Common Questions Asked During Football Head Coach Interview

Successful Interviews Require Detailed Preparation

Teenage American football player talking to coach

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When interviewing for a high school head football coaching position, become familiar with the interview questions you will likely face.

Interview Format

The 'interview by committee' is a common practice utilized in the coach hiring process. Such committees will range from 3 to 10 or more interview participants. In addition to the athletic director and other school district officials, the committee may include representatives of the student body, the football team, coaches of another sport, parents, community, and booster organizations.

25 Frequently Asked Interview Questions

  1. Why do you want to coach here?
  2. What is your football philosophy?
  3. Can you explain in detail what your typical Tuesday practice will be like?
  4. How do you handle criticism from fans?
  5. What are your plans for hiring assistants? Will you retain any current assistants?
  6. Can you call an NCAA Division 1 coach and get a 'look' for a player?
  7. How will you handle the winning tradition here?
  8. How can you change the football status from that of a losing program to a winning program?
  9. How will you gain the players' trust? Parental trust?
  10. What experiences do you have with (inner city/Appalachian/rural, etc.) student-athletes?
  11. What steps will you take to improve the overall grades of your players?
  12. What makes you stand out among all the applicants?
  13. What are your thoughts on replacing a popular coach?
  14. What are two of the most prominent mistakes you have made during your coaching career?
  15. What roles will the athletic director and principal play in your football program?
  16. How will you increase participation in the program?
  17. What steps will you take when a teacher informs you of a player's attitude while in his/her class?
  18. What is your off-season conditioning program like?
  19. What is your opinion of multi-sport athletes?
  20. What part does football play in the overall picture of the school?
  21. What is your opinion of youth football?
  22. How will you generate community interest for the program?
  23. How will you handle an irate parent questioning a player's playing time?
  24. If a player openly badmouths your coaching decisions, how will you handle the situation?
  25. How do you define success for the Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity programs?

Interview Advice

Research the employer as best as possible to find out:

  • The history of the school (failing tax levies, declining enrollment, etc.)
  • Why did the position open? (coach resigned, dismissed, etc.)
  • The tenure of the last three head coaches.
  • The status of facilities (field, locker rooms, conditioning equipment, etc.)

Dog and Pony Show

Realize you are one of five or more first round interview candidates, and many schools relate a higher number of interviews to a higher prominence in the media, community, etc. Also, many positions have a front-runner before the first interview is given.

Be Yourself

  1. Convey enthusiasm and make sure your body language is sending the proper signals during the interview.
  2. Ask questions which pertain to the position, as it relays an interest in the position.