Athletic Coach


  • Completion of a 4-year degree
  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Berea College meets requirements for teaching athletics in school and community settings.
  • College coaching usually requires a Masters or Doctorate degree

Median income of about $45,000, and assistant coaches had median salaries of about $33,000. However, salaries for coaches vary tremendously. High-profile sports like basketball and football pay the most, while sports such as volleyball or lacrosse pay less. High school coaches are typically paid for coaching in addition to their salary as teachers. They can earn anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000 a year. College coaches can earn as little as $30,000 a year, though many earn substantially more than this, and some earn salaries up to $1,000,000 annually. Professional sports coaches can earn high to very high salaries, with some earning several million dollars a year, but coaches who teach nonprofessional athletes in sports like tennis or golf often earn relatively little.

From Little League to high school, from college to professional teams, coaches teach athletes how to play their sport, improve their skills, and develop the tactical maneuvers they need to win. They devise a team’s overall strategy and decide who will play in each game. They also recruit new athletes and prepare them for competition. Their duties involve designing training and nutrition regimens for their charges. Many also serve unofficially as psychological counselors to athletes needing emotional support, direction and personal advice. Some of the best coaches become mentors to athletes, providing a personal role model and inspiration for behavior both on and off the field. Coaches specialize in a particular sport, from archery to wrestling.

Within any one sport, there are also a number of coaching personnel who work with athletes in a hierarchy. Athletic directors develop an athletic program within a school. They ensure compliance with athletic rules, monitor student eligibility, evaluate programs and coaches, manage program budgets and assist in selecting coaches to fill vacancies. Head coaches oversee all phases of a sports program, including coordinating team travel, managing budgets, promoting the program and hiring assistant coaches.  Assistant coaches assist the head coach in coaching teams and performing other tasks related to managing a sports program. Athletic trainers coordinate and carry out the treatment and rehabilitation of injured athletes. They maintain records, manage the day-to-day operations of the training room, supervise student trainers, and assist in maintaining and evaluating the equipment to be used by an athlete. Strength and conditioning coaches help athletes work on their strength and conditioning through better nutrition and physical training.

For more information go to:


Information obtained from: Career Prospects in Virginia
This information was collected by Iris Bahr-Winslow, Jennifer Breneman, Allen Brooks, Emily Schneider, Candy Walls, and Ebony Williams.