North Carolina High School Athletic Association

National Certification Program Interscholastic Coaches

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 11, 2009) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has launched a national certification program for interscholastic coaches with the Level 1 Accredited Interscholastic Coach certificate.

To become certified by the NFHS, a coach must take three required professional development courses online — Fundamentals of Coaching, First Aid for Coaches or its equivalent and a sport-specific course or Teaching Sport Skills — and complete an application online at The cost of Level I certification is $50.

Coaches are encouraged to become certified for a number of reasons: to create a more educational environment and minimize risks for students, to stay current in the profession and to be nationally recognized — to name a few.

“Schools have many challenges facing them today, not the least of which is hiring coaches who understand their role in teaching life skills to students through the sport experience,” said Tim Flannery, NFHS assistant director and director of the NFHS Coach Education Program. “This does not automatically happen. It must be intentional.”

Flannery said when interscholastic coaches receive the proper training, they are able to provide their students a well-rounded education applicable to life beyond the playing field, and the entire community sees the benefits.

“School administrators today must continually demonstrate the educational value of athletics to ensure the support of the community, and having trained coaches on staff is paramount to that success,” said NFHS Executive Director Robert F. Kanaby.

Since January of 2007, more than 110,000 Fundamentals of Coaching courses have been delivered to interscholastic coaches across the United States.

Currently, 45 member state associations are using the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching course as a requirement for coaching or as continuing professional development.

“This is a strong statement that our member state associations believe that training is essential if we are going to keep education as the primary purpose of interscholastic athletic programs,” Flannery said.

Sport-specific courses are currently offered in soccer, wrestling, football, cheer and dance and volleyball. The NFHS has partnered with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), USA Football, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) and USA Volleyball to develop these courses. The NFHS plans to offer sport-specific courses in all 17 sports for which it writes rules, in addition to tennis and golf.

By late spring, the NFHS will offer three new courses: Fundaments of Coaching Softball, through partnerships with the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball; Fundamentals of Coaching Basketball; and an NCAA Eligibility Course.

All NFHS coach education courses are available at


This press release was written by Allison Brown, a fall intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department and a senior at Butler (Indiana) University.

About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.5 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at

MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Howard or John Gillis, 317-972-6900

National Federation of State High School Associations

PO Box 690, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206 or

Bruce Howard, Director of Publications and Communications, National Federation of State High School Associations, PO Box 690, Indianapolis, IN 46206; 317-822-5724; (fax) 317-822-5700; (e-mail)