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What is Involved With Being a Graduate Assistant Coach?

Updated: Jan 12




Embarking on the journey of becoming a graduate assistant coach is an endeavor that blends academic pursuits with the dynamic world of coaching. This unique role offers aspiring coaches the opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom knowledge and hands-on experience on the field or court. As the title suggests, being a graduate assistant coach involves more than just coaching—it encompasses a diverse set of responsibilities that contribute to the overall success of a sports program. From balancing academic responsibilities to actively participating in coaching strategies and player development, the role of a graduate assistant coach is both demanding and rewarding. This article aims to unpack the intricacies of this position, shedding light on the duties involved and providing valuable insights for those considering or currently navigating the path of a graduate assistant coach.


A Graduate Assistant (GA) Coach is typically an entry-level coaching position in college athletics that combines coaching responsibilities with pursuing a graduate degree. Here are some key aspects involved in being a Graduate Assistant Coach:


Coaching Responsibilities:

  • Position Coaching: GA's often work with specific position groups, assisting the position coach in drills, player development, and game preparation.

  • Game Planning: GA's contribute to the development of game plans, analyzing opponents, and providing input on strategies.

  • Scouting Reports: GA's may be involved in creating scouting reports on upcoming opponents, including analyzing strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.

Recruiting:

  • GA's often assist in the recruiting process, which may involve evaluating high school talent, communicating with prospective student-athletes, and participating in recruiting visits.

Player Development:

  • GA's contribute to the overall player development, focusing on both on-field performance and off-field character development.

  • They may assist in organizing and conducting offseason workouts, strength and conditioning programs, and skill development sessions.

Video Analysis:

  • GA's often play a role in video analysis, breaking down game footage to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement.

  • They may use video analysis software to create presentations for players and coaches.

Administrative Duties:

  • GA's are usually involved in various administrative tasks, such as organizing team events, handling equipment, and managing logistics for practices and games.

Academic Support:

  • GA's may be involved in monitoring the academic progress of student-athletes, ensuring they meet eligibility requirements and providing support as needed.

Graduate Studies:

  • One of the defining features of a GA position is the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree. GA's typically receive tuition assistance or a stipend for their graduate studies.

Assisting Head Coach and Staff:

  • GA's work closely with the head coach and other members of the coaching staff, contributing to the overall success of the program.

  • They may attend staff meetings, provide input on team strategies, and assist with day-to-day operations.

Compliance:

  • GA's must adhere to NCAA rules and regulations regarding recruiting, eligibility, and other aspects of collegiate athletics.



It's important to note that Graduate Assistant positions are often temporary, typically lasting for the duration of the coach's graduate program (usually two years). Many coaches view this role as a stepping stone to advance their coaching careers, gaining valuable experience and exposure within the college coaching landscape. Additionally, the specific duties and responsibilities can vary depending on the coaching staff, program, and university.


If you need help with your coaching resume, your portfolio, or the interview process, be sure to sign up for one of our job prep packages at The Coaching Portfolio Guide! We provide services that assist with all aspects of the job search process for coaches. Click here to get started today!


Written By: Bill Vasko – CEO, XO Coach


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