North Carolina High School Athletic Association

NFHS Coaching Education and National Certifications

The NFHS Coach Education Program is supported by the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, and the Association for Middle Level Education. Since the NFHS program began in 2007, the NCHSAA has some requirements that coaches must meet, and are considering more. The NCHSAA does not require coaches to be certified at this time, but there are many benefits for a school system to have certified coaches.

Below is an excerpt from an article by Tim Flannery, Former NFHS Director of Coaching Education about the importance of Coaching Education and Certification: “Why Require Coaches to be Certified?”

  • For the Health and Safety of the students who participate

A coach’s primary role is to make sure the students who participate are safe from potential harm and are cared for properly in the event of an injury. In addition, coaches are supposed to model the positive behaviors that will teach young people valuable lessons that can be used later in life.

  • For the school district

Schools are judged by the quality of their academic, athletic and fine/performing arts programs. A school’s reputation can hang in the balance if any one of these programs is called into question. Is your team(s) an example of a program that wins with dignity and loses with class?

  • Preserve education-based athletics in our schools

Athletics has been a part of our schools since the mid-1800. The United States is only major country that offers interscholastic sports as an extracurricular activity to over 7.5 million students who participate annually. One of the main reasons we offer these programs is the educational benefits students can derive from their participation.

  • Stay current in the ever changing profession of interscholastic coaching

Whether it is education, law, medicine or any profession, isn’t it important to stay current with best practices, new policies, and dealing with new issues? If coaching is ever going to rise to the level of a profession, coaches need to be current in teaching methods, minimizing risks, communicating and motivating, administering their team or program and teaching students to be the best they can be in sports and in life.

Your question most likely is, what are the costs of this program? To become certified, a coach must take…

  1. Fundamentals of Coaching – $35
  2. First Aid – $35, or its equivalent (American Red Cross, American Heart Association – Free)
  3. Concussion in Sports – Free
  4. Sports Specific Course – $50.

So the answer is $120, at the most. How can you help? Make sure that your principals, athletic directors, and coaches know about this program. For more information you can contact Bobby Guthrie ( / 919-604-7136) or Mark Dreibelbis, Associate Commissioner of the NCHSAA and the 2014 NFHS Coach Educator of the Year.

North Carolina Honor Roll: Accredited Interscholastic Coaches (June 2014)

Accredited Interscholastic Coach Requirements

Certified Interscholastic Coach Requirements

NFHS Model Coach Education Position Statement

NFHS Learn Homepage