Getting the Job

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Feb 7, 2014
573
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This is the time of year where most high schools (Iowa excluded) are posting and filling softball vacancies.

If you're an Athletic Director what is it that you want to hear from a prospective coach... or are you just unveiling your resume of past success? I'd love to hear from those of you who have had the opportunity first hand ( @Cannonball, @IndyHScoach, @tim_s ).
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
4,951
113
This is the time of year where most high schools (Iowa excluded) are posting and filling softball vacancies.

If you're an Athletic Director what is it that you want to hear from a prospective coach... or are you just unveiling your resume of past success? I'd love to hear from those of you who have had the opportunity first hand ( @Cannonball, @IndyHScoach, @tim_s ).
None of my situations have been normal. At my first HS, I student taught there. I volunteered in both basketball and baseball and gained a reputation for how hard I worked. In baseball, the hitting was turned over to me right away. We won hundreds of games in both sports. I gained a reputation as being extremely competitive and practiced fundamentals. At the second school, I was hired due to some circumstances and the superintendent knew me. When I told him I wanted to come to his district, he fired coaches etc., and created a teaching position for me by moving other teachers around. I guess that was a combination of who I knew and my resume.

For the last HC softball job I had, I didn't intend to coach. The HC at that school had a family emergency. I was called and asked to take the position as an interim coach. That was based upon my resume but the AD had seen my dd play and knew a lot about her.

My advice is this. Make sure that you have references that carry some weight. If you have done TB coaching, make sure that the AD knows that and if any of the players played for you, notify those parents to put in a good word. For me, only the second job was tied to who I knew wrt coaching.

Good luck.
 
May 27, 2013
2,497
113
My dh took an asst baseball coach position this past season at our local MS. He was very active as a Little League and Babe Ruth League coach, as well as a travel ball coach for ages 13-16U. At the end of the season they offered him a HC position.

I think just being able to show that you have experience with coaching youth sports (especially in the age group you are looking to coach) helps tremendously. Also, having a few “extras” on your resume that I think can help are CPR/First Aid/AED training.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,824
113
Chicago
When hiring high school head coach positions, I want to find out if the candidates understand and have a plan for our specific school. We're a small K-12 school without a rich sports history. We struggle to retain our 8th graders, and sports/the high school experience is part of the reason why.

For a first interview, I ask very few questions about Xs and Os. For one thing, I think that's secondary to the bigger picture stuff ("How will you recruit our students to play your sport?" "What strategies do you have to get them to return next year?"). But also, I'm not an expert in every sport. I know some of the ones we have. I know almost nothing about the others. So for me it's much more about being a fit at our school and for our students.

For softball specifically, I have hired outside coaches as assistants/for our younger teams, but it was always someone I already knew. The interviews were informal, a discussion of my vision for the program. This year I will be looking for some new softball coaches, so I'm reevaluating how I want to structure that interview. That will be different because I won't just be interviewing as AD, but also as the head coach of the varsity team/leader of the entire softball program (we currently have 5 teams from 10u through varsity, and I'm considering expanding further). For those interviews, I am going to want candidates to show me what they know, how they teach it, etc. I'll want sample practice plans. I'll also make sure they're willing and able to work within the structure of our program. That means some big stuff, like not teaching HE to pitchers, down to smaller things, like being willing to incorporate our Infield/Outfield Everydays into their practices.
 
May 27, 2013
2,497
113
When hiring high school head coach positions, I want to find out if the candidates understand and have a plan for our specific school. We're a small K-12 school without a rich sports history. We struggle to retain our 8th graders, and sports/the high school experience is part of the reason why.

For a first interview, I ask very few questions about Xs and Os. For one thing, I think that's secondary to the bigger picture stuff ("How will you recruit our students to play your sport?" "What strategies do you have to get them to return next year?"). But also, I'm not an expert in every sport. I know some of the ones we have. I know almost nothing about the others. So for me it's much more about being a fit at our school and for our students.

For softball specifically, I have hired outside coaches as assistants/for our younger teams, but it was always someone I already knew. The interviews were informal, a discussion of my vision for the program. This year I will be looking for some new softball coaches, so I'm reevaluating how I want to structure that interview. That will be different because I won't just be interviewing as AD, but also as the head coach of the varsity team/leader of the entire softball program (we currently have 5 teams from 10u through varsity, and I'm considering expanding further). For those interviews, I am going to want candidates to show me what they know, how they teach it, etc. I'll want sample practice plans. I'll also make sure they're willing and able to work within the structure of our program. That means some big stuff, like not teaching HE to pitchers, down to smaller things, like being willing to incorporate our Infield/Outfield Everydays into their practices.
Wow - your process is pretty impressive! If our school district followed what you require of coaching candidates barely any of the teachers (they typically get the HC roles) and very few outside candidates would get the coaching positions!
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,824
113
Chicago
Wow - your process is pretty impressive! If our school district followed what you require of coaching candidates barely any of the teachers (they typically get the HC roles) and very few outside candidates would get the coaching positions!

I have no requirement to hire teachers, though our issue is that most teachers at our school have no interest in coaching. I'd love to have more staff members involved.

I pretty much have full autonomy to interview/hire. My principal does meet with my chosen candidate before anything is official (and of course background checks), but unless there is some kind of red flag he wouldn't get in the way.

Our boys and girls basketball coaches are both outside hires, but both are now also staff members as my principal ended up hiring them to fill positions after we brought them on board to coach.
 
May 27, 2013
2,497
113
I have no requirement to hire teachers, though our issue is that most teachers at our school have no interest in coaching. I'd love to have more staff members involved.

I pretty much have full autonomy to interview/hire. My principal does meet with my chosen candidate before anything is official (and of course background checks), but unless there is some kind of red flag he wouldn't get in the way.

Our boys and girls basketball coaches are both outside hires, but both are now also staff members as my principal ended up hiring them to fill positions after we brought them on board to coach.
Does your school board have to vote on the potential hires? Ours does. They get final approval.
 
Feb 19, 2024
11
3
Kansas
When hiring high school head coach positions, I want to find out if the candidates understand and have a plan for our specific school. We're a small K-12 school without a rich sports history. We struggle to retain our 8th graders, and sports/the high school experience is part of the reason why.

For a first interview, I ask very few questions about Xs and Os. For one thing, I think that's secondary to the bigger picture stuff ("How will you recruit our students to play your sport?" "What strategies do you have to get them to return next year?"). But also, I'm not an expert in every sport. I know some of the ones we have. I know almost nothing about the others. So for me it's much more about being a fit at our school and for our students.

For softball specifically, I have hired outside coaches as assistants/for our younger teams, but it was always someone I already knew. The interviews were informal, a discussion of my vision for the program. This year I will be looking for some new softball coaches, so I'm reevaluating how I want to structure that interview. That will be different because I won't just be interviewing as AD, but also as the head coach of the varsity team/leader of the entire softball program (we currently have 5 teams from 10u through varsity, and I'm considering expanding further). For those interviews, I am going to want candidates to show me what they know, how they teach it, etc. I'll want sample practice plans. I'll also make sure they're willing and able to work within the structure of our program. That means some big stuff, like not teaching HE to pitchers, down to smaller things, like being willing to incorporate our Infield/Outfield Everydays into their practices.
So does your school run the youth programs as well? I wish the kids in our small community did a better job of all playing together as they grow up but it's pretty rare. Our community has a baseball/softball program but it's very non-competitive. All of the good players are on various "travel" teams. I've kept my group of girls together through their 2nd grade years and we have another group that's entering 1st grade now but outside of that the other grades are pretty split up. Now our high school programs are all pretty good and we are always in the running for state titles in volleyball, basketball, softball, etc.
 

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