Helping prevent injury and balance out fitness for student athletes is the idea behind hiring new strength, conditioning and fitness coaches for the San Mateo Union High School District and some athletic directors are trying to figure out if they have the funds or need for the roles.
The position is something schools in the district had already begun to create, but a job description and funding amounts approved by the school board in December 2013 formalized the roles to make them consistent across schools. Funding is coming from the individual school’s athletic booster groups, said Kirk Black, associate superintendent of human resources and administrative services.
Currently, each of the six schools in the district is voluntarily deciding if it wants to hire the coaches. Each coach’s stipend is $3,233 per semester, each working 12-16 hours a week for 18 weeks. During the summer, coaches would work 24-32 hours a week for nine weeks. The total spent on the coaches is going to be $58,194.
Steve Sell, Aragon High School’s athletic director, said it’s great the roles are being formalized, but that he hopes the number of hours are adjusted since he thinks they’re a bit ambitious right now. Aragon hired on a coach in fall 2013 to fill a role like this. The school’s athletic boosters group may not have a sufficient amount of money to fund them into the future though, he added.
“It’s a positive move,” Sell said. “A lot more people are doing strength training and the weight room is a lot more diverse. It’s not just football players anymore. Kids are busy though and we’ll see if the number of hours is correct.”
The job description the school board approved states the coach focuses on leading, instructing and motivating student athletes and interscholastic athletic teams in strength conditioning and weight training techniques to minimize injury and improve fitness necessary to promote individual and team success. The coach would also provide student-athletes with instruction that leads to the formulation of good sportsmanship, acceptable social behavior, moral values, self-discipline and self-confidence, according to a staff report.
Board President Linda Lees Dwyer said she wanted to make sure coaches were retained to work with all students, not just football players.
“We clarified the job will involve working with all student athletes who could benefit from that sort of service,” Lees Dwyer said.
Other athletic directors see the role as positive as well. Matt Wilson, athletic director at Capuchino High School, said the school ran a trial of the job over the summer with a former football coach and it went really well. The school’s boosters group would have enough money to hire such a role, but the funds could be used for other things.
“We had very good turnout and are considering doing it again,” he said. “My idea is getting a census of when student athletes would be able to come. If only five or six people want to do it, it’s not worth it. If more are interested, it would be beneficial for student athletes.”
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105