I hope that you have enjoyed this 3 part series on 3 Tips To Get Along Great With Your Athletic Director!  If you have a good relationship with your AD, it will be good for you personally, and your program as a whole.  Read Part 1 here, and read Part 2 here,

The Third Tip

Listen, your AD is always going to want to have your back, especially if he hired you. 

You running your program the right way, and being responsible is going to make him or her look good.  Just like anybody else, an AD wants to look good to his superiors, and he wants to keep the “problems” off the principal’s desk as much as possible. 

Remember, if the principal didn’t hire you, he won’t be as invested IN you as the AD is.  You’re “just a coach” and very replaceable in the eyes of a principal.  Keep the principal’s inbox clear of any complaints about YOUR program.   That goes for other administrators too.

Head Coach Justin Reber of Saddleback Valley Christian, San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Head Coach Justin Reber of Saddleback Valley Christian, San Juan Capistrano, CA.

I was in a meeting about something very minor that one of my head coaches did; it was with my Vice Principal and the Asst Superintendent.  The Asst. Sup said “Let’s just find another coach.”  Of course, that person had absolutely NO CLUE what that process is like, or what that will do to a team in the middle of the season.  Luckily, we talked that person off the ledge.  Many administrators don’t have a clue what it takes to be a coach, manage a team, much less an Athletic Department.  You want to keep as MANY issues out of their office and off their radar as possible.

Be a responsible coach, and this will go a long way with your AD.  He has got to be able to trust you.

Here are some tangible ways YOU can be a more responsible Coach:

Turn the lights off in the gym.

Keep the batting cages locked up when you aren’t there.

Make sure your football players aren’t getting changed out by their cars in front of the whole school.

Finish practice when your calendar says practice will end.

Don’t let kids practice that aren’t cleared to practice.

Put teaching in front of winning.

Do not lose personal checks for practice gear.

Remember to thank the school board in your banquet speech.

Clean up the trash under your benches.

Don’t forget your catcher’s gear at the rivals school.

Follow transportation guidelines.

Stop letting coaches who aren’t cleared yet around the kids.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Southern California
Don’t be a thorn in the side of your Athletic Director! Source: USA Today

And yes, every single one of these become headaches to your AD.  In fact, they are some issues I’ve dealt with just over the last couple of years!  They can all be resolved by Head Coaches who are more responsible for your program.

Your AD doesn’t want to micromanage your program.  He doesn’t want to be called in to his boss’ office because you aren’t being responsible in how you run your program.  Just do your job, be a responsible coach, this is another great way to stay on “the good side” of your AD.


Chris Fore is a veteran high school football coach and Athletic Director from Southern California.  He earned his Masters’ degree in Athletic Administration, and is a Certified Athletic Administrator with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators’ Association.  Follow @coachfore on Twitter.  Please visit www.eightlaces.org to see the various athletic manuals he has published.