No matter the type of college coach, whether it is football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball or any of the other sports, each sign a contract for employment. The current trend is that only major college football coaches hire agents to represent their interests in contract negotiation with different schools. But why not assistants? Are agent fees holding assistant coaches back from hiring an agent? Or is it something else?
I find it astonishing that the majority of assistant coaches are not represented. Much of the time, assistant coaches are made the scapegoat for a program’s lack of success. In recent years, it is common for the head coach to buy himself or herself extra time to build a program by blaming program deficiencies on their assistant coaching staff, much of time replacing assistants to please the school administration or fanbase. It is very common for assistant coaches to be employed at a university for as little as one year.
With such high turnover, why then are assistant coaches so lacking in representation? I have spoken with several coaches who have mentioned that early in their careers they were “just glad to have a job” or “I would have signed any papers put in front of me”. While I understand a coach’s eagerness to be employed, I do not understand why, as coaches progress, they do not feel the need to be represented as they move through the coaching ranks.
There are so many different aspects of a coach’s employment contract that could and should be negotiated. Compensation, benefits, buyouts, and multi-year deals are only the tip of the iceberg. As the compensation and competition for coaches continue to increase, more coaches should look to hire representation to protect their jobs and add stability to their employment.