Why is there so much turn over for HS Football Head Coaches in Kentucky?

  1. #1
    ChiefSmoke's Avatar
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    Why is there so much turn over for HS Football Head Coaches in Kentucky?

    My thoughts:

    A tough job continues to get tougher.

    1-Football is a numbers game. Every time a new sport/activity is added, inside or outside of school, it takes away from numbers. There is a significant burden on HS Football coaches to make their game attractive to kids. Back in the old days, many kids played because there was less to do, it was expected/standard for most guys to play, and football practice could be an escape from working on the farm.... not as many guys looking to escape the Xbox or PS4.

    2-The emphasis on test scores has de-emphasized everything that does not DIRECTLY impact test scores. Athletics are not valued as they were in the past. Don't blame the superintendents/principals. They are doing what they were hired to do. They are hired hands and the reality is they have to produce in regards to test scores. There are still some out there that value athletics. At Mason and at Mercer, my bosses have valued athletics.

    3-It is getting tougher to get good assistants in the building. Since athletics are not valued as much in the past, hiring coaches is not as big of a priority. And, when you do get a good teacher/coach hired in the building, the teaching demands are substantially more than they were 30 years ago. It takes a tremendous amount of time to be a good assistant coach, teacher, husband, and father. When a guy has to give up one of those four, it is going to be coaching. There is a growing shortage of teacher/football coaches in the state. Having assistants in the building is crucial to building relationships with kids and the faculty. The assistants help recruit kids to the program. And, usually if a guy can handle a classroom of 30 kids all day or manage the boatload of paperwork the special ed guys are doing, he is a pretty good coach. AND... it takes more than ONE good assistant coach to have a quality football staff. At Mason we had 7 of us in the buildings at one time. At Mercer, we have 8 of us in the school buildings. Even though I am the random drug testing coordinator, my office is at the HS so that I can be in the hallways and be around the kids as much as possible.

    4- Finances. Gate receipts & attendance overall do not seem to be what they used to be.... but I have no hard data to back that up. But, I know our gates at Mason declined over the years, even when we were 12-0, and our gates at Mercer, other than the Bowl, were not very good. Red book regulations have made it tougher to get things done if you do have some money and tougher to reward your coaches with attending the state finals or a clinic. Part of this goes to the de-emphasis of athletics. The financial piece makes the program more dependent on the booster club & parents, creating a very unhealthy relationship. When the football program depends on parents and fundraising to survive, parents can feel entitled to share their thoughts on how a program is run, including playing time. Booster Clubs can be a huge asset. But, depending on the Boosters for necessities and basics sets up an unhealthy relationship. Our parents at Mercer have been exceptionally supportive/cooperative, but we are too dependent on them financially and we have to fix that. At Mason, our parents were also very good & helped with fundraising but we were not as dependent on them as we are at Mercer.

    I don't have easy solutions to the above. I think it comes down to what a community / school prioritize AND also what are the available resources. Some schools/communities value athletics, but the money and resources just are not there to address what is listed above. Resources are poured into test scores.

    If a place is 2 for 2 .... commitment to football/athletics and the resources to get it done.... you probably have a pretty good program and a coach that has stayed there for an extended period. If you only have 1 out of 2, or worse, zero for 2, it gets very tough to consistently have a strong football program.

    Finally, this is why I get so aggravated over the 7 on 7 and summer football arguments. I want to get my guys ready for the season, especially in regards to acclimated to the heat. But, in my opinion, the things listed above are why football has struggled in our state. Not how many times we can do 7 on 7.

    What are your thoughts?
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  2. #2

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    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I will say I think a lot of it is most schools in our state still have the same coaching supplements (the money for that asst spot) that it was 30 years ago. So asst coaches are making about 5cents an hour. IT IS A JOKE!!!!! I will have to disagree with you that the supers and prin are doing a pretty good job. We have a bunch of supers and prin in our state that never coached or played a sport so they don't value it. Sorry if I hurt some feelings here but this is my take on things. You have people in charge that the only thing they have been in charge of was a classroom. They cant manage people, they cant fire up a teaching staff. I just think our leadership in our schools is not very good.

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    Also the turnover in coaches IMO is cause a lot of them are getting fired by supers and prin who don't know what a coach is or should be. How do you fire a guy in public school football that has 4 out of 6 very good years and then losses a lot of starters and the next year gets beat with a bunch of young kids and then gets fired. ITS PUBLIC SCHOOL FOOTBALL YOU WILL HAVE BAD YEARS!!!!! That is unless you do what some do and go and get kids from other peoples programs!

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    All are great pints and I agree with them. Bottom line most administrations don't care! The ones that do continue to have success and it shows.

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    I believe the biggest aspect to administrative positions that hurt athletics is that these are stepping stone positions that are not rooted in the community. Administrations typically are not from the communities they serve and will be off to the next position in the latter when their contract is up. They don't have long term interest in the community they serve, partly because it changes every 5 years.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefSmoke View Post
    My thoughts:

    A tough job continues to get tougher.

    1-Football is a numbers game. Every time a new sport/activity is added, inside or outside of school, it takes away from numbers. There is a significant burden on HS Football coaches to make their game attractive to kids. Back in the old days, many kids played because there was less to do, it was expected/standard for most guys to play, and football practice could be an escape from working on the farm.... not as many guys looking to escape the Xbox or PS4.

    2-The emphasis on test scores has de-emphasized everything that does not DIRECTLY impact test scores. Athletics are not valued as they were in the past. Don't blame the superintendents/principals. They are doing what they were hired to do. They are hired hands and the reality is they have to produce in regards to test scores. There are still some out there that value athletics. At Mason and at Mercer, my bosses have valued athletics.

    3-It is getting tougher to get good assistants in the building. Since athletics are not valued as much in the past, hiring coaches is not as big of a priority. And, when you do get a good teacher/coach hired in the building, the teaching demands are substantially more than they were 30 years ago. It takes a tremendous amount of time to be a good assistant coach, teacher, husband, and father. When a guy has to give up one of those four, it is going to be coaching. There is a growing shortage of teacher/football coaches in the state. Having assistants in the building is crucial to building relationships with kids and the faculty. The assistants help recruit kids to the program. And, usually if a guy can handle a classroom of 30 kids all day or manage the boatload of paperwork the special ed guys are doing, he is a pretty good coach. AND... it takes more than ONE good assistant coach to have a quality football staff. At Mason we had 7 of us in the buildings at one time. At Mercer, we have 8 of us in the school buildings. Even though I am the random drug testing coordinator, my office is at the HS so that I can be in the hallways and be around the kids as much as possible.

    4- Finances. Gate receipts & attendance overall do not seem to be what they used to be.... but I have no hard data to back that up. But, I know our gates at Mason declined over the years, even when we were 12-0, and our gates at Mercer, other than the Bowl, were not very good. Red book regulations have made it tougher to get things done if you do have some money and tougher to reward your coaches with attending the state finals or a clinic. Part of this goes to the de-emphasis of athletics. The financial piece makes the program more dependent on the booster club & parents, creating a very unhealthy relationship. When the football program depends on parents and fundraising to survive, parents can feel entitled to share their thoughts on how a program is run, including playing time. Booster Clubs can be a huge asset. But, depending on the Boosters for necessities and basics sets up an unhealthy relationship. Our parents at Mercer have been exceptionally supportive/cooperative, but we are too dependent on them financially and we have to fix that. At Mason, our parents were also very good & helped with fundraising but we were not as dependent on them as we are at Mercer.

    I don't have easy solutions to the above. I think it comes down to what a community / school prioritize AND also what are the available resources. Some schools/communities value athletics, but the money and resources just are not there to address what is listed above. Resources are poured into test scores.

    If a place is 2 for 2 .... commitment to football/athletics and the resources to get it done.... you probably have a pretty good program and a coach that has stayed there for an extended period. If you only have 1 out of 2, or worse, zero for 2, it gets very tough to consistently have a strong football program.

    Finally, this is why I get so aggravated over the 7 on 7 and summer football arguments. I want to get my guys ready for the season, especially in regards to acclimated to the heat. But, in my opinion, the things listed above are why football has struggled in our state. Not how many times we can do 7 on 7.

    What are your thoughts?
    Great post. #3 is the most significant of your points.

    Stagnation of teaching and coaching salaries will kill the coaching profession. Everything comes down to money, and that doesn't mean coaches are money hungry. Hard to justify to your wife and kids why you are spending so many hours away from home for pennies to coach. Heck, they could spend the less time working at McDonald's and make 10-15 times as much.

  7. #7

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    Guys I have never coached but I had sons that played and I never got involved in these parents that run their mouth about the coaches. That is a huge problem today. And I will say this, I really believe that you have these English, history so on and so on that are the principals at a lot of places have no back bone when parents come and complain about the coach. IMO if they were old coaches like they used to be they would back the coach and tell them if they don't like it take your son somewhere else. THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE SO MUCH TURNOVER principals cave to parents because again all most have ever run is a classroom not a program where you have to make calls that are tuffer than giving Johnny extra credit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefSmoke View Post
    My thoughts:

    A tough job continues to get tougher.

    1-Football is a numbers game. Every time a new sport/activity is added, inside or outside of school, it takes away from numbers. There is a significant burden on HS Football coaches to make their game attractive to kids. Back in the old days, many kids played because there was less to do, it was expected/standard for most guys to play, and football practice could be an escape from working on the farm.... not as many guys looking to escape the Xbox or PS4.

    2-The emphasis on test scores has de-emphasized everything that does not DIRECTLY impact test scores. Athletics are not valued as they were in the past. Don't blame the superintendents/principals. They are doing what they were hired to do. They are hired hands and the reality is they have to produce in regards to test scores. There are still some out there that value athletics. At Mason and at Mercer, my bosses have valued athletics.

    3-It is getting tougher to get good assistants in the building. Since athletics are not valued as much in the past, hiring coaches is not as big of a priority. And, when you do get a good teacher/coach hired in the building, the teaching demands are substantially more than they were 30 years ago. It takes a tremendous amount of time to be a good assistant coach, teacher, husband, and father. When a guy has to give up one of those four, it is going to be coaching. There is a growing shortage of teacher/football coaches in the state. Having assistants in the building is crucial to building relationships with kids and the faculty. The assistants help recruit kids to the program. And, usually if a guy can handle a classroom of 30 kids all day or manage the boatload of paperwork the special ed guys are doing, he is a pretty good coach. AND... it takes more than ONE good assistant coach to have a quality football staff. At Mason we had 7 of us in the buildings at one time. At Mercer, we have 8 of us in the school buildings. Even though I am the random drug testing coordinator, my office is at the HS so that I can be in the hallways and be around the kids as much as possible.

    4- Finances. Gate receipts & attendance overall do not seem to be what they used to be.... but I have no hard data to back that up. But, I know our gates at Mason declined over the years, even when we were 12-0, and our gates at Mercer, other than the Bowl, were not very good. Red book regulations have made it tougher to get things done if you do have some money and tougher to reward your coaches with attending the state finals or a clinic. Part of this goes to the de-emphasis of athletics. The financial piece makes the program more dependent on the booster club & parents, creating a very unhealthy relationship. When the football program depends on parents and fundraising to survive, parents can feel entitled to share their thoughts on how a program is run, including playing time. Booster Clubs can be a huge asset. But, depending on the Boosters for necessities and basics sets up an unhealthy relationship. Our parents at Mercer have been exceptionally supportive/cooperative, but we are too dependent on them financially and we have to fix that. At Mason, our parents were also very good & helped with fundraising but we were not as dependent on them as we are at Mercer.

    I don't have easy solutions to the above. I think it comes down to what a community / school prioritize AND also what are the available resources. Some schools/communities value athletics, but the money and resources just are not there to address what is listed above. Resources are poured into test scores.

    If a place is 2 for 2 .... commitment to football/athletics and the resources to get it done.... you probably have a pretty good program and a coach that has stayed there for an extended period. If you only have 1 out of 2, or worse, zero for 2, it gets very tough to consistently have a strong football program.

    Finally, this is why I get so aggravated over the 7 on 7 and summer football arguments. I want to get my guys ready for the season, especially in regards to acclimated to the heat. But, in my opinion, the things listed above are why football has struggled in our state. Not how many times we can do 7 on 7.

    What are your thoughts?
    A lot of this but I think a lot of its about the $$$

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toothpick View Post
    A lot of this but I think a lot of its about the $$$
    0 professions have had frozen wages for 20 years. Head coaches can normally arrange a pretty good deal as they come in: AD, weightlifting pay, extended days, limited class load, etc. , but assts don't get that. I guarantee you if you poll assts most make under 2 grand. If you just paid them for a 10 week season at 10 hours a week that would be $5 an hour. Good pay in 1986.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellcats View Post
    0 professions have had frozen wages for 20 years. Head coaches can normally arrange a pretty good deal as they come in: AD, weightlifting pay, extended days, limited class load, etc. , but assts don't get that. I guarantee you if you poll assts most make under 2 grand. If you just paid them for a 10 week season at 10 hours a week that would be $5 an hour. Good pay in 1986.
    My program has had a good track record of attracting and keeping asst coaches and I think we have that good record because we try to take better care of them rather than just the head coach

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellcats View Post
    0 professions have had frozen wages for 20 years. Head coaches can normally arrange a pretty good deal as they come in: AD, weightlifting pay, extended days, limited class load, etc. , but assts don't get that. I guarantee you if you poll assts most make under 2 grand. If you just paid them for a 10 week season at 10 hours a week that would be $5 an hour. Good pay in 1986.
    But assistants at schools with good programs or a desire to be good programs never work 10 week schedule at 10 hours a week. You are expected to work year round. At the end of the season you might get a little time off before the weights start. This goes to spring ball. Spring ball is 10 practices spread out over 15 days. after spring ball you have weights till school lets out. After school lets out more time is spent lifting and doing practice type stuff for the upcoming season. Then you get your true time away the dead period. But I venture to say that most coaches are still doing some kind of prep during this time. Then post dead period is spent with practices and trying to squeeze in 7 on 7's before practice officially begins in August.
    I would venture to say most assistant coaches at these schools are making at least $3,000 or more to coach. But when you look at the total hours spent on football its a lot less than $5.00 and hour. And for a head coach its even more time spent. And it's not just football it can be other sports as well. I believe the time required to do this is way too much. But if your not doing it you and your program aren't any good in parent and message board opinions because you are not trying as hard as other programs. Everyone knows Trinity and X are best because they outwork people. They have proven that to us several times on this message board.

    But those administrators that know nothing about sports think that $3,000 is a lot for a 10 week season.

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    I don't follow the logic on #2.

    How does a school emphasizing anything academic-related hurt football?

    What am I missing here?

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    May I ask what a random drug testing coordinator job is? I've never heard of that position before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AreLinz View Post
    May I ask what a random drug testing coordinator job is? I've never heard of that position before.
    This should help:

    Random Drug Testing Policy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    I don't follow the logic on #2.

    How does a school emphasizing anything academic-related hurt football?

    What am I missing here?
    It is a newer philosophy. There are those of us, usually older, that think athletics enhance academic performance/success. That idea is not as prevalent any more.

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