Hi guys,

 

I was just wanting to know why must you have a degree to coach collegiate basketball in the states? I know of plenty of coaches worldwide who have coached pro basketball that don't have degree's and they would be hands down better than some of the coaches that are running programmes in the states. Any information regarding this would be great thanks.

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Hi Kennedy,

 

From what I have heard you need a college degree for a lot of jobs that you wouldn't in New Zealand or Australia.

Hi Paul,

 

Thanks for the response... however it doesn't answer my question. Yes you are correct in your observations regarding coaching in New Zealand and Australia, but here is some food for thought. Does having an accounting degree or any degree for that matter make you a better qualified coach? Perhaps with the exception of a sports coaching degree and even then does this prove your ability to coach?

Paul Doevendans said:

Hi Kennedy,

 

From what I have heard you need a college degree for a lot of jobs that you wouldn't in New Zealand or Australia.

Hey Kennedy,

It is my belief that you must have a degree to coach college basketball simply because one must be educated higher than the average person. Now most colleges in the U.S. do not offer a specific college coaching degree, however there are definitely some degree programs that are more pertinent to college basketball coaching than others. For example, a teaching major (Physical Education) is more applicable than say an accounting degree to coaching college basketball because of the skills you are taught as a teacher apply to coaching as well. In order to be a good coach, you must be able to teach, you must be able to control your team so they do not go wild. A college degree (A Master's Degree) is quickly becoming the minimum requirement to apply for a college coaching job. The best chance you have of getting a college coaching job is to network. The more established college basketball coaches willing to be a reference for you, the better chance one has of acquiring a college coaching job (with a college degree of course).

Hi Karl,

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject;

 

I would certainly agree that having a degree with specific sporting background such as Physical education would certainly help in certain coaching situations, as would Biomechanics, Sport Psychology, Enviromental physiology, Exercise Prescription, nutrition and so on and so on. It does also make sense that a coach should be more highly educated than the average "Joe". However I do not believe that this makes you a better coach and having a degree in any area does not make you superior in the coaching field. I haven't personally applied to coach in the states... but I am seriously considering it perhaps one day?

 

I have had a few friends very much like myself who have coached a lot of international basketball and who have more basketball experience than a more "highly educated" coach perhaps, that couldn't get a look in due to no degree. I guess it is a bit disappointing that one small technicality can stop very gifted coaches from coaching at that level. 

 

In saying this I am partway through my sports coaching degree... I am wondering what the NCAA ruling is on why you need to have a degree to coach collegiate basketball? If anyone can find the exact information on why you would make my day.

 

Thanks again guys for sharing your thoughts and please keep posting on this subject :)


Karl Sorby said:

Hey Kennedy,

It is my belief that you must have a degree to coach college basketball simply because one must be educated higher than the average person. Now most colleges in the U.S. do not offer a specific college coaching degree, however there are definitely some degree programs that are more pertinent to college basketball coaching than others. For example, a teaching major (Physical Education) is more applicable than say an accounting degree to coaching college basketball because of the skills you are taught as a teacher apply to coaching as well. In order to be a good coach, you must be able to teach, you must be able to control your team so they do not go wild. A college degree (A Master's Degree) is quickly becoming the minimum requirement to apply for a college coaching job. The best chance you have of getting a college coaching job is to network. The more established college basketball coaches willing to be a reference for you, the better chance one has of acquiring a college coaching job (with a college degree of course).

Coach you need a degree because you are working in higher education.  You’re working as a member of an academic institution first.  Don’t be surprised that as time passes you need your master’s degree as well.  I’d have a difficult time asking any student athlete to attend classes and expect he/she to graduate when I've not obtained a degree myself.  Additionally, I think a masters degree is important especially if you’re a head coach because of the people you interact with on a daily basis within the academic institution (President, AD, Professors).  Don’t get me wrong, basketball is basketball…However, there is a lot more that goes into the job then drawing up plays and running a practice.  Most of that ‘other stuff’ which most head coaches deal with more than anything else requires years of experience and having a solid education under your belt. 

Thanks Brandon,

 

Sounds about right to me...  I know coaching college ball is far different from coaching professional basketball and there are a heap of little intricacies in the job. I never knew you had to take classes as well and teach? Thanks for the response your answer is certainly the best and sounds the most valid.

Brandon Rosenthal said:

Coach you need a degree because you are working in higher education.  You’re working as a member of an academic institution first.  Don’t be surprised that as time passes you need your master’s degree as well.  I’d have a difficult time asking any student athlete to attend classes and expect he/she to graduate when I've not obtained a degree myself.  Additionally, I think a masters degree is important especially if you’re a head coach because of the people you interact with on a daily basis within the academic institution (President, AD, Professors).  Don’t get me wrong, basketball is basketball…However, there is a lot more that goes into the job then drawing up plays and running a practice.  Most of that ‘other stuff’ which most head coaches deal with more than anything else requires years of experience and having a solid education under your belt. 

This is an interesting topic as prior to leaving the US to play Pro Ball overseas I needed only 3 credit hours of work, 1 class to complete my degree in telecommunications. I went on to have a successful career as a player and now coaching in Australia.  When I inquired about how to go about re-visiting this and satisfying the requirement to complete the 3 hours I was told that I needed to return to University and do a further 2 years of major University work. 2 years of study? Wow I got a shock.

The reason I make reference to this is that I have aspirations of coaching at the college level in the states but find it surprising that after 4 years of college and only 1 class short of getting my degree that I would have to go back to school for 2 years to satisfy the requirement.

I am highly educated and successful as a coach and feel if given an opportunity to show a US college coach-administrator that I have what it takes. Regardless whether or not I am in reciept of a degree I only needed 1 class to complete the University's requirement.

Is there anyone that may be able to shed some light on this subject or perhaps make a recommendation or a suggestion of a solution. That would be truly appreciated.       

Precisely!

Brandon Rosenthal said:

Coach you need a degree because you are working in higher education.  You’re working as a member of an academic institution first.  Don’t be surprised that as time passes you need your master’s degree as well.  I’d have a difficult time asking any student athlete to attend classes and expect he/she to graduate when I've not obtained a degree myself.  Additionally, I think a masters degree is important especially if you’re a head coach because of the people you interact with on a daily basis within the academic institution (President, AD, Professors).  Don’t get me wrong, basketball is basketball…However, there is a lot more that goes into the job then drawing up plays and running a practice.  Most of that ‘other stuff’ which most head coaches deal with more than anything else requires years of experience and having a solid education under your belt. 

Hey Kennedy, great discussion question. As an old high school and college coach, I've come to the conclusion that a college degree is not a very good measure of a persons ability to perform or be accomplished in a particular job. We have yet to create a test that looks inside a person and sees if they have what it takes to "get a job done". America uses college and the degree program to try and do it. I've often heard that a majority of degreed persons aren't even in a job/career that directly pertains to their degree. BUT, it is the system we use. Most graduates of higher learning will tell you that the first 6 months to 3 years on the job was far more valuable to their personal and professional growth than the 4+ years ( money, 15 hrs classes, partying, sleeping ) spent at college. I have a son n law who played Pro Soccer right out of high school and he has no degree but is a p/t paid assistant at a small college...was named State Coach of The Year at Club level so maybe it'll be different for some sports or at some colleges. HOWEVER, having said...I  do respect Degreed people and the time, money, effort they put in for it b/c it is an esteemed key to our society's career mobility measurement. I think Brandon had a good reply in general. I am a college grad and realize my initial opportunities have been b/c of my degree... and if I were w/out it, I'd be trying to get it. Sooo... Why do coaches need a degree to coach, b/c thats what those in charge of hiring say you need and until that changes, you better get a degree; like Karl says, a Masters Degree if you can afford to. Best to you. Be a good influence. Become a coach.          

Simply put the reason you have to have a Masters degree to even have your resume looked at by a Div 1 university is that universities are being ranked in business magizines by how many of their employees have advanced degrees. And honestly, do you expect a university to hire a coach who is less educated that the kids he is coaching? These are schools after all.

Interesting topic, I would like to add onto a few previous points.  I have heard many college coaches at major programs state that their repsonsibilities are much farther reaching than simply coaching basketball.  They are more of a CEO in charge of overseeing what is a very expensive product in some instances.  Therefore I could see how valuable it would be to have a higher education in order to deal with all of these situations that are sure to arise. 

Also, I have begun to realize that how good you are at coaching basketball does not guarantee you of acquiring a position as crazy as that sounds.  Many administrators are looking for particular qualities and experiences, you need to be what they are looking for in a sense.  Networking and meeting people is also vital to getting even the lowest level of coaching position at the college level.  Get the degree if you can afford it, the piece of paper can potentially be worth a lot for you down the road.

Most people that coach college also teach some classes at the college also. To teach in college you have to have at least a masters degree. I am an assistant college coach for a small college in Ohio. I have a bachelors degree but not higher than that.

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