Had a piece of news yesterday which potentially changes things. I found out that barring an administrative overrule by my department my PhD funding, which is what I’m living on, will halt once I do my initial thesis submission. The path to the degree is 1) initial submission, 2) viva (defense) which must happen within three months, then 3) final submission, the timing of which depends on the feedback from the viva. In other words, there can still be a fair bit of time between initial submission and final.

I will speak with my supervisor about this, but if initial thesis submission means the end of my funding then it changes the timeline I’m working on. The basic plan I had in mind was to go after NCAA coaching jobs now (and moving forward), to explore professional jobs come March/April when that season ends if nothing has come up already on the NCAA front, and should I still be without a position heading into the summer I could either look for something outside coaching or pursue a volunteer position for the Fall season.

Definitely some stuff to think about. I could potentially drag the PhD thesis submission process out for a few months, but probably no longer than late Spring. We shall see.

Bringing things back to the present …

The first of the positions I applied for that has been filled (as far as I’ve seen) is the Minnesota assistant job. No real argument with the hire in terms of apparent credentials. I was never contacted.

I asked a contact of mine about a head coach job I put in for. He gave me some local intelligence on where the program and funding are at, frustrations of the last coach (who resigned), etc. He also said he thought they were looking to hire a female coach. Common story. Might be a bit more intelligence forthcoming.

An assistant coach job was posted recently that had me debating whether to apply. It’s in a good conference, so from that perspective I’d probably be otherwise inclined to give it a shot. My concern, however, is the nature of the school and its values. I’m not saying it’s bad or anything. It’s just different from my own and I have serious doubts as to how well I would fit in.

Also heard about another assistant position. Small conference, very low ranked team, but in a geographically desirable area. I reached out directly to the coach to see if they would consider me a candidate. He’s asked me to send a resume. If it’s the right fit I’d definitely consider it.

Another assistant position has also been indicated as open in Division II. Also in a good area geography-wise. It’s a combined role, but the pay only falls in the low $20s. Hard to justify taking something in that low a range for a job at a lower level that isn’t likely to offer the sort of longer-term career benefits I would seek from an assistant job.

Rumors are swirling about some of the higher profile head coach jobs having been filled, or nearly so. That will start some dominos tumbling in the weeks ahead.

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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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