Coach, Head (High School Sports)

Head coaches instruct or coach groups or individual high school students in the fundamentals of sports, demonstrate techniques and methods of participation, and may evaluate athletes’ strengths and weaknesses as possible recruits or to improve the athletes’ technique to prepare them for competition.
License required by 48 states
46th most burdensome licensing requirements
14th most widely and onerously licensed occupation

Forty-eight states require a license for head coaches of high school sports. On average, licensing laws for head coaches require $79 in fees and over a year (367 days) of education and experience—the 46th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. Because head coaches are licensed by almost every state, the occupation ranks as the 14th most widely and onerously licensed.

The most burdensome states are those that require all head coaches to be licensed teachers: Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia. (See Appendix B under “Public School Teacher” for details on teacher licensing.) Of the remaining states, New York is the most burdensome, requiring $290 in fees and about 1,125 days of education and experience (three years as a temporary coach and 130 hours of coursework). In contrast, 30 states require only about seven hours or less of education. Also, 28 states impose no fees.

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Ohio 48 $570.00 2,921 4 years and 4.5 clock hours 4 years 2 0 0
2 Missouri 48 $191.00 2,920 4 years and 0.5 clock hours 4 years 3 0 0
3 Georgia 48 $281.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
4 New Jersey 48 $535.00 2,191 4 years and 4 clock hours 2 years 2 12 18
5 Virginia 48 $450.00 1,461 4 years and 4 clock hours - 3 0 18
6 Arkansas 48 $395.00 1,462 4 years and 9 clock hours - 2 0 0
7 Oklahoma 48 $334.00 1,460 4 years - 2 0 0
8 New York 48 $290.00 1,125 130 clock hours 3 years 0 0 0
9 Maryland 48 $0.00 734 21.5 clock hours 2 years 0 12 23
10 Kentucky 48 $20.00 450 64 credit hours and 10 clock hours - 0 12 21
11 Washington 48 $0.00 1 4 clock hours - 0 12 21
12 Connecticut 48 $0.00 11 48 clock hours - 0 12 18
13 Wyoming 48 $50.00 35 5 credit hours and 2.5 clock hours - 0 12 0
14 Arizona 48 $129.00 163 15 credit hours 250 clock hours 0 0 0
15 New Mexico 48 $54.00 1 4 clock hours - 0 12 0
16 West Virginia 48 $0.00 2 14 clock hours - 0 12 0
17 Maine 48 $0.00 1 5 clock hours - 0 12 0
18 Iowa 48 $85.00 15 65 contact hours - 0 0 18
19 Illinois 48 $0.00 1 4 clock hours - 0 0 19
20 Michigan 48 $0.00 1 7 clock hours - 0 0 18
21 Florida 48 $75.00 63 9 credit hours - 0 0 0
22 Colorado 48 $75.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 1 0 0
23 Nebraska 48 $55.00 22 3 credit hours and 4 clock hours - 0 0 0
24 Rhode Island 48 $100.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
25 Minnesota 48 $0.00 14 60 clock hours - 0 0 0
26 Alabama 48 $40.00 1 5.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
27 Utah 48 $40.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
28 New Hampshire 48 $25.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
29 Louisiana 48 $0.00 1 7 clock hours - 0 0 0
30 Massachusetts 48 $0.00 1 6.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
31 Oregon 48 $0.00 1 5 clock hours - 0 0 0
31 Texas 48 $0.00 1 5 clock hours - 0 0 0
33 Montana 48 $0.00 1 4.9 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 Alaska 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 California 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 Idaho 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 Mississippi 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 Nevada 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 North Carolina 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 North Dakota 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 South Dakota 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 Tennessee 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
34 Vermont 48 $0.00 1 4.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
44 Kansas 48 $0.00 1 4 clock hours - 0 0 0
44 Wisconsin 48 $0.00 1 4 clock hours - 0 0 0
46 D C 48 $0.00 0 1 clock hours - 0 0 0
46 Indiana 48 $0.00 0 1 clock hours - 0 0 0
48 Delaware 48 $0.00 0 0.5 clock hours - 0 0 0