8 Ways for a Coach to Give Back to the Game

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

A coach’s obligation to mold men and build character goes beyond his players. The best coaches give back by mentoring other coaches and helping them make an impact on players in their respective communities.


John Rice has the distinction of coaching in state title games with teams in three different states. In addition to being a head coach at J.W. North High (Calif.), he has been an assistant under Bob Beatty at 19-time Kentucky state champion Trinity, and is currently an assistant for reigning California state-champion St. John Bosco.

“I try to give service where I can,” Rice said. “When I was young, I was fortunate to be around coaches who mentor me. They said we’re part of a profession that has an obligation to give back and serve football whenever you can.”

Rice shared eight ways in which coaches can give back to the game.

Get Involved in Youth Football.

Rice works with youth coaches through USA Football to teach Heads Up Tackling and player safety. If a coach invests himself in player development at the youth level, he will reap the rewards when those players matriculate to the high school playing field.

Attend Coaching Clinics/Conventions.

Rice attended the 2016 USA Football National Convention in Orlando, Fla. “Whenever a head coach encourages his assistants to network with other coaches – whether it’s at conventions, clinics, youth leagues, or on the high school field – it strengthens the profession.”

Record Videos for Other Coaches.

Rice shoots videos for Coaches Choice, a publisher of instructional materials for coaches in all sports. High school coaches need not take a page out of NFL coaches’ books, which stress that all coaching strategies are sacred. Share what works with other coaches.

Publish Articles/Books.

Rice has been published in articles and books. Share your scheme and provide informative suggestions as to how to practice and prepare for games. If your strength training program is resulting in impressive player gains, share your philosophy with other coaches.

Become a Board Member for Football Associations.

Rice is a member of the Board of Directors for the Riverside Chapter of National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame as well as the Southern California Football Coaches Association. “We decide which players get scholarships and we have a hand in addressing rule changes and safety issues.”

Direct Clinics for Players/Coaches.

Rice is a featured clinic presenter for Glazier Football Clinics. However, coaches who lack the means to travel the country can direct clinics on their own high school field. Run a clinic for coaches to share your coaching strategies and one for players to give them opportunities for extra practice.

Lead Community Service Projects.

Fundraising is a necessary evil for any high school football program, but don’t forget to organize projects that benefit people outside the program. Some ideas are reading to elementary school children, volunteering with Special Olympics, or doing a walk/run with the March of Dimes or Relay for Life.

Mentor Other Coaches.

Take a coach under your wing, and help him strengthen his weaknesses. Teach him how to relate to players while also providing a bridge to his next job.

Do you have a thought about this article that you would like to share? If you do, email managing editor Dan Guttenplan at dguttenplan@ae-engine.com. Tweet us @fnfcoaches.