You're in the running for a head coaching job that presents itself with a ton of opportunities — a good program with great tradition and classes of skilled players stacked from the lower levels to varsity.
And as exciting as the thought of building — or rebuilding the program — might be, there are other aspects that should go into whether you accept the job.
Here are four non-negotiables that should be on the table before saying "Yes."
I think one of the first non-negotiables is being able to hire your own staff. There are some schools and administrations who want to dictate who or how a coach should hire to fill out their staff. I would stay away from a school like that.
You want to be able to bring in your type of guys, the guys who know your system, the guys who know the culture, the guys who knows your expectations. Hiring your own staff is critical. In different parts of the country, this works different ways. In Texas, for instance, a lot of coaching jobs are tied to their teaching jobs. And so they will lose both their coaching and teaching job. And it frees up a lot more room to bring in your own guys. In California, it's a lot different. Once a teacher has tenure, you can't move them. And so it becomes a lot more problematic to bring in all of your own new staff as on-campus guys. But that is a key non-negotiable for taking a new job. Having control over your schedule
This is something that a lot of coaches don't necessarily think through. But it's important to understand who controls your game schedule at the end of the day.
Is that going to be the athletic director? Is that the principal? What if you want to go drive an hour and a half to play different schools and get out of your area? Is the school going to support that? Who decides on when and who you play for homecoming? Believe it or not, I've been at a school before, where I had no say as to our homecoming opponent. And if you're just going to pick somebody because of a date and that team is a tremendous world-beater, you're setting a football program up for some failure. So I believe having control of your own schedule is a major issue. Discuss attendance policies
A third non-negotiable is the discipline policies and procedures. You want and need to install the discipline policy crafted by you.
Are you able to set policies and procedures to keep kids on your program and be able to cut players from the program, or is that only allowed to happen through the athletic director's office? The attendance policy and discipline policies are important part of running a football program, and if you lack complete control you're setting yourself up for failure. Make sure to have that discussion before you take that next job. PE class for football players
A fourth non-negotiable is having a physical education class for the football players. If you look at schools with the most success, many have some type of football class built into the schedule during the day where 100 percent of football players are in that PE class. The football coach is a part of that class and able to keep things going in the weight room year round. This is another non negotiable before taking that next head football job.Chris Fore is a veteran head football coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.