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07/20/18- Coach Qualification and Requirement Reminders

July 20, 2018 Athletic Department Blog Updates


As another year starts, and with the tremendous turnover in school administrators, it is critical that the requirements for coaches are rigidly complied with by our member schools. While adherence is a membership requirement that all schools have signed pledging agreement and compliance with, and the requirements are included in Bylaw 25, most are also part of state law or regulation. In addition to penalties by the KHSAA under Bylaw 27, failure to comply places the school and school district in a particularly perilous situation should any unfortunate incident occur as the liability would be difficult to escape.

References in this post are not intended to be all inclusive but are highlighting points to be reviewed in the context of the entire Bylaw and its published interpretations. The complete requirements are listed in Bylaw 25 and easily reviewed on the KHSAA website at

The requirements apply to all coaches regardless of level (Level 1 or Level 2 per Sec. 1 of the bylaw); regardless of team level (freshman, JV or varsity), regardless of sport or sport-activity and regardless of pay (whether or not to pay a stipend for coaching is a local decision). The requirements apply to anyone who will be listed as a coach, pictured as a coach, be at a practice or contest giving instruction to students or acting in a coaching role in any manner. For example, simply calling someone a volunteer coach doesn’t eliminate the requirements. Nor does the fact that a coach is never at practice but only at a contest helping coach remove the requirement.

Levels of Coach (702 KAR 156.070 via Bylaw 25)

  • There are two levels, 1 and 2. A level 1 coach is a faculty member, teaching at least three hours per day or performing defined full-time administrative duties. All others are level 2 coaches.
  • A Level 1 coach who retires from teaching (or other full-time administrative duties) becomes a Level 2 coach if they are no longer in that teaching or administrative role as does a coach who is a teacher or administrator in one school district and coaches in another.

Pre Hire

Hiring Process

  • Coaching is an extra duty assignment and as such, advertising and posting requirements are set by the district (KDE interpretation).
  • Preference must be given to the teacher/administrator in the hiring if the position is advertised and there is an absolute equal analysis of candidates based on the position advertisement/announcement (KRS 156.070 (2)(g)(1).

Compensation (702 KAR 156.070 via Bylaw 25)

  • Must be completely paid through the local board of education (no booster club or other outside source may make direct payments for coaching duties).

Special Training Requirements for Non-Faculty Coaches (KRS 161.185)

  • Non-faculty coaches, prior to hire, shall be provided training by the local school district with specific emphasis including but not limited to, information on the physical and emotional development of students of the age with whom the nonfaculty coach and nonfaculty assistant will be working, the district’s and school’s discipline policies, procedures for dealing with discipline problems, and safety and first aid training. 
  • Follow-up training shall be provided annually.


CPR/First Aid/AED (702 KAR 156.070 via Bylaw 25)

  • CPR/AED Training is required of all coaches.
  • CPR Training must be approved by American Heart Association, American Red Cross or other bona fide accrediting agency.
  • Initial CPR certification must be in-person, renewal determined by the accredited agency.
  • AHA/ARC “Hard Card (laminated verification)” is not required by state regulations, that is a local decision (including additional cost for that card).

Coaching Education (702 KAR 7:065 via KHSAA Bylaw 25)

  • Coaches exempt from taking the coaching education course are restricted to a coach who is a full-time faculty member teaching three-or-more hours per day who was a full-time faculty member in that same school district in 1995-96 and has remained continuously employed as a full-time faculty member since that time.
  • All other coaches (head and assistant, paid or unpaid, all levels of play) must have completed the NFHS Fundamentals of coaching course before the first day of practice or play.
  • Coaches taking the coaching education course before 2008-2009 are approved if having completed the ASEP Fundamentals of Coaching Course.
  • Cost is to be borne by the coach; it is a district decision as to reimbursement upon completion.

Sports Safety Course Training (KRS 160.445)

  • Before the first day of practice, all coaches (head and assistant, paid or unpaid, all levels of play) shall have completed the KMA/KHSAA Safety Course.
  • The safety course is offered free of charge via the KHSAA website through the efforts of the Kentucky Medical Association Committee on the Health and Safety Aspects of Sports.
  • The requirement for completion is biannual. Administrators should carefully review each year the list of coaches at their school to be ready for potential expiration.
  • The course is required of all coaches regardless of other professional training, i.e., someone who is an EMT but also serving as a coach is required to take the course if coaching at a KHSAA member school.

Rules Clinic (702 KAR 7:065 via KHSAA Bylaw 25)

  • Annually, in accordance with a schedule published on the KHSAA website, all coaches (head and assistant, paid or unpaid, all levels of play) shall have completed the KHSAA sports specific rules clinic.
  • There are three periods for completion, an extended free period to allow schools time for the potential late hiring of assistant and non-varsity coaches, a shorter period once the season has started where there is a fine for late attendance, and a very short period immediately before postseason play where there is an increased fine.
  • There is no fine assessed for first-year coaches hired after the free clinic window. However, it is the obligation of the school to contact the specific KHSAA sports administrator so that the fine can be waived PRIOR to the coach completing the clinic.


The KHSAA staff routinely publishes blog posts to better communicate with its various constituencies and the public. For a list of those blogs, go to