After last week’s update I had a lengthy internal debate about whether to apply for a head coach job I’d seen posted. It’s in Division III and back home so to speak. By that I mean it’s in New England where I did all my coaching before spending time in England. Unfortunately, New England is not one of the stronger volleyball areas of the U.S. That means there isn’t a deep high caliber player pool from which to recruit regionally and the coaching salaries are not great, relatively speaking. This particular school is a strong one academically, though, so it’s able to attract players from all over. Still, it’s Division III, which means in order to make up a reasonable salary coaching has to be combined with some other duties. In this case teaching P.E. courses is the add-on. It’s a situation I’m not overly keen on for a number of reasons, but I’m old and wise enough to know that sometimes the thing you don’t think will be good turns out to be quite positive.

In the end I decided not to go for it for two main reasons. First, it’s too early. There will be loads more jobs posted in the months to come, and opportunities in the professional game may develop as well. Second, taking a job like that very likely would limit any potential upside I might look for later. In other words, were I to decide at some point to move on, I would probably be very limited in my options for doing so.

I did, however, apply for a Division I head coach job that got posted. It was vacated by a coach who was hired for one of the positions I previously put in for. This is a job I would definitely go in thinking stepping stone position. Which of course isn’t to say I couldn’t find myself really enjoying coaching there and decide to stick around long-term.

Of course going through the job hunt process means having to think about salaries. I have seen job application instructions explicitly state that salary requirement be included in the cover letter. That got me revisiting some AVCA salary survey data I mentioned in the third part of my comparison of coaching collegiately in the U.S. vs. professionally in Europe. It provides a helpful starting point. I’ve also seen some of the position listings mention salary level or range, which helps further get some idea of relative levels – especially for assistant coaches.

On the rejection front there’s the Bowling Green assistant job and the Coker head job on the women’s side.

It’s kind of amazing how some positions remain open after two months or more. Rumor has it one of the jobs I put in for early in the process is starting things over. Actually, it’s more than just one of them now that I think about it. Word is one of them has finally been filled, though.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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