Life After College - A Coaching Career
4 min read
After completing your four years at college, it can be confusing looking towards the future. Hopefully, you will be given the opportunity to become professional or semi professional, and you can continue to play your chosen sport – be it football, rugby, field hockey or golf. However, for some, coaching can provide a steady career, where you are still to live and breathe sport, while also helping others achieve their potential. It can also be a future plan, where players begin a career in coaching after they have enjoyed success as a professional athlete. Many Firstpoint clients have taken this route: becoming coaches after their collegiate career is over. Ciaran Traquair, a native of Coatbridge, attended Shorter College in Little Rock, Arkansas, on a soccer scholarship, where he was named MVP three times - enjoying great popularity both on and off the pitch. After he graduated, he went on to enjoy some success as a semi professional player, playing for both Mississippi Brilla FC and the Chattanooga FC, before returning to Shorter, where he spent two seasons as an assistant men’s soccer coach. He then became the head coach of the Wesleyan College soccer program in Georgia, where he stayed for three seasons. Currently Traquair is the head soccer coach at the Citadel Military College in South Carolina, after being appointed to the post in 2016. In addition to this, thanks to graduate and student assistant programs, many scholarship recipients go on to work as assistant coaches while earning their Master’s degrees. This has been the case for many of our clients, including Richard Moodie, who after playing for the Carson-Newman Eagles in Tennessee, continued on at the school, taking on the role of assistant coach while studying for his Masters in education. After this, Richard went on to enjoy a career as a professional soccer player – playing in both the USL and the MLS reserve division – before returning to the school in 2011, this time as head soccer coach. Former Rangers FC Ladies coach, now coach at Old Dominion University So why do so many student athletes go on to become coaches after college? Coaching can be viewed by student athletes as a way of giving back to their college. Many will return to their alma matter as a coach or assistant coach, in order to give younger players insight into the game, as well as providing them with the same college experience and opportunities as they had themselves. It can also provide a much more stable career path than professional athletics can, while still allowing them to be involved in the sport. Coaches can often struggle to switch off, as practice, recruitment and keeping tabs on players make it a 24/7 job. However, it can be very rewarding, especially for someone who has played collegiate athletics, as they are able to give other players the same tips they were given by their coaches. However, although coaching can seem like a dream job for student athletes, there are downsides. The massive salaries seen by coaches like Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer are saved exclusively for the top end, and are a far cry from what assistant coaches and lower level soccer coaches can expect. Division II soccer coach Sean Kenney, who coaches at the Concordia College in New York, can expect to see an average salary of around $36,000. The job security, while arguably more than professional athletics, is almost non-existent – with stories of coaches being fired because of a team’s loss of no more than 4 points being commonplace.