How To Be A Head Football Coach (Interview Questions Included)

Written By: Chris Haddad
Updated: August 31, 2023

Coach Kenny Simpson, head coach of Southside high school in Batesville, Arkansas, joins us to talk about his new book “Find A Way – What I Wish I ‘d Known When I Became a Head Football Coach.”

Coach Simpson has been coaching for 12 years now and has come across all of the head coach’s struggles. Kenny details in this interview with vIQtory how he’s overcome his struggles and the policies he has in place for a successful program.

In this episode, Coach Simpson talks about many issues, including:

  • Coaching The Modern-Day Player
  • Discipline With Players
  • Working With Parents
  • Drugs & Alcohol Policies
  • Interviewing Coaches

Buy Coach Kenny Simpson’s book here on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YTYCD0

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How To Be A Head Football Coach

Coach Simpson talks about how the modern-day football player has changed over the years. When he first started coaching 12 years ago, technology and the average lifestyle were different.

Adapting to social media, how he handles players, and the everyday approach to technology has changed.

Players want to be coached—bottom line. If you create an environment where players can grow physically and mentally, players will trust the process.

Things Head Football Coaches Need To Deal With

The head football coach needs to not only manage his entire football staff but also deal with on-field and off the field issues.

Below are some of the issues that coach Kenny Simpson thinks every coach should have a code of conduct for.

If you’re interviewing for a head coach position, it’s important that you have answers for all of these topics.

We recommend you have a template ready for your interviewer when these questions come up during the interview.

Disciplining Players

Coach Simpson talks about how he handles tardiness and the overall structure of the player’s discipline. Simply noting that tardiness does warrant some penalty, but that structure is the key to ensuring players are always on time and working when they’re present.

Drugs & Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol, especially vaping, have become an epidemic in high schools across America. Coach mentions that Arkansas doesn’t have a state-wide penalty for getting caught, but rather the team handles each instance on a case-by-case basis.

Coach Haddad goes into detail about how Massachusetts instituted a penalty of missing 1/4 of the season if caught with drugs or alcohol. However, Coach Haddad’s team believes that if a player is caught during the season, the player is removed from the team.

This may seem harsh, but it has built an accountability system within the team to police each other on weekends and ensure players properly take care of themselves and their bodies after games.

Dealing With Parents

Parents are often the foundation of any high school sport. They typically are the lifeblood of all events that happen off the football field. The support system from parents can be the difference between building an effective program and just having a football team.

On the flip side, parents can often be toxic to the program – petitioning the coach to be fired, complaining about playing time, and causing problems with other parents.

Coach Simpson & Coach Haddad have taken the transparency approach, ensuring every kid and parent knows why their son isn’t playing. Information is shared between each player and parent to make sure there are no questions. This approach has really had a positive impact on his program, players, and parents.

Interviewing Coaches

Another major topic Coach Simpson touched upon was how to interview coaches. Right off the bat, Coach wants to know what your plans, goals, and aspirations are so he can help get you there. Just as there’s transparency for the kids, there’s transparency between the coaches as well.

Each coach has their own job or duty and will stay in their lane to ensure the boat is smooth sailing. Coach mentions that every successful team is organized, and every person knows what is expected of them at the beginning and end of each season.

Coach Kenny Simpson mentions that making connections is the best way to land jobs either at the college or high school level. Shake all the hands you can and make you’re honest and upfront with what you’re looking for in the coaching profession

Buy Coach Kenny Simpson’s Book “Find A Way” here.

About the author 

Chris Haddad

Chris Haddad is the founder of vIQtory Sports & high school coach for over 12+ years. He has been featured as an authority on Hudl, Bleacher Report and countless other football-centric platforms. Chris continues to study and provide valuable content for those looking to learn more about the game of football.

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