Repost: End Of The Season Coaches Exit Interviews

By Anthony Stone on Dec 5, 2020

By FirstDown PlayBook Guest Coach Anthony Stone

This is a re-publication of a great piece by Anthony Stone. Coach Stone hits on some very relevant and helpful points for a head coach to consider as they close out the football season. Be sure to scroll down and see some of the other great things he is doing with his Back To The Basics program too!

Every football season must come to an end and no matter when that might be it is important to start planning for next year. It is important to plan for what is next with your football career, whether it is a coaching or playing career. The exit interview allows the head coach to assess not only the staff but also themselves.

A good leader will surround themselves with a strong and knowledgeable staff, but a great leader will listen to their staff and continually strive to get better. This is accomplished by listening to the in-depth answers their assistants provide on what they think can improve, change, or what needs to be fixed.

Head coaches also do this with their players to let them speak their mind and allow them to have more of a voice on how the program is run. The coaches that don’t implement exit interviews are usually the ones that don’t think anything is wrong with their coaching style or they have tunnel vision.

I have put together a list of what I believe are the best questions for an exit interview for you to use if you don’t currently have one in place. The scoring system is 1 to 5. I use that point system for both coaches and players.



By using exit interviews with your staff you receive immediate feedback that confirms if you and your staff are in line with your coaching style and are headed in the direction of the vision you have for the team as a whole.

You can modify the form and send it to each player to use as a reference but my recommendation is to have a face-to-face meeting with the each individual player. It is beneficial to let them do the majority of the talking because it allows them to know that the coach is listening to them and at the same time it instills confidence by making them feel important in the exit interview process. You are also teaching them to be a leader! In respect to the older the student-athletes, make sure to add an important question to the form:
“Life After Football” please take time to think about those three words and explain what you plan on doing with your life after football.

It is your role as a head coach to make sure your players are prepared not only for the field but for life. It is vital that before they leave your program they have a plan for life after football because you never know when their playing career is going to end. As coaches, the confidence we instill in players carries over to all aspects of life. We are mentoring our countries future leaders!

Here are some additional questions you can ask your student-athletes:

  1. What was your best memory from this football season?
  2. What was your worst memory from this football season?
  3. What do you plan on doing to prepare for the upcoming football season?
  4. What can your position coach do to improve your football skills/abilities?
  5. What can the coaching staff do to improve our football program or your football experience?
  6. Do you plan on playing football again next year for us (grades 6th-11th)?
  7. Do you plan on playing college football next year (12th grade)?
  8. What is your plan for Life After Football?

Football is a team sport and a team is only as strong as its weakest player. So take time and listen to your team at all levels in an effort to get stronger! Remember don’t react to criticism but use it to grow and always stay positive!

Anthony Stone is a Physical Education teacher at Gregory Elementary and the Quarterbacks & Running backs Coach at Rockford Boylan High School in Rockford, IL. He also was the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach for the Women’s Australian National Outback 2017 Team. In recent years he has been named to the Hudl Top 100 list. He has presented at IAPHERD, the top physical education convention in the state of IL, on how to get students moving with his Games Galore presentations. He has also presented at the Chicago Glazier Clinics on Quarterbacks & Special Teams. He was the Defensive Coordinator for the 2010 U.S. Women’s National Tackle Football Team, winners of the IFAF Women’s World Championship in which Team USA did not allow a point in three games with an overall score of 201-0. It is still a record. Stone has coached in the CIFL and the IWFL League as well at Beloit College (Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator) and Rockford University (Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers). He has coached football at the youth, middle school and high school level as well.

To learn more about Coach Stone and his Back To The Basics program go to Coach Stone Football.  To find more from Anthony on Amazon go here! You can also follow him on Twitter @Coach_Stone_MT and use #CoachStoneFootball to ask him any questions.

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