Back in the “good old days,” almost every high school coach had a college degree and was a teacher in the school where he or she coached. For many reasons – including the expansion of programs for boys and especially for girls, the pressure to coach a single sport year-round, the slippage of coaching stipends in comparison to overall family income – schools found it necessary to go beyond the faculty of schools and go below the college degree requirement to fill coaching vacancies.
The MHSAA’s response was to co-create in 1987 with Michigan State University a coaches education program especially for nonfaculty coaches and then to overhaul that program in 2005 to make it more appealing and effective for all coaches. Colleges and universities still play an important part.
During 2009-10, seven Michigan colleges and universities delivered a total of 45 CAP programs completed by 1,186 students. Six of every ten participants in a CAP program did so for college credit last school year.
During the 2010-11 school year, eight Michigan colleges and universities will include the MHSAA Coaches Advancement Program (CAP) in the curricular offerings for their students. They are:
- Central Michigan University
- Kalamazoo Valley Community College
- Lake Michigan College
- Monroe Community College
- Muskegon Community College
- North Central Michigan College
- Oakland County Community College
- Western Michigan University
Educational athletics requires educated coaches; and, notwithstanding financial challenges, CAP – in partnership with Michigan’s higher education community – is helping to provide the core competencies we must maintain for school-based, student-centered sports.