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Coaching Definitions

As a member of the NCAA, each institution is limited to the number of coaching staff members it can have per sport.  Below you will find the different coaching categories as well as the limit on off-campus recruiters per sport.

Coaching Definitions

Head or Assistant Coach

A head or assistant coach is any coach who is designated by the institution's athletics department to perform coaching duties and who serves in that capacity on a volunteer or paid basis.

Graduate Assistant Coach-Bowl Subdivision Football

In bowl subdivision football, a graduate assistant coach is any coach who has received a baccalaureate degree or has exhausted athletics eligibility (whichever occurs later) within the previous seven (7) years and qualifies for appointment as a graduate assistant under the policies of the institution.  The following provisions shall apply:

(a) The individual shall be enrolled in at least 50 percent of the institution's minimum regular graduate program of studies, except that during his or her final semester of the degree program, he or she may be enrolled in less than 50 percent of the institution's minimum regular program, provided he or she is carrying (for credit) the courses necessary to complete the degree requirements;

(b) The individual may not receive compensation or remuneration in excess of the value of a full grant-in-aid for a full-time student, based on the resident status of that individual, and the receipt of four complimentary tickets to the institution's intercollegiate football and basketball games;

(c) Graduate and postgraduate financial assistance administered outside the institution shall be excluded from the individual's limit on remuneration, provided such assistance is awarded through an established and continuing program to aid graduate students and the donor of the assistance does not restrict the recipient's choice of institutions;

(d) The individual may not serve as a graduate assistant coach for a period of more than two years except that if the individual successfully completes 24-semester hours during the initial two-year period, the individual may serve as a graduate assistant coach for a third year;

(e) Compensation for employment from a source outside the institution during the academic year shall be excluded from the institution's limit on remuneration, provided the institution does not arrange such employment and the compensation is for work actually performed.

(f) A graduate student coach may accept employment benefits available to all institutional employees (e.g., life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance), as well as expenses to attend the convention of the national coaches association in the coach's sport, without the value of those benefits being included;

(g) The individual may receive cash to cover unitemized incidental expenses during travel and practice for NCAA championship events or postseason bowl contests in accordance with institutional policy;

(h) The institution may provide actual and necessary expenses for the individual's spouse and children to attend a postseason football bowl game;

(i) The individual may not evaluate or contact prospects off-campus, regardless of whether compensation is received for such activities.  The individual shall not perform recruiting coordination functions, however it is permissible for a graduate assistant coach to make telephone calls to prospects, provided the coach has successfully completed the coaches' certification examination.

Coach, Undergraduate Student Assistant

An undergraduate student assistant coach is any coach who is a student-athlete who has exhausted his or her eligibility in the sport or has become injured to the point that he or she is unable to practice or compete ever again, and who meets the following additional criteria:

(a) is enrolled at the institution at which he or she most recently participated in intercollegiate athletics;

(b) is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student in his or her first baccalaureate degree program;

(c) is receiving no compensation or remuneration for coaching duties from the institution other than the financial aid that could be received as a student-athlete and expenses incurred on road trips that are received by individual team members; and

(d) is not involved in contacting and evaluating prospective student-athletes off-campus or scouting opponents off-campus and does not perform recruiting coordination functions.

Student Assistant Coach Approval Form must be approved by the Compliance Office prior to initial hire.

Coach, Volunteer- sports other than football and basketball

A volunteer coach is any coach who does not receive compensation or remuneration from the institution's athletics department or any organization funded in whole or in part by the athletics department or that is involved primarily in the promotion of the institution's athletics program (e.g., booster club, athletics foundation association).  The following provisions shall apply:

(a) The individual is prohibited from contacting and evaluating prospective student-athletes off-campus or from scouting opponents off-campus and may not perform recruiting coordination functions.

(b) The individual may receive a maximum of two complimentary tickets to home athletics contests in the coach's sport.

(c) The individual may receive complimentary meals incidental to organized team activities (e.g., pre-or-post- game meals, occasional meals, but not training table meals) or meals provided during a prospective student-athlete's official visit, provided the individual dines with the prospective student-athlete.

Volunteer Coach Approval Form must be approved by the Compliance Office prior to initial hire.


Limitation on Number of Coaches and Off-Campus Recruiters.


Sport ​# of Coaches
Baseball​ ​3
​ Basketball ​4
​Football ​10
​Golf ​2
​Gymnastics ​3
Sand Volleyball ​2
​Soccer ​3
​Softball ​3
Swimming & Diving ​3
Tennis ​2
​Track & Field ​3
​Volleyball ​3