January 2019 - 22

2019 state of
the industry
By Kevin Hoffman, Editorial Director
Trends, challenges and opportunities identified in Coach & Athletic Director's
eighth annual high school sports survey
The budgetary crisis has ended for most athletic programs.
While that's a promising sign of things to come, athletic
directors still see a number of challenges confronting schools
nationwide.
In Coach & Athletic Director's eighth annual State of the
Industry survey, we're given detailed insight into high school
athletic programs, along with their struggles and opportunities.
This year's major trends include healthier budgets, but
administrators still express concern about the future of their
programs. Challenges include referee shortages, finding
qualified coaches, and participation, which is dwindling in
major sports.
Feedback from athletic directors suggests that not enough
is being done to furnish their programs with all the necessary
resources. Cuts to staff have shifted many responsibilities to
their desks, and volunteers are hard to come by. Some said
that the difficulties in managing a bare-bones program have
forced them to consider new career paths.
This year's survey examines spending, fundraising, program
management and other critical components of high school
athletics. Here are the results of our 2018-19 State of the
Industry report.
The top 5 concerns
of athletic directors
1
Finding qualified coaches. To no
surprise, finding qualified coaches is
far and away the most concerning issue
for high school athletic administrators. A
popular complaint is that an increase in
responsibilities, coupled with a smaller
stipend, has driven teachers away from
coaching. As a result, athletic directors
are forced to search outside of the school,
finding mostly candidates who might not
be as familiar with the education-based
philosophy. There also are problems with
parents, which forced many good coaches
away from their respective sport.
" Honestly, I think it's the fact that
coaches don't want to have to deal with
parents' unreasonable expectations for
their student-athletes, " said one athletic
director. " Who wants to get called to
the mat for playing (who) they feel is the
best, and getting questioned because
some coach in the stands doesn't agree
with the decision? "
" A lot of schools in our area means a
depletion in the pool of good coaches, "
22 JANUARY 2019
said another athletic administrator. " Not
enough training for coaches. Clinics cost
too much, and everyone thinks they can
become a coach by watching YouTube. "
2
.Problems with parents. Dealing with
.combative parents has never ranked
higher than No. 3 on our list - until this
year. Athletic directors have a variety of
theories on why parents have become
such a problem for coaches, but most
agree the issue is only getting worse.
" (It's) entitlement, " one athletic
director said in our survey. " Parents are
completely irrational and have zero selfawareness.
Their behavior in the stands
has become embarrassing, and the way
they talk to coaches and administrators is
out of line. "
There's no question coaches and
athletic administrators have spats with
parents, but what can be done about it?
In our survey, athletic directors listed a
number of initiatives that have reduced
- but not eliminated - conflicts. Some
said mandatory preseason meetings
have opened the lines of communication
and set clear standards for acceptable

January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2019

January 2019 - 1
January 2019 - 2
January 2019 - 3
January 2019 - 4
January 2019 - 5
January 2019 - 6
January 2019 - 7
January 2019 - 8
January 2019 - 9
January 2019 - 10
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