceives the whole game plan that will lead his team to victory. The team's success as well as his will depend on his ability to make decisions and execute them on the practice field and during the pressure-filled moments of the game.
- Know the basic requirements to become a college football coach. If you look up job postings for college football coach, you'll see that the position usually requires a Bachelor degree. Some colleges even prefer a Master degree. This is because teaching tasks can also be assigned to a coach. Physical education is naturally the frequently designated subject, so you should have the proper certificates or licenses and other qualifications to teach this course. Just as with any other job, previous years of related work experience is also necessary. It goes without saying that you should be well-versed in the NCAA rules and regulations.
- Have the ability to spot potential and develop it. College football coaches are a combination of talent scouts and mentors. They're expected by the school administration to develop the team and that entails being able to recruit the right students. The first thing a football coach should do is pinpoint which students have the right athletic ability for the game. The next step is to put together a training program that will hone such abilities. A coach therefore should not only have an in-depth knowledge of drilling techniques but should also have the intuition to perceive talent. Professional football careers often begin in college and the college football coach plays a significant role in these formative years.
- Know the other aspects of the job. Building a game plan portfolio, making and executing training programs, managing the coaching staff and football team -- these are the central tasks of a head coach. But there are other responsibilities involved that may not be directly related to coaching football. Head coaches are often the public face that represents a college team. You could be occasionally tasked to do some public-speaking, mostly to elicit school and community support for the team and promote its image. There are also fiscal responsibilities. Besides managing the football team's allocated budget, you could be asked to help out in some fundraising or other income-generating projects.
- Start building your career early. College football coaches usually start out as graduate assistants who volunteer themselves to the athletic department's coaching staff. You'll probably be assigned menial tasks at first but this is to be expected in any apprenticeship. The important thing is to get into the coaching circle early on, even if it's just a lowly position. Once inside, you can take advantage of the opportunities that may arise. Pick the head coach's brain every chance you get. Establish good relations with other members of the coaching staff. Start building a comprehensive and pragmatic understanding of the game. If you demonstrate a lot of spirit and perform well, you'll eventually be given more important responsibilities. A head coach's letter of recommendation or referral can certainly increase your chances later on.
Coaching a college football team is obviously not an easy job. Passion for the game will serve as your inspiration. Solid knowledge and skills will get you to the top spot.