I had some decent questions to ask anyone here about becoming a college coach...

 

Lots of times I have looked on school's websites and noticed that they have "Volunteer Assistant Coaches." Obviously I understand that the coach is volunteer and some may get a small stipend but I am curious:

 

1. What do these volunteer coaches do for money?

2. How do they have time do get another job if they dedicate so much time to a baseball program?

3. How does one become a volunteer assistant out of college? Better yet, land a job as a part time or full time college coach?

4. What all is required to become a college coach?

 

Thank you so much for your answers in advance.

This website has helped me out so much throughout every process I've been through so far in baseball.

Original Post

Thank you for your reply.

 

I have emailed a few local University coaches and none of them ever respond.

I still have about 2 1/2 years of college left before I obtain my Bachelor's Degree and I'm already getting nervous about coaching applications and all that good stuff.

 

It's like I can't find anybody that is willing to give the 20 minutes I need to give me insight.

In Division I, the NCAA stipulates that no more than 3 coaches can be paid from the university's typical funding source for providing coaches' compensation. As a result, programs tend to have a Head Coach, an assistant who teaches hitting as a primary responsibility, and an assistant who concentrates mainly upon pitching paid from that source as their principal source of compensation.

 

The "third assistant" or "volunteer assistant" as it's often called, is paid from other sources available to the program. Typical sources include camp revenues, corporate sponsorship (i.e. equipment contracts), and radio/TV shows. It's also not unusual for third assistants to serve as paid clinic/camp instructors and/or summer team coaches when their college duties don't conflict.

 

As you might imagine, the compensation associated with these third assistantships can vary quite a bit from program to program; depending upon the size and number of non-university revenue sources associated with each program. However, they are invariably full-time, paid assistantships; causing the term "volunteer assistant"  to be a misnomer. Because of this, more and more programs are dropping the "volunteer" part and referring to this person simply as an "assistant coach."

 

As full-time assistants, they are usually asked to be involved in a wide range of coaching responsibilities; although, their background will tend to cause them to spend more time on either the hitting or pitching side of the coaching to be done.

 

More often than not, they are given a full seat at the coaching table. However, there is one enforced distinction from the NCAA: They usually cannot travel expressly for recruiting purposes. I say "usually" because the actual regulation stipulates that no more than 3 coaches may be designated as traveling recruiters. However, they can be actively engaged in correspondence with recruits (subject to other general restrictions, of course), and they can recruit when on their own campus. 

 

Given all of this, the "third assistant's" position is universally viewed among college coaches as THE place to begin one's coaching career; and virtually every coach will tell you they learned a ton during their time in that role. Because it is viewed in this way, the position is in high demand and can be highly competitive.

 

The combination of one's experience, track record, and networking tend to be required to do this. As part of the early networking process, I'd recommend that a prospective applicant meet with a number of college coaches, reach out to their prior college/professional coaches, and accept every opportunity to instruct at camps, clinics, and development centers that they can.

 

For the former player who brings passion, teaching ability, and a dedication to hard work, the role can be a very fulfilling one; one that is virtually a required stepping stone to more responsible coaching positions.

 

If the OP or anyone else interested in the role continues to have questions, I'm always happy to reply to private messages.

By the way, the position of "graduate assistant coach" is distinctly different from the one discussed above. In that case, a student (usually a former player who is either working toward completing his ungrad degree or taking graduate courses) serves as a part-time, uncompensated coach. His funding sources tend to come from those traditionally tapped by other students.

 

As an example of this, it was announced last week that one of my son's former college teammates has returned in this capacity to complete his undergrad degree after playing professional baseball. As a result, that team will field a total of 5 coaches this season (Head Coach, Hitting Coach, Pitching Coach, Assistant Coach, and Graduate Assistant Coach).

 

Some graduate assistant coaches go on to become paid college baseball assistants, while others use the college degree they've earned in other fields.

SAC,

I see you started a similar thread in May of 2013, with similar type questions. While some posted about contacting Prepster or myself, I don't see that was ever done.  That makes me wonder a bit?

Taking your questions in reverse, I cannot over-emphasize how competitive it can be to gain a coaching position in college.  Any open position can receive hundreds of applications, sometimes more.  Within that volume of candidates, along with those candidates the coaching staff might already have in mind, you  have to separate yourself.  

Some qualities must be included to coach, successfully in college: have a very high level of knowledge of the game and how to play it at the collegiate level, coupled with the ability to coach players and teach the game. Coaching players can mean more than what they do on the field. Since an injury impacted your playing in college, I would guess you will have to learn the college game and how to coach and teach it in a way which is pretty unique.  Have  you thought how you will do that?

Within this framework, I would suggest you start benchmarking against your current knowledge of the game and how it is played at the college level..

One thing you can anticipate starting out is how hard you will work and the hours you will sacrifice to prove yourself. Practice is the easy part. Early work, late work and working late into the night to be ready the next day are part of the job description.

In terms of pay, expect very little and plan on a lot of sacrifice.  Volunteer assistants are usually paid something from camps. Most try and supplement that with lessons offered all days of the week.  Many also try and find part time work which provides lots of flexibility, which is not easy to find.

Since you are in Texas, you might want to see if he could find a position with a HS and/or travel team for the next 2 years, where you can gain experience and actually be a coach, hopefully network some contacts, and find out if you  have ability. You need something to grab the attention of coaches if/when you start sending resumes in 2-3 years.  Remember, your resume will arrive with hundreds of others any time an open position is posted. Without proven experience as a coach at some level, I would expect it could be a major challenge to get past the resume competition for college positions if you have not played at the college level.

Good luck. 

 

Originally Posted by Prepster:

By the way, the position of "graduate assistant coach" is distinctly different from the one discussed above. In that case, a student (usually a former player who is either working toward completing his ungrad degree or taking graduate courses) serves as a part-time, uncompensated coach. His funding sources tend to come from those traditionally tapped by other students.

 

As an example of this, it was announced last week that one of my son's former college teammates has returned in this capacity to complete his undergrad degree after playing professional baseball. As a result, that team will field a total of 5 coaches this season (Head Coach, Hitting Coach, Pitching Coach, Assistant Coach, and Graduate Assistant Coach).

 

Some graduate assistant coaches go on to become paid college baseball assistants, while others use the college degree they've earned in other fields.

Prepster, thanks for making the distinction.

Thank you all so much!

 

The reason I never got back to any of you was because I had forgot my darn password so I just walked away from this site for a while. I'm glad to be back!

 

I asked this particular question because I again had another arm injury last week (torn medial epicondyle) and I have decided to hang up the cleats...

It was a hard decision for me to make at 22 but I guess this is a way of the greater plan coming into affect.

 

My Head Coach this week has offered me a Student Assistant Coach position and I am going to accept it. Since I thought it was nearly* the same as a Volunteer Assistant position I figured I would ask some questions.

 

Thank you Prepster* and infielddad* for your answers!!

 

I'm just so worried about making the transition into being an actual college coach.

Originally Posted by SAC_Baseball22:

 

I'm just so worried about making the transition into being an actual college coach.

 

SAC, I am really sorry to hear about this new injury and it being career ending. The situation is familiar, though. Our son had career ending shoulder surgery just as he was producing at a level his MILB draft status would not have predicted.

With that said, he loves the game, loves coaching and really believes it is his job to create opportunities for his players which were created for him by his coaches.

Your positive approach to the current opportunity opening as the playing one closes seems pretty powerful and right, to me.

In terms of the future in coaching, it is also like baseball, being drafted, there is some luck involved and many things beyond your control. On the other hand, I truly believe that the harder someone works and the more skilled they get in coaching, the "luckier" they are.

 

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