Skip to main content
Publish date:

"Our goal is to win games, but so many times it feels like there are so many other things to do."

high school football coach

Credit: New York Times

Here's a quote from Robinson (Va.) High School head coach Mark Bendorf that will have many of his colleagues nodding their heads and silently raising their fists in solidarity:

“The job description and role has expanded tremendously. It’s a year-round job. Right off the bat you have to split it up. There is the coaching part — playbooks, strategies and implementing that. Then there is the part overseeing your players, managing the team. Then there is meshing with booster clubs and other sports in the school and college recruiters. The offseason is a whole different animal.

“I hope this trend reverses itself. I can’t think of a more rewarding challenge or career path. But they need to look at how they treat things. The days of the 1970s when coaches rolled in a couple days before the start of practice and got equipment out and started practice are long gone.”

The quote came from a piece on the state of high school football coaching from the Washington Post. It's clearly written for those outside the game, at one point stopping down to explain that coaches film their own games to study and exchange with others, but it's a nice look at how the other side sees the game.

Westfield (Va.) head coach Kyle Sanders: “When you’re the head man, the amount of kids you’re meeting with, the parents you’re talking to and administrators contacting you all increase. I told all the kids [on the school’s varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams] I wanted to meet with them in the offseason. You don’t realize, if you sit down with each kid and meet for just 20 minutes, how overwhelming that is if you have 200 kids in the program.”

“Wear and tear on your health is a big concern, too. It’s easy to go home to comfort food and not get a lot of sleep. It can be a lot of stress. I tell everybody it’s self-inflicted. It’s not like I’m paying any bills with this job. I must love it. Otherwise why else would I be doing this?”

Oakton (Va.) head coach Jason Rowley: “Our ultimate goal is to win games, but so many times it does feel that there are so many other things to do."

Read the full piece here.