No more money to be spent on coaching supplements

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

The director of schools is anxious to correct a bad impression given by an article in Friday's Tribune.

"The coaching supplements have not increased," said Jackie Abernathy in a telephone interview Friday. "There's no more money being spent."

School board budget committee chairman Donnie Moses confirmed this.

"It doesn't change the total amount we spend," he said.

What has changed is the ruling on how many sports one person can coach.

Previously, a teacher could be head coach for one sport, and assistant coach for another.

Starting with the 2013-2014 school year, a teacher may be head coach for one sport and assistant coach for two, as long as the sports being coached do not overlap seasons or playing schedules.

"They could not draw two assistant supplements for activities at the same time period," said Abernathy.

Effectively, this changes the cap on the amount that can be earned by coaching from $7,200 to $10,200 per year.

Abernathy hopes this change will alleviate the shortage of coaches the school system has been experiencing.

"This increases the number of people who are offered the opportunity to coach," said Moses. "We've had trouble getting assistant coaches. By allowing them to add a third sport, it may help fill some positions. We're just trying to use the existing group of people to fill some open positions."

Teachers interested in being an assistant coach in an additional sport will have to make a request to the athletic director of their school. If the athletic director approves it, the request will be passed on to the principal, and finally to Abernathy.

"There are going to be some challenges," admitted Moses. "But in situations where it's feasible, they will be allowed to take on another position."

Only the major high school sports (football, basketball, and baseball/softball) rate high supplements. A head coach for high school football, for instance, receives a supplement of $4,200; while coaches of lesser high school sports get $3,000. A high school bowling coach is paid the lowest supplement of any high school coach, at $2,000, the same as the coach for middle school tennis. Assistant coaches earn supplements of $1,700 to $3,000, depending on the sport.