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Top 11 Assistant Football Coach Certifications

This article explores the top certifications for assistant football coaches and how they can help them become successful in their careers.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for an assistant football coach in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and skills that employers look for when hiring. Certifications can show potential employers that the candidate has taken the time to develop their understanding of the sport, its rules, and techniques, as well as their coaching techniques. This can be especially beneficial for those who may not have much experience or training in coaching, but still want to pursue a career in this field. Additionally, certifications can also help coaches stand out from other applicants since it shows they possess special skills or knowledge that could be beneficial to a team or program.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain the value of some of the top certifications for Assistant Football Coaches, and how they can contribute to an assistant football coach's career.

What are Assistant Football Coach Certifications?

Assistant football coach certification is a form of training and education that prepares coaches to become effective mentors and leaders for student-athletes. It covers topics such as practice planning, game management, strength and conditioning, nutrition, safety, communication skills, and more. This certification can help coaches develop the necessary knowledge and skills to lead their teams in an efficient and effective manner. With the right training and education, assistant coaches can gain the confidence they need to successfully manage their teams on and off the field. Additionally, with this certification they will be better equipped to handle any issues that may arise during practices or games. Ultimately, assistant football coach certification can provide coaches with the tools they need to foster a positive environment for their student-athletes while helping them achieve success both on and off the field.

Make sure to stay up to date on all of the latest certifications and qualifications necessary for assistant football coaching. It is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the sport, as well as any regulations that may impact your ability to coach. Additionally, it is beneficial to be familiar with any specialized training programs or resources available in your area that could help you become a better coach.

Related: What does an Assistant Football Coach do?

Top 11 Assistant Football Coach Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Assistant Football Coachs today.

1. National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaching Certification

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaching Certification is a program designed to provide coaches with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their role. The certification is available for all levels of coaching, from youth sports to high school athletics.

To become certified, coaches must complete an online course that covers topics such as effective coaching strategies, sport-specific rules and regulations, safety guidelines, and ethical considerations. The course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete and can be done at one’s own pace.

Once the course is completed, coaches must pass a final exam with a score of 80% or higher. Upon successful completion of the exam, the coach will receive their NFHS Coaching Certification.

The cost of the NFHS Coaching Certification varies based on the level of certification being sought. The basic certification costs $50 while more advanced certifications may cost up to $200.

2. American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaching Certification

The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaching Certification is a program designed to ensure that coaches have the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the game of football in an effective and safe manner. The certification program is open to all coaches, regardless of their level of experience.

In order to become certified, coaches must complete a series of courses and exams. The courses cover topics such as football fundamentals, coaching strategies, safety protocols, player development, and more. The exams are designed to test the coach’s knowledge on these topics.

The AFCA Coaching Certification typically takes between six months and one year to complete. To get started, coaches must first register for the program online or through their local chapter of the AFCA. Once registered, they will be given access to the course materials and exams.

The cost of the AFCA Coaching Certification varies depending on which courses and exams are taken. Generally speaking, it costs around $200-$300 for all the required courses and exams.

3. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Coaching Certification

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Coaching Certification is a program that provides coaches with the knowledge and skills to coach at the collegiate level. It is designed to ensure that all college coaches have the necessary education and training to be successful in their roles.

The certification process takes approximately six months to complete, depending on the individual's prior experience. The first step is to complete an NCAA-approved coaching education program, which includes courses such as sport science, coaching philosophy, and risk management. After completing this program, individuals must then pass a written exam administered by the NCAA.

Once these steps are completed, individuals must then submit an application for certification to the NCAA. This application requires information about the individual's background, such as educational history and coaching experience. The NCAA will review this information and make a decision on whether or not to grant certification.

The cost of obtaining NCAA Coaching Certification varies depending on the individual's circumstances. Generally speaking, it will cost between $200-$400 for registration fees and course materials. In addition, there may be additional costs associated with travel or lodging if attending an in-person course.

4. USA Football Level 1 Coaching Certification

USA Football Level 1 Coaching Certification is an online course designed to provide coaches with the knowledge and skills needed to teach football in a safe and effective manner. The certification is valid for three years and requires completion of the USA Football Level 1 Coaching Course.

The USA Football Level 1 Coaching Course is a six-hour online course that includes interactive video, audio, and animation, as well as quizzes and exams. It covers topics such as concussion awareness, heat illness prevention, hydration, nutrition, injury prevention, proper tackling techniques, rules of the game, coaching philosophy, drills and practice organization. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate from USA Football.

To get the USA Football Level 1 Coaching Certification you must first register for the course on the USA Football website. Once registered you will be able to access all of the material needed to complete the course. The cost of registration is $25 USD. After completing all requirements of the course you will receive your certification within two weeks via email or mail depending on your preference.

Overall it takes approximately 6 hours to complete the USA Football Level 1 Coaching Certification at a cost of $25 USD.

5. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Double-Goal Coach Certification

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Double-Goal Coach Certification is a program designed to help coaches create a positive, character-building youth sports experience for their athletes. The certification focuses on teaching coaches how to create an environment that emphasizes both winning and character development.

The certification process consists of two parts: online learning and in-person training. The online portion includes three modules which cover the principles of PCA’s Double-Goal coaching model, as well as practical strategies for creating a positive team culture and developing character in young athletes. This portion takes approximately 3 hours to complete.

The in-person training consists of a 2-hour workshop led by a PCA Certified Trainer. During this workshop, coaches will learn how to apply the concepts from the online portion and gain valuable insight into creating a positive sports environment from experienced coaches.

In order to become certified, coaches must complete both the online learning and in-person training components of the program. Upon completion of both components, coaches will receive their official PCA Double-Goal Coach Certification certificate.

The cost for the PCA Double-Goal Coach Certification varies depending on location and type of organization but typically ranges between $50-$100 per coach.

6. United Soccer Coaches Advanced National Diploma

The United Soccer Coaches Advanced National Diploma is a certification program designed to provide coaches with the knowledge and skills necessary to coach at an advanced level. The program consists of two courses: the Level I course, which provides a foundation in coaching principles, and the Level II course, which focuses on advanced coaching topics. The courses are offered online and can be completed in approximately three months.

In order to obtain the Advanced National Diploma, coaches must complete both the Level I and Level II courses. The Level I course covers topics such as team organization, player development, game tactics, and team management. The Level II course focuses on more advanced topics such as goalkeeping techniques, match analysis, and sports psychology.

The cost of the program varies depending on whether or not you are a United Soccer Coaches member. For non-members, the cost is $399 for both levels combined. For members, the cost is reduced to $299 for both levels combined.

Once both courses have been completed successfully, coaches will receive their Advanced National Diploma certificate from United Soccer Coaches. This certification demonstrates that they have achieved a high level of knowledge in soccer coaching and will give them an advantage when applying for coaching positions at higher levels of play.

7. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS)

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS) certification is the gold standard for strength and conditioning professionals. It is a professional credential that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of strength training and conditioning principles, as well as the application of these principles to athletic performance. The CSCS certification requires an individual to pass an exam administered by the NSCA, which covers topics such as anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, program design, testing and evaluation, injury prevention, and much more.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to study for the CSCS exam depending on how much time you dedicate to studying each week. The NSCA offers several study materials including their textbook Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 4th Edition as well as practice exams to help prepare for the exam. Additionally there are many online resources available such as podcasts, webinars, blogs and forums with helpful tips from experienced professionals.

In order to take the CSCS exam you must first become a member of the NSCA which costs $50/year or $125/3 years. Once you are a member you can register for the exam which costs $395 USD plus any applicable taxes or fees. After passing the exam you will receive your CSCS certification which must be renewed every 3 years through continuing education credits or retaking the exam.

8. American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED Certification

American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED Certification is a comprehensive training program that provides individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to respond to medical emergencies. The certification program covers topics such as how to recognize signs of illness or injury, how to provide basic first aid care, how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED Certification program typically takes 4-6 hours to complete. Participants must attend a live class in order to receive their certification. The classes are offered by certified instructors at local Red Cross chapters or other approved training centers.

The cost of the American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED Certification depends on the provider offering the course. Generally, courses range from $50-$100 per person.

9. American Sport Education Program (ASEP) Fundamentals of Coaching Course

The American Sport Education Program (ASEP) Fundamentals of Coaching Course is a comprehensive online training program designed to provide coaches with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful coaches. The course covers topics such as coaching philosophy, communication, teaching and learning, sport-specific strategies, sport safety, and more. The course is offered in both English and Spanish, and can be completed in approximately 10 hours.

To get the ASEP Fundamentals of Coaching Course, you will need to register for the course on the ASEP website. Once registered, you will receive an email with a link that will take you to the course materials. From there, you can access all of the lessons and activities associated with the course.

The cost of the ASEP Fundamentals of Coaching Course is $99 USD. This fee includes access to all of the course materials as well as a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the course.

10. International Youth and Sports Science Association (IYSA) Youth Sports Safety Certificate

The International Youth and Sports Science Association (IYSA) Youth Sports Safety Certificate is an online certification program designed to help coaches, administrators, and other youth sports personnel understand the importance of safety when working with young athletes. The certificate program consists of four modules that cover topics such as injury prevention, concussion management, emergency action plans, and heat illness prevention. Each module includes a quiz to test knowledge and understanding of the material.

It takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete the IYSA Youth Sports Safety Certificate program. To get started, simply register for an account on the IYSA website. Once registered, you can access the modules at any time from your computer or mobile device.

The cost for the IYSA Youth Sports Safety Certificate is $50 USD per person. This fee covers access to all four modules as well as a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

11. American College of Sports Medicine Exercise is Medicine Credential

The American College of Sports Medicine Exercise is Medicine Credential (EIMC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize healthcare providers who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in physical activity promotion. The EIMC is intended to provide healthcare professionals with the skills necessary to effectively assess, prescribe, and refer patients for physical activity.

The EIMC consists of two components: an online course and a practical exam. The online course includes lectures, readings, activities, and quizzes that cover topics such as physical activity assessment, prescription, referral, and implementation strategies. After completing the course, candidates must successfully pass the practical exam in order to receive their EIMC credential.

In order to be eligible for the EIMC credential, candidates must hold a valid license or certification in one of the following disciplines: medicine (MD/DO), nursing (RN/APN), exercise science (MS/MA/MSc), physical therapy (DPT), occupational therapy (OTR/L), dietetics & nutrition (RDN/LDN), or health education & promotion (CHES).

The cost of the EIMC credential varies depending on the discipline you are pursuing it in. For example, physicians would pay $299 for the online course plus $125 for the practical exam; nurses would pay $279 for the online course plus $100 for the practical exam; and exercise scientists would pay $259 for the online course plus $75 for the practical exam.

It typically takes about 6-8 weeks to complete both components of the EIMC credential once you have registered and paid all applicable fees.

Do You Really Need a Assistant Football Coach Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation. If you are considering a career as an assistant football coach, then obtaining a certificate may be beneficial. A certificate can demonstrate your knowledge of the sport and provide evidence of your qualifications to assume the role of an assistant coach.

On the other hand, if you are already working in the field and have gained experience and knowledge through practice, then a certificate may not be necessary. It is important to consider what will be most beneficial for you in achieving success in your desired career path. If obtaining a certificate will help you reach your goals, then it may be worth pursuing.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue a certificate or not should be based on what you feel is best for your individual situation. Consider all of the factors before making a final decision.

Related: Assistant Football Coach Resume Examples

FAQs About Assistant Football Coach Certifications

1. What are the requirements for becoming an assistant football coach?

Answer: The requirements to become an assistant football coach vary by state and school district. Generally, most states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in coaching or physical education, completion of a coaching education program, and passing a criminal background check.

2. How do I obtain a certification as an assistant football coach?

Answer: Certification requirements vary by state, but typically involve completing a coaching education program and passing a criminal background check. You can find more information about the specific certification process for your state on the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) website.

3. Is there continuing education required for assistant football coaches?

Answer: Yes, most states require coaches to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their certifications. Information about continuing education requirements are available on the NFHS website or from your state's high school sports governing body.

4. Are there any special qualifications needed to be an assistant football coach?

Answer: Most states require that assistant football coaches have completed at least one coaching education program before they can be certified as a coach. In addition, some states may require special qualifications such as first aid/CPR certification or experience in playing or coaching the sport at some level prior to becoming certified as an assistant coach.

5. How long does it take to become an assistant football coach?

Answer: The time it takes to become an assistant football coach varies depending on the individual's experience and qualifications for the job, as well as the specific certification process in their state or school district. Generally speaking, it could take anywhere from several months up to a year before all of the necessary requirements are completed and you are eligible for certification as an assistant football coach.