In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah we find that Nehemiah had become so exasperated with some of the men under his leadership that he finally decided to write a job description for those that served the people of Judah. In Nehemiah 13:30 we read, “So I…assigned tasks to the priests and Levites making certain that each knew his work.” Why did Nehemiah give them a job description? So that “each would know his work”. Pretty good advice 2,500 years ago and still good advice today.
When I first began my coaching career, I worked for some good coaches and a few not so good. However, none of them gave me a formal job description. I was simply told, "You're the assistant freshman coach." So, I did the things I thought I should do and tried to watch and learn. I can remember being very unsure sometimes about exactly what was expected of me. I think I would've benefited from having the head coach or the head freshman coach sit down with me and explain expectations. A written job description along with that would've been very helpful. In my second school I taught at I even had the head football coach give me no direction at all. His strategy was to sit back and see what kind of initiative I had. I found that out after I had been at the job for a couple of years. Whether right or wrong-I'll let you decide.
In my years as a head wrestling coach I'm afraid I didn't do very well at communicating my expectations. Oh sure, my assistant would coach the JV team at wrestling meets and help run practice. But there is so much more to being a good assistant coach. Sit down sometime and write down all the duties of a coach and the list will be long. I had one assistant coach who just sat against the wall in the practice room. I would get steamed at his lack of energy, but you know what? It was partly my fault because I did a poor job of communicating my expectations. It's a lot like coaching your players, you can't hold your players accountable for something you didn't coach.
These days I'm seeing more coaches, going to a detailed job description for all coaches, including the head coach himself. I think it's a great idea and I wish I had been exposed to it as an assistant and utilized it as a head coach. By giving your assistant coaches a job description, they can have a clear idea of what is expected of them. At the end of every season it can also be used as an evaluation tool-whether self-evaluation or by the head coach.
Whether or not a written job description is used, I'm convinced that clear, concise expectations should be made available to everyone involved in the program. You won’t be sorry. And make sure you keep checking www.chiefpigskin.com for more great coaching tips.