The Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA), as the leading proponent for interscholastic athletic administrators’ and interscholastic coaches’ training and professional development, has released recent statistics indicating Ohio’s continued advancement on a national scale.
The OIAAA has worked closely with the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) in the promoting and providing of leadership training courses for interscholastic coaches. Each of these organizations have additionally collaborated with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) to proactively develop certification programs for coaches in Ohio.
Coach Education and Certification:
For interscholastic coaches, Ohio was one of the nation’s first states to include instructional coursework related specifically to education-based, interscholastic athletic coaching. The NFHS’ “Fundamentals of Coaching” course was added to the requirements for coach licensure in 2008 and remains one of the key components for certification in Ohio. More recently, Ohio added the NFHS’ “Concussion in Sport” course as an annual course requirement for all interscholastic and youth coaches and officials. Since April of 2013 (when the Concussion course was required by Ohio law), Ohio has led the country in Concussion courses with over 171,166 courses completed!
Ohio has additionally been a national leader in the number of interscholastic coaches who have become nationally certified through the NFHS Certification Program. Currently, there are two levels of coach certification: Accredited Interscholastic Coach (AIC) and Certified Interscholastic Coach (CIC). The AIC level of accreditation was initiated in 2009 with the CIC level being launched in July of 2014.
The AIC certification includes the following coursework:
· NFHS “Fundamentals of Coaching”
· NFHS “First Aid and Safety for Coaches”
· NFHS “Concussion in Sport” (no cost)
· One NFHS sport-specific course
The CIC certification includes these additional courses:
· NFHS “Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment” (no cost)
· NFHS “Engaging Effectively with Parents” (no cost)
· NFHS “Sportsmanship” (no cost)
· NFHS “Strength and Conditioning”
· NFHS “Teaching and Modeling Behavior”
· To elective courses
In Ohio (through December 31, 2014), there are 845 coaches who have achieved AIC status with another 20 having received CIC certification. There are over 14,000 interscholastic coaches nationally who have achieved AIC status. Uniontown Lake High School (Stark County) currently leads the state in AIC-certified coaches with 19 coaches.
On a national level, Ohio ranks fifth in the country with the number of nationally-certified interscholastic coaches. States that have more AIC coaches than Ohio:
· Arkansas: 2,593
· Arizona: 1,228
· Maryland: 951
· California: 888
Both the OIAAA and the OHSAA have been strong advocates for continuous, professional growth of interscholastic coaches. As the ultimate goal of coaches in the education-based setting is to prepare students for life after high school, such on-going training is essential and necessary. The OIAAA and the OHSAA clearly underscore this premise with their support of the NFHS training programs.
“Coaching is a profession, and training is required in any type of profession”, states Dan Schuster, Director of Coach Education for the NFHS. “In this case, training is essential because new coaches, along with our experienced coaches, are working with and attempting to influence young people in positive ways. The most successful mentors, whether they are coaches, lawyers, electricians or accountants, are those who regularly continue their quest to learn more.”