Only one head coach application submitted this week. That was for a job in the Northeast.

I applied for another of what looks like a 2nd assistant position. This is for a program where the 1st Assistant moved on to take one of the head coach jobs I applied for, but obviously didn’t get. I took a slightly different approach with my initial contact to the head coach there. We’ll see if it pays off. I followed that up with applications to a pair of stronger conference teams for their assistant vacancies which also look like they would be 2nd assistant positions, but at that level there is often less of a distinction.

I also applied for a Division II assistant position in the Northeast. That’s the first non-Division I assistant job I’ve put in for up to this point. It’s full-time, though I don’t know if there are any additional duties attached, which can be the case at that level. Nothing was indicated in the job posting. The program has been pretty consistently strong and regularly in the NCAA tournament.

I got a rejection note from Cornell for their head coach position. They’ve elevated their assistant, who had already been given the interim tag. Also got a head coach rejection note from West Virgina, which I never really expected anything out of anyway. East Carolina has filled the assistant vacancy that I submitted for and I received a polite “you’re not on our list” email with regards to Utah.

Upon request, I finally was able to get some useful feedback this week from one of the schools to which I applied for a head coach position (but didn’t get). It went like this:

“Perhaps in the future, it would be worthwhile to provide more context about your work with the Exeter club, and to highlight similarities with recruitment there and NCAA D1, high-caliber play, and so on.   Emphasis on continued expansion of US recruiting networks would be important here since we have such a limited pool of international financial aid, though other institutions may be keenly interested in recruiting networks abroad.”

My takeaway is that basically I need to do a better job of translating my experience in England into NCAA coaching terms and give more attention to the recruiting side of things. Not unreasonable. I’ve sent follow-up emails to schools where searches remain active to try to address that, have adjusted my resume, and will incorporate it into future applications.

I had a conversation with one of my German professional coach friends this week. He told me to email a contact of his in Finland, suggesting that is a good place to get a start in the pro game. I did and heard back basically that he’ll keep me in mind.

Also connected with a coach I used to battle against in the Ivy League, and who was a fellow coach in the same Juniors club back when I got started. He coached at one of the schools I’ve applied to, and apparently still is connected with them. Said he’d put in a good word for me.

Saving perhaps the best for last, I finally had someone actually express interest in me! It’s for one of the 2nd Assistant positions in the Midwest I mentioned putting in for last week. The coach emailed me the other day. Officially, they cannot do anything just yet because the posting needs to be active for a certain amount of time before they can begin screening. It’s a start, though.

I made the decision at the end of last week to strip the UK address and phone number from my resume when applying for jobs in the States. I’d already been using my US mailing address in the online application forms – partly because some of them just didn’t handle overseas addresses well – and had begun leaving my address off my cover letters. I also changed my LinkedIn profile to show a US location. I’m hoping this will at least avoid any kind of initial automatic screening out on that basis. I can always explain my situation in an interview.

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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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