North Carolina already is among the national leaders in accredited high school coaches but may make a big jump in the national rankings during the next year. Coaches at this week’s N.C. Coaches Association convention in Greensboro heard about the need for continuing education.
Beginning Aug. 1, 2015, the N.C. High School Athletic Association will require all of its coaches to have completed fundamentals of coaching and concussion awareness classes before conducting any practice. Schools that violate the policy will be fined.
“We are stressing in North Carolina that once you complete those first two courses, all you have to do is take a safety and first-aid course plus a sport-specific course and you become nationally accredited,” said Davis Whitfield, the NCHSAA commissioner. “Being a nationally accredited coach should be a goal.”
Bobby Guthrie, a former Wake County senior administrator for athletics, continues to work with continuing education for coaches on the state and national levels.
“I’d say that North Carolina has averaged about 70 coaches a year becoming certified every year since 2009,” Guthrie said. “We are in the top five or six nationally in the number of courses completed, and we’re pushing for a big jump next year.”
Coaches can become Accredited Interscholastic Coaches (AIC) by completing two more courses beyond the NCHSAA requirements. The National Federation began a Certified Interscholastic Coach (CIC) program this month. The CIC level requires seven or eight courses.
“We are encouraging continuing education for our coaches,” said Mark Dreibelbis, an NCHSAA assistant commissioner. “Classroom teachers are required to keep certification. Continuing to learn and stay current is as important to coaches.
“Coaches are a part of the educational mission of our high schools. Coaches made a difference in our students’ lives. Professional development among coaches helps our coaches and our students.”