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Football Coach Resume Example & Writing Guide

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Football Coach Resume Example & Writing Guide
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A football coach resume that reaches the goal line needs to exude a winning attitude. You need to stick to the game plan to win that coveted interview.

Great coaches recognize great resources and integrate them into a successful whole. That's why Resume.io provides resume examples for 300+ professions, supported by an easy-to-use resume builder. Let us help you put together a championship resume that will impress from the start. 

This resume guide, along with the corresponding football coach resume example will cover the following topics:

  • What does a football coach do?
  • How to write a football coach resume (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for a football coach resume
  • Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints.

What does a football coach do?

A football coach is a guide and teacher. A mentor and strategist. A cheerleader and a taskmaster. An expert and an analyst.

Depending on the level at which you coach, you may be teaching the fundamentals of the sport and its rules or driving your players to hone their athletic abilities and reach championship heights. 

Football coaches design training sessions to maximize both individual and team skill. They develop plays and teach them to the team. They recognize and nurture talent and find ways to use that talent to better the team’s results. Football coaches also coordinate and oversee any assistant coaches who work with them.

Expert tip

What makes a great coach?

When NFL.com asked several players what made a great coach, they all said leadership. Most added trust or honesty and a competitive drive.

Football coach job market and outlook

The range of opportunities for football coaches is wide, once again depending on the level at which you coach. Many youth coaches are volunteers, but that is a great way to gain experience if you are looking toward a coaching career.

More than 1 million high school students participated in football in 2019, with 14,247 schools offering 11-player teams, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. That’s a lot of head coaches. Teams typically also have an offensive and defensive coordinator and may employ other assistant coaches as well.

At the collegiate level, there are almost 900 teams. Depending on the division in which they play, teams may have up to 11 coaches. 

Of course, these jobs don’t turn over every year, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the overall demand for coaches and scouts in all sports will increase by 12% by 2029. That’s well above the average increase for all careers. 

Statistical insight

How much do football coaches earn?

Let’s start at the top. New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick earns $12 million a year. Then again, he’s won five Super Bowls. San Francisco 49er Coach Kyle Shanahan, who’s at the bottom of the salary heap, makes $3 million.

College football coaches in winning programs rival their NFL counterparts in salary. Alabama Coach Nick Saban, the highest paid NCAA football coach, took home $9.3 million and has six national championships under his belt.

At the high school level, salaries are significantly deflated from there. The average coach earns $60,326, Salary.com reports, with the bulk of incomes in the $54,815-$65,039 range.

How to write a football coach resume

Before you begin compiling your football coach resume, you need to know what goes into it. Your resume sample should contain the following elements:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

To develop a successful football coach CV, you need to create a game plan for your style, tone and message. Great coaches know how to give great locker room speeches that motivate players to get out there and give it their all. Your football coach resume should compel a recruiter to reach for the phone and contact you.

To do that, you should speak directly to each program individually. Research the strengths and weaknesses of the team and its style of play. Find out as much as you can about the athletic director and the current coaching team. Write your resume as though you are addressing those individuals and the team’s needs.

A football coach resume should follow this strong playbook:

  • Answer any obvious interview questions within the body of your resume.
  • Develop a professional tone and style.
  • Take into account keywords and phrases appropriate to the job to avoid being screened out by ATS software.
Expert tip

Run a block to slip through the ATS

We cannot overstate the importance of personalizing your football coach resume for each position. Applicant Tracking Systems, used by human resources departments to scan and sort applications, hunt for keywords and phrases pegged to each job. Your well-crafted resume sample needs to rank high enough within the algorithm to get through this defensive line.

It’s not as difficult as it may seem. Analyze the job listing for skills and attributes. Then, include keywords and phrases exactly as they appear in the posting when appropriate. Although you need to repeat the nouns, verbs and modifiers from the listing, make sure you incorporate them in a way that sounds natural to your own writing.

Choosing the best resume format for a football coach

The tried-and-true reverse chronological order resume is most likely to be your best bet format. Why? Because it works and because it makes it easy for recruiters to find the information they seek. 

If you are in a technology or specialty field and need to highlight niche or complex skills, you may want to use functional resume format instead. Within this format, you can expand your skills section to show off your expertise and contract your employment history to a simple listing of employers or contract engagements. 

Other life situations that call for different resume types are gaps in work history, first-time entry into the job market or career changing. You may want to consider alternate formats like a functional resume in those situations.

Resume summary example: fire up the team

Write your football coach resume summary as if you were firing up the team to get out there and win! You may want to dial it back a bit, but your goal here is to show off your coaching style and convince the recruiter that you have what it takes to get the team to the next level.

Your summary, also known as a profile, offers 3-5 sentences in which to get creative since it is the most freeform section of your resume, but make sure you use statistics and data to back up your strong descriptive language. Choose one or two of your greatest achievements to tout and add a sentence about your coaching philosophy.

Below you will find resume example text for a football coach summary. 

Adaptable summary example

Driven and accomplished Football Coach with a proven track record of helping athletes achieve their maximum level of athletic potential. Committed to fostering a positive team environment conducive to achieving success on the field. Adept in designing effective game plans, consisting of powerful defensive and offensive techniques. Highly experienced in helping athletes of varying levels to enhance their performance skills, game techniques, and endurance, while also minimizing risk of injury. Bringing forth a passion for Football, and a devotion to helping athletes achieve success.

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Employment history resume sample: the play-by-play

Your employment history resume section, written in reverse chronological order, gives details on your achievements at each of your previous positions. It is not a listing of your job duties, but clear, bulleted items that build a case for your success as a football coach.

Start each entry with a strong action verb followed by an improvement ,success or achievement. Remember that recruiters want to know why you are the best coach for the job and what you are going to do to improve the program. Your resume sample tells them what you have already done and how your talents will jell with the team and its coaching staff.

Expert tip

Sprinkle a few of these action verbs into your resume:

Tackled. Inspired. Drove. Kicked off. Rushed. Enlightened. Taught. 

See the resume example content for an employment history below for ideas.

Adaptable employment history section
  • Designed powerful defensive and offensive plans.
  • Trained athletes and guided them to develop and foster techniques.
  • Organized department fundraising efforts and collaborated with athletic administrators.
  • Organized helpful drills and implemented physical conditioning programs.
  • Planned off-season activities for athletes to boost team morale and community engagement.
  • Evaluated game video to better understand strengths and weaknesses.
  • Helped lead team to two championship wins.
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CV skills example: assess yourself

Football coaches play a variety of roles, so their skill set is broad. It is your job in your CV skills section to decide which of your many attributes best illustrate who you are and mesh with the needs of the team. 

Your CV skills section gives recruiters a quick overview of not just how your abilities match the job, but which of your talents you think are the most impressive and important. Compile this carefully and with the individual job description in mind. Swap out skills based on your analysis of the listing you are targeting.

Expert tip

Soft skills lead to hard success

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) athlete’s support group, Athlete365 lists 10 qualities of great coaches. All are soft skills or the non-technical attributes necessary to do a great job.

Sure it’s important to know the rules of the game, but you must truly understand the sport and all its nuances to win. You are working with young people eager to learn from you, but you must also be willing to continue learning and growing.

As you prepare your list of 5-7 abilities, make sure you go heavy on the soft skills.

See the resume example content for a skills section below for ideas.

Adaptable skills example
  • Outstanding Coaching Techniques
  • Strong Leadership Skills
  • Program Management Skills
  • Football Analytics
  • Defense and Offense Techniques
  • Perseverance
  • Excellent Communication Skills
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Football coach resume education example

Most high school football coaches also have teaching degrees and your education section is the place to make that clear. This is a simple list of your academic degrees and achievements. You may also want to add any certifications you have earned.

If you are very accomplished, you may want to consider adding a championship section to detail how far into playoff season your teams have reached.

See resume sample content below for an idea of how to format your education section.

Adaptable education example
  • 2010-2014 Valencia College, Bachelor of Sports Management Orlando, FL
  • 2005-2009 Lake Worth High School, High School Diploma Lake Worth, TX
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Resume layout and design: strong lines win

You may have the most talented team in the league, but if you don’t come out strong, you will be playing catch up. The same is true of your football coach resume. You may be able to overcome a weak layout, but to gain a competitive advantage, you want strong, clean lines and a memorable but not flashy design.

Here are some pointers for doing just that:

  • Keep your resume sample neat and clean. You may be tempted to add design flourishes, but recruiters are much more impressed with a legible resume clean of distracting colors, fonts, or graphic elements.
  • Make sure your contact information stands out, as this is one of the first elements recruiters look for.
  • Use the "E" or "F" patterns, which follow the way the eye moves when reading, to place your text. This means that the top-left corner of any screen or document is the one that gets the most attention. As you move diagonally towards the bottom right, the readers’ focus will drop more and more.
  • Other features that increase the legibility of your resume are bold titles and bulleted lists of accomplishments. Large blocks of type are hard to read.
Expert tip

Consider using one of our resume templates with spellcheck to avoid formatting and spelling errors.

Key takeaways for a football coach resume

  • Football coaches may work with many different ages of athletes and play a broad range of roles.
  • You should use your inspirational skills to create a winning football coach resume and entice recruiters to offer you the interview you desire.
  • Make sure you personalize each resume to directly target the job you want, just as you alter your game plan depending on your opponent.
  • Try Resume.io’s online resume builder to make the job search process faster and easier!
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