What makes a coach successful?


In my opinion, discipline and then developing talent. Taking marginal kids and making them men/women. Coaches have a tough job and don’t get enough credit. Again, just my opinion.


Active member
Having read the majority of the comments in this thread I think too many are missing the mark here. We've become so focused on the end result be it W's and L's or making better people or providing a positive experience that we've ignored what the coach actually is doing to make these things happen. Having been on a hiring committee for both HFC and previously for AD I can tell you questions surround topics such how are you going to hold kids accountable? What will your relationship with the Youth and MS programs look like? How will you hold your asst. coaches accountable? What does your off-season schedule look like? What does a week of in-season practice look like? and really the most important question as of late....How will you create a presence on campus among non-athletes, staff, non-football coaches???

In my 16 years of teaching / coaching (non football) I've seen far too many football coaches who become enveloped in this football bubble if you will where that is all that exists and the rest of the school / athletics don't matter. Grant it I teach / coach at a school of a little under 1,800 students but a month ago as our HFC committee began discussing some of the issues with our last HFC, one of our AP's (Assistant Principals) brought up the fact that a good percentage of our teaching staff could not name our exiting HFC. And he had been in the building the last 3 years.

In short what makes a good head coach?? (regardless of sport BTW) Investing in the kids, investing in the community and well showing that you give a darn both on and off the field.

Buckeye Elite

Well-known member
I think it comes down to the differentiation between a "good" coach and a "successful" coach.

A good coach is one who can teach the game and build a program where its teams have on-field success in terms of winning.

A successful coach is one who teaches and molds young men and women into more mature, respectful young adults, and who builds their confidence and makes them want to be more than they thought they could be.
Put them together and you get a great coach
Success is not linear in my opinion, there are many, many forms to measure a coach by, we all know that. As much as we all enjoy and believe in all the “rah rah” type stuff, if your school is a “football” school (as most are) you get fired if you don’t win. Unfortunately if you can get fired for not winning, it boils down to that. Administration measures you on L’s alone usually...unless you coach baseball. (They can’t make much money on baseball.)

With that being said, all the other feel good stuff is how you mold young men, establish a program, and how you build a culture in your school. That stuff is measured during and after your tenure as a coach, it can live many years after you’ve moved on. Those kinds of things are the branches to your tree, being able to reach more kids than you ever imagined.


Active member

more recruiting

good assistants

good support from the AD and the administration
How about develop your own? I hate recruiting! unless its your own kids in the building. Develop your own kids in your district and start at a young age to get the interest brewing. A good/successful coach has one eye on the future at all times.

NWCC fan

New member
The biggest reason is your level of competition, your schedule. Then, your talent level. Then your weight lifting and conditioning. then your coaching.


Well-known member
The biggest reason is your level of competition, your schedule. Then, your talent level. Then your weight lifting and conditioning. then your coaching.
I agree with all of these, but coaching is at the top.
I think you need to add expectations.
Expectations drives everything else in the list.

In a school were expectations are very low and season after season is a losing season, this feeds on itself and becomes a habit. Habit also applies to winning.
Winning Of course costs way more effort to maintain season after season. Expectations keeps the effort at that level.


Well-known member
Has anyone ever had a GREAT teacher? One you consider successful? Respected, made you into a better person, and will always remember? Me too. Did you get D's and F's in his or her class? Me neither.

Gotta have results.
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Well-known member
One who protects himself and his image above his own players, even if they are dealing with known criminals. It is not the coaches job to worry about his players, as long as he wins.

That is the definition of a great man, leader and coach!!!
Besides the obvious, knowledge of the game, able to motivate players and coaches, I've seen a couple of patterns leading to success here. #1, having the entire program on the same page, Jr. High through varsity. Here, this goes back to the 60's under Abe Bryan, Ohio HS HOF coach. Records are disregarded. You are to teach the program. #2, just because a kid is a great athlete doesn't mean he has to start both ways. If he isn't better on the other side of the ball than the competing player, jeez, don't give him that position too. A watched a local coach do that with an OL once, sat a future all-stater at DT to play a great OT both ways. It was a waste. #3 Don't play for points, play for the win. We've seen accusations of substituting too early, but it pays off. At the end of the year, you don't end up with a replacement for an injury or such having never seen the field. That's just my thoughts on a good coach being sustainable. I've seen guys who were good on the game, would have a really good team every 3 years or so, but could not be successful consistently because they did not build.
Winning games is the simple answer. A good friend of mine is a fantastic assistant and what makes him special is his ability to make mid game adjustments. He is always in the box and is the “ eye in the sky” for the entire team. I’m sure he’ll be the HC as soon as the current coach moves along or is fired.


Well-known member
Team won a few games when the kid was allowed to play and lost when he didn’t. Ultimately, the kid rode the bench so often that he quit three-fourths of the way through the season, and the coach accepted a losing record over playing the kid.
My point is that it doesn’t seem that anyone wins here ... For the Coach, he now has to face the possibility of losing his coaching position (especially if the losses continue).
Also wonder, if a coach loses his job over it, would he still believe it was worth dying on that hill?
Why would a coach lose his job over benching a kid?

Almost forgot to update you cincifbfan: The coach ultimately ‘resigned.’
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