Don’t Chase Every Job On Football Scoop
By FirstDown PlayBook on Dec 11, 2018

Football coaching is a very cyclic profession, meaning that every year you can look up and you are doing very similar things at that time of year. This is the time of year when many young football coaches look for opportunities to advance in our profession.

FirstDown PlayBook published this last year but the information is still relevant and, yes, we are still getting the same questions we got last year, so here you go. Oh yeah, this is the second installment where we talk little about the things a young football coach can do and maybe should not do as they work to climb the ladder in football coaching. To read last week’s article tap here.

Okay we know you do it. You get up every morning and you get your workout in. You shower up and get to your desk with your coffee and you are in place well before anyone else on your football staff arrives. Time for a little 21st century newspaper (aka the internet) reading before your first meeting. Some of you may hit the ESPN website first but it’s a fair bet that almost all of you (us) are going to look at what’s up on Football Scoop before your first meeting.

Now there’s nothing wrong with this because, after all, it’s a website that is run by good folks who actually care about football and football coaches. It also may be as credible, if not more, than you can expect to find anywhere else these days. They cover the latest football job news and that is relevant to a young coach trying to climb the coaching ladder. It’s what happens to some young coaches as they read the football job openings and hirings where some get a little misguided.

Some coaches will look at Scoop and other similar websites and either subconsciously or maybe even consciously try to rationalize a way that they fit on every football staff that has an opening. As soon as they have read Football Scoop they are on the phone with two or twenty of their best coaching buddies and they are spreading what information they know. They are obviously also gathering as much job information as they can get. We promise you it is happening today as you read this.

Now there is nothing wrong with hustling to try to better yourself, but as a young coach it is an important lesson to learn that the odds are you will need to personally know at least one person on a football staff in order to get hired at that program or organization. From a personal standpoint I can tell you it was 100%. I knew at least one person on all thirteen football staffs where I was hired. Think about that for a moment. 100%… It is very revealing and I promise you that it is the norm in our profession not the exception.

What often times happens is a young football coach reads where someone got a job and the young coach knows someone who knows the guy who got the job. The next thing that happens is that young coach is on the phone trying to connect the dots in order to get an interview with the new head coach just because his buddy knows him. The next time this happens stop and ask yourself the following questions

  1. How many coaches do you think this new head coach either knows or owes a favor to throughout his career path that led to him getting this job?
  2. Do you actually know this head coach or anyone else on that football staff?
  3. If your buddy knows this new head coach then how many of your buddy’s other buddies have called him to try and get his recommendation to the new coach?

It is not our intent here to to rain on anyone’s parade as they create their job wish lists and try to look for an opportunity. However, the danger is that a lot of young coaches don’t save their bullets for a job that they might actually have a chance to get. By the time that job comes around their coaching friends won’t even pick the phone up because it’s the tenth time the guy has called and asked for a recommendation. This goes for head coaches you may have worked for also. Your former head coach may think the world of you but unless the guy who has the job opening knows you then your former head coach can only help you so much.

The other danger is that a young coach can get so mesmerized by the job chase that his work production will suffer at the job he currently owns and that’s a recipe for disaster (it’s called getting fired). Even if you are a quality control coach or a graduate assistant and everyone knows you are looking for a full time job, you have an obligation and responsibility to still do your current job well.

So as you work through the end of 2018 it is still okay to dream. By all means keep dreaming and keep aspiring to take the next step whatever that may be for you. Heck, keep reading Football Scoop, however, just understand that every football job is not meant for you and you are not meant for every football job.

If you keep your head down and work your tail off it will be hard for the other coaches to ignore that and that is when you will end up with the opportunity that you never saw coming!

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