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Recent bills passed by the Kentucky Legislature have changed the requirements for coaches within school districts. Most notably, House Bill 383 waived the 64 semester hours of college requirement and replaced it with other trainings allowing for a person to become a certified coach.
The bill, passed in 2009, has already shifted the middle and high school coaching climates. The legislation stemmed from school districts and athletic directors struggling to find coaches who met the requirements.
“If you go back, a lot of schools would tie a coaching job in with a teaching job. The KHSAA felt that they should raise the requirements and passed new rules for hiring coaches. These rules required schools to hire a level one or level two coach,” Casey Athletic Director Victor Black said.
A level one coach is a certified teacher and a member of the school where he or she is coaching. If a level one coach could not be found, the vacancy could be filled by a level two coach. Level two coaches do not have to be employed by the district, but must be 21 years old, pass the background check, and have 64 hours of college credit.
If a school was not able to find a level one or level two coach, the KHSAA could approve a one-year waiver to hire an individual. This allowed an individual to coach for only one year while the replacement coach was found.
“After those 365 days, that person could not coach in that position again. Period. Many districts felt handcuffed by some of these rules because many teachers did not want to coach. Athletic directors saw many people in the community that could make a good coach but didn’t meet the level two requirements,” Black explained.
House Bill 383 was shot down in 2008 during the Kentucky Legislative session. Bill-supporters regrouped and presented the bill again in 2009. It passed and allowed coaches to become certified without the college hours as long as they completed specified requirements and training.
“I think this is a good change because it gives good people with sports knowledge the opportunity to coach. These people coach because they love it. When you look at the amount of time coaching requires and the pay they receive, these people obviously don’t coach because of the money,” Black said.
CCHS Assistant Volleyball Coach Angie McQueary was the first in the Casey district to become a qualified coach thanks to HB 383.
“We were short a volleyball coach and we did the one-year waiver so she could become an assistant coach. The law was passed and she jumped all the necessary hoops to make her a certified assistant coach. We were really glad to bring her back because we know she enjoyed coaching those girls and did a great job,” Black said.