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What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$

Posted: 12/12/2012 10:23 AM

What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


In looking at all the job postings I started to wonder how much these coaches make in AZ.   My understanding by looking at different school district websites is that their Supplemental income through coaching is about $4,000 for what I gues is close to 1500 hours in a calendar year dedicated to their job.   Do they make additional income through other venues related to football like advertisement & camps?

I undestand the love of the game, but I'm assuming many coaches have families and children and not having the coaches bug in my blood looking from the outside it seems like quite a sacrifice for the $4,000 they get.  I just assumed it was much more than that.

Last edited 12/12/2012 10:34 AM by gilbertswami

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Posted: 12/12/2012 11:02 AM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


For any coach at the high school level, it is the love of the game.  It's not about the money.  Because what coaches get for the time they put it, can be classified as sweat shop wages, yet those coaches never complain one bit.  And for the numerous assistant coaches out there, the financial compensation is exponentially less than that of a head coach and they are there as much as the head coach.  There is no way a head or assistant coach in AZ can make a living coaching football (maybe a private school can hire a coach without him being a teacher and make a living, but I doubt it.)  And then you factor in all the drama a coach has to deal with.  Administration, parents, the struggles of high schoolers and their fragile egos, inept athletic associations (AIA), etc., what person in their right mind would want to add all of to their regular life???  A very special person, that cares about his team, players and the game.  These men are dedicated to teaching the great game that football is, because it parallels life.  It's not a financially gratifying position, but the emotional and self gratification one gets is immeasurable.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:19 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


there's a lot of volunteer coaches too and the get paid zero.

I know they don't have to put up with near as much as a HC, but still there's many volunteer coaches that do endless work.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 5:23 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 



gilbertswami wrote: In looking at all the job postings I started to wonder how much these coaches make in AZ.   My understanding by looking at different school district websites is that their Supplemental income through coaching is about $4,000 for what I gues is close to 1500 hours in a calendar year dedicated to their job.   Do they make additional income through other venues related to football like advertisement & camps?

I undestand the love of the game, but I'm assuming many coaches have families and children and not having the coaches bug in my blood looking from the outside it seems like quite a sacrifice for the $4,000 they get.  I just assumed it was much more than that.




eek Holy smokes that's it?!!!!!!
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Posted: 12/12/2012 6:15 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 



alpichette32 wrote: For any coach at the high school level, it is the love of the game.  It's not about the money.  Because what coaches get for the time they put it, can be classified as sweat shop wages, yet those coaches never complain one bit.  And for the numerous assistant coaches out there, the financial compensation is exponentially less than that of a head coach and they are there as much as the head coach.  There is no way a head or assistant coach in AZ can make a living coaching football (maybe a private school can hire a coach without him being a teacher and make a living, but I doubt it.)  And then you factor in all the drama a coach has to deal with.  Administration, parents, the struggles of high schoolers and their fragile egos, inept athletic associations (AIA), etc., what person in their right mind would want to add all of to their regular life???  A very special person, that cares about his team, players and the game.  These men are dedicated to teaching the great game that football is, because it parallels life.  It's not a financially gratifying position, but the emotional and self gratification one gets is immeasurable.

I don't think it can be said any better than this.
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Posted: 12/13/2012 6:24 AM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


Great 'question' ... gives cause for one to look at their motivation and drive. With that being stated, here's my two cents: The existance of coaches, especially FOOTBALL coaches, in todays society is neccessary. The need for discipline, work ethic, and 'reality' is imperative. The world of education has helped to create a society that looks for short cuts and excuses. On the gridiron, there is no place for "accomodations", short cuts, 504 plans, etc. There is adversity, pressure, challenge, and teamwork. Many of these attributes have been lessened, diminished, or frowned upon these days. The sport of football provides the opportunity to learn to work within such things. In order for that to occur, a program must be facilitated by a COACH. For me, I relish the opportunity to be a part of such an experience. Its not always easy. Thats the point. The sport of football serves as a way to impart discipline, work ethic, and dedication. The 'reward' for one's hard work and dedication is not immediately experienced. Too many kids today seek instant gratification. Football helps teach that rewards are earned, and not right away. Again, such things are facilitated by a program and a COACH (and staff). In addition, such attributes as football knowledge, building relationsips occur as well. Understand, within any group there are those that understand the charge and flourish (not based on 'wins') and those that dont "get it". Every entity has a few 'bad apples'. But for the most part, those that coach football understand that it is a vocation just as much as a profession. Finally, there is also that aspect of the job that is pretty cool ... Friday nights. I have friends that make a very good living ($$$), but I would wager that they would love to be on the sidelines on Friday nights....
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Posted: 12/13/2012 7:35 AM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 



gilbertswami wrote: In looking at all the job postings I started to wonder how much these coaches make in AZ.   My understanding by looking at different school district websites is that their Supplemental income through coaching is about $4,000 for what I gues is close to 1500 hours in a calendar year dedicated to their job.   Do they make additional income through other venues related to football like advertisement & camps?

I undestand the love of the game, but I'm assuming many coaches have families and children and not having the coaches bug in my blood looking from the outside it seems like quite a sacrifice for the $4,000 they get.  I just assumed it was much more than that.
I think the coaching pay, a lot of times, is based on the area of the country you are living in because many school districts in the so called football states pay their coaches and coaching staffs better due to the fact that high school football (or football in general-all levels) are verey important to the school and the community.  I coached in Arizona for 15 seasons and made in the vicinity of what you posted.  I think most high school coaches in Arizona will probably make between the $4,000. supplimental you posted and roughly $7,000. at the top end.

I moved back home several years ago and have worked at three different school since returning.  I am now located in a so called "football state" and have been payed a supplimental contract between $10,000. and $12,500. to coach football at all three locations.  You still can't pay the bills by just coaching football, so teaching is still a necessity.  However, in the states, communities and schools where people relish the sport of football and understand the positive affect the football program can have on the students, the school itself and the people of the community, the districts do tend to pay their coaches better.

There are a lot of good posts on this topic about coaches and the things they must do and deal with to be successful.  But, when it comes right down to it, it is still the kids that we are serving and they will always be the most important piece of the puzzle when you are looking at the good football programs.  I think you will often hear the rhetoric "we are here for kids" from many people in education, because that is what they are supposed to say.  But, when a coach says it, I truly believe they absolutely mean it based on the many posts on here describing coaches. 

I truly think that the better you pay coaches, the better product and education the kids will receive.  Don't get me wrong, there have been thousands of coaches who have made a huge and positive impact on many kids over the years for the salary that you posted.  However, I believe that if you pay the coach better and actually show appreciation for what they do, the level of work and skill set they bring to the table, you will get an even better product over time.  Just my IMHO though.

Last edited 12/13/2012 7:47 AM by wonut

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Posted: 12/13/2012 8:01 AM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


The bigger schools in Texas allow the head coach to "coach only".  Some of them are paid $100,000+.

It's been said the HC has a bigger office than the principal.



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Posted: 12/13/2012 1:19 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 



coachmoose wrote:
Great 'question' ... gives cause for one to look at their motivation and drive. With that being stated, here's my two cents: The existance of coaches, especially FOOTBALL coaches, in todays society is neccessary. The need for discipline, work ethic, and 'reality' is imperative.
The vast majority of administrators don't care about this, unfortunately. When the day has come that giving out Up Downs for kids dropping f-bombs and n-bombs causes coaches to not be brought back the next season, you see clearly where society is trending.
Follow me on Twitter @mister_mvp for as much news on ASU, AZ Cardinals, and local HS football as you can handle.
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Posted: 12/14/2012 5:21 PM

RE: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


Knowing a decent number of coaches, I think it goes beyond just wanting to help kids. You can help kids by running the Toys for Tots drive or by being a nurse. It is an extremely competitive business and in order to be good at it, you have to have a real confidence and swagger to you to get kids to follow you. I think coaches are driven by a competitive instinct and by a desire to lead. Who the hell wants to be a Marine officer? They make similar crappy wages, work even longer hours, and get shot at. But they lead men and it is just part of their inner makeup. Those two things are not all that dissimilar. And the mindset of the kind of people that are drawn to both jobs is pretty close to the same.

Most coaches would do it for free because the wages are so negligible that they may as well be doing it for free anyway. If you want to make a good living, teaching has never been the way to do it and coaching is less lucrative than teaching. As a teacher, a second job at Circle K pays far more than coaching. I have a buddy that teaches, coaches two varsity sports, and sells beer at the Coyotes and Cardinals games. He makes more hawking beer at the Cards games on his 10 Sundays per year plus the Fiesta Bowl than he does from his stipends at both coaching gigs. If I were his financial adviser telling him how to put money aside in his 401k, I would tell him to quit coaching. But as his friend, if he didn't coach, he would not be the same person.
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Posted: 12/14/2012 7:49 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 



machodiablo wrote: The bigger schools in Texas allow the head coach to "coach only".  Some of them are paid $100,000+.

It's been said the HC has a bigger office than the principal.

Not completely true, most of the time the head coach is also the athletic director. I only knew of 2 head coaches here making over 100k (Todd Dodge Southlake Carroll, Steve Lineweaver Euless Trinity) But I do think a lot of Head Coaches here make $80k+ also everybody on the coaching staff has to be a teacher.

What is it like in AZ do the Head coaches also teach? What are the teacher salaries out there like in the 5a/4a districts?
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Posted: 12/18/2012 10:33 AM

RE: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


In Saguaro, Peoria, Phoenix Union, and Deer Valley school districts all coaches being paid without a title (like head coach) and not considering years of service (which most of these districts got rid of) pay their coaches around $4000 BEFORE taxes. Since this money is not salary, its considered over time/bonus money. That means they get taxed easily 40% percent if not closer to 50%. So their take home is barely over $2000. Again this for an assumed “average” of 1500 hours of work. I know personally that a competitive football program with Spring Ball, Post Season, Summer passing League, Strength training, films, and so much more easily doubles (maybe even triples) that amount of time. Head coaches sometimes get a thousand more. Districts use to pay out additional for long term coaches (coached for many consecutive years) but between “budget cuts” and feeding their fatass administrators pockets, that’s doesn’t exist anymore from my knowledge. Also, in the DV, Saguaro, and Peoria schools coaches would get little bonus’s for each playoff level they got to. Ok- cool, at least there is a little incentive other than helping young people to grow as disciplined, caring, and organized leaders. But those districts took those away a long time ago. So no coaching bonus but district/school administrators still get to getaway to nice resorts and cabins for “team builders” and “fiscal evaluations” and get free lunches (and not what the kids eat!).



This said is for all coaches in all sports. I’m not saying anything about the “sport”, but Cheer coaches have to coach 2 seasons (yes they get paid for each which they deserve) but work year around (12 months a year, not just a school year). Ask any man/women whose daughter competed in Cheer or is a Cheer coach. They work their butts off year around and have to raise more money for a group of 12-24 girls then an entire 60 man football team needs for a “normal” season.



No love for any coaches for any sports- not by school districts, government, or the AIA. Many coaches don’t even make any money in the end with all the driving, helping their players and fellow coaches out from their own pockets. And with that being said that’s not even considering all that volunteer coaches put in.



Now private schools are another story. Certain private schools pay their coaches (who do not teach any academic classes other than ones related to their sport) more money (for 9 months of work) than a master’s degree/30+ year coach/teacher at a public school. Correct, that’s private school and that’s what makes them special. Hope all those state championships are making those “superior” schools worth the tuition and sheltered care. Would hate to wonder how all that works after $500,000.00 of coaching salaries and benefits spent with no State Championship at the end.



We’ll, those poor public school kids will never get a championship, a D1 scholarship, or an Academic scholarship. Wait- my bad, 96% percent of the scholar shipped student athletes from AZ last year (men’s/women’s and athletics/academic) came from public schools.



The men and women that coach in PUBLIC schools are unsung heroes, especially today.

Thank you to those of you who coach that read this from me and my family. My kids are the men and women they are today because of you.

Special thanks for those of you who continue and did it the right way- never compromising your ethics, never cutting corners to win, always coaching your own kids, never compromising your players morality or health to win, and most importantly challenging them to be better men and women first; not better athletes- Thank you
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Posted: 12/18/2012 10:59 AM

RE: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 



Villain79 wrote:
Now private schools are another story. Certain private schools pay their coaches (who do not teach any academic classes other than ones related to their sport) more money (for 9 months of work) than a master’s degree/30+ year coach/teacher at a public school. Correct, that’s private school and that’s what makes them special. Hope all those state championships are making those “superior” schools worth the tuition and sheltered care. Would hate to wonder how all that works after $500,000.00 of coaching salaries and benefits spent with no State Championship at the end. 

so enlighten us on which private school/schools are paying coaching salaries of $500,000???    The coaching salaries i've seen in my last decade at private schools hasn't been any more (and in some cases less than) that of the public schools.
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Posted: 12/18/2012 11:29 AM

RE: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


what said was considering the head coach, 8 assistant coaches (not teachers) for the programs with benefits. If you still can’t figure it out, don’t worry about it. I will say at least these schools, with how small they actually are in student body size, compete with big dogs. There are several private schools with similar size in student body that compete 2-3 divisions down and just enjoy being superior with their monopoly of success playing public schools of the SAME attendance. But that’s ok because like you were poking at, they don’t make the Much more than their public school counterparts.

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Posted: 12/18/2012 7:37 PM

RE: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


OH that's right..  every private school in the state recruits it's players and spread themselves accross all the divisions so they can dominate......  I almost forgot.
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Posted: 02/27/2013 1:59 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


I couldnt say it better than that! Amen. WELL SAID!cool
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Posted: 02/27/2013 2:00 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


I couldnt say it better than that! Amen. WELL SAID!cool
coachmoose wrote:
Great 'question' ... gives cause for one to look at their motivation and drive. With that being stated, here's my two cents: The existance of coaches, especially FOOTBALL coaches, in todays society is neccessary. The need for discipline, work ethic, and 'reality' is imperative. The world of education has helped to create a society that looks for short cuts and excuses. On the gridiron, there is no place for "accomodations", short cuts, 504 plans, etc. There is adversity, pressure, challenge, and teamwork. Many of these attributes have been lessened, diminished, or frowned upon these days. The sport of football provides the opportunity to learn to work within such things. In order for that to occur, a program must be facilitated by a COACH. For me, I relish the opportunity to be a part of such an experience. Its not always easy. Thats the point. The sport of football serves as a way to impart discipline, work ethic, and dedication. The 'reward' for one's hard work and dedication is not immediately experienced. Too many kids today seek instant gratification. Football helps teach that rewards are earned, and not right away. Again, such things are facilitated by a program and a COACH (and staff). In addition, such attributes as football knowledge, building relationsips occur as well. Understand, within any group there are those that understand the charge and flourish (not based on 'wins') and those that dont "get it". Every entity has a few 'bad apples'. But for the most part, those that coach football understand that it is a vocation just as much as a profession. Finally, there is also that aspect of the job that is pretty cool ... Friday nights. I have friends that make a very good living ($$$), but I would wager that they would love to be on the sidelines on Friday nights....
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Posted: 02/27/2013 4:42 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


A lot of great points made so far, but I think the biggest reason why coaches do it is how fulfilling it is in comparison to teaching. Teaching is an extremely noble profession but at the end of the day there are certain personal relationships that can never be cultivated in the classroom. As a teacher you're restricted to the 50 minutes of the day that you have those students, sometimes for only a year. As a Head Coach you're typically involved with kids in your program for 3-4 years and have more of an opportunity to make an impact. Ideally, by the time kids graduate after being in the program for 4 years you've impacted their lives in a significantly positive way.

All that being said the salary issue I think is more of an issue of educational funding than coaching. AZ pays teachers horribly in comparison to other states. In addition, the older population of AZ doesn't prioritize education because they don't have children in school, or moved to AZ to retire. Therefore the lowest amount of taxes possible is more of a priority which is why things like the 1 cent tax get voted down over and over. School districts ultimately write the checks, and as long as AZ is one of the most poorly funded states when it comes to education, you'll never see teachers/coaches making decent money for the work they put in.
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Posted: 02/27/2013 4:58 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 



JAKEandELWOOD wrote:  In addition, the older population of AZ doesn't prioritize education because they don't have children in school, or moved to AZ to retire. Therefore the lowest amount of taxes possible is more of a priority which is why things like the 1 cent tax get voted down over and over. 

I think you have a point.

But many people vote against these tax increases because they dont trust that the school districts will allocate this money appropriately.  

And in many cases, I think the people that vote against the tax increase have a good point.
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Posted: 02/27/2013 5:17 PM

Re: What drives an AZ head football coach if its not $$ 


I don't necessarily disagree with that notion Bob. It's just a reality of the situation. A school district obviously can't really afford to pay 10k a year to head coaches if they can't afford to pay teachers 40K.
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