Coach, Head (High School Sports) Licensing

States Licensed


of 50 states and D.C.


Burden Rank


for average burdens 1st is worst


Combined Rank


for states licensed x average burdens 1st is worst

Change from 2017 to 2022, if any:
Burden increased
Burden decreased
Mixed burden change
New license
Eliminated license
2022 Licensing Burden Rank
Lower Burden Rank
Higher Burden Rank
No state license

How does my state compare to others?

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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. In five states—Arkansas, Georgia, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Virginia—head coaches must be licensed teachers. See Appendix B under “Public School Teacher” for more details.

2022 Snapshot

  • 4 unlicensed states
  • Days lost range from .2 (Delaware) to 2,555 (Georgia)
  • Fees range from $0 (20 states) to $712 (New Jersey)
  • 12 states require 1+ exam
  • 11 states set minimum age
  • 10 states set minimum grade

Changes Since 2017

  • 1 license removed by Rhode Island; none created
  • 29 states increased education or experience, while Missouri and Iowa reduced it; fees also changed often and usually increased
  • Burden rank worsened 3 spots, largely because other occupations improved; combined rank improved 2 spots because of an eliminated license and large education and experience reductions in 2 states

2022 Licensing Burden in Detail

N New License
E Eliminated License

Data Notes: 2022 data collected between February 3, 2020, and March 18, 2022. Fees include charges for application review and license issuance; exams; background checks, credit reports and fingerprinting; recovery fund contributions; third-party certification; and certain fees for training courses. Calendar days lost were estimated based on required education and experience; except for amounts smaller than one day, days lost are rounded to whole days and thus may not reflect very small changes between 2017 and 2022. Appendix A details methods for estimating days lost and calculating burden ranks. Complete data, including revised 2017 data, are available at

Additional Resources