The function of a coach is to educate students through participation in interscholastic competition. An interscholastic program should be designed to enhance academic achievement and should never interfere with opportunities for academic success. Each student-athlete should be treated as though he or she were the coaches’ own, and his or her welfare should be uppermost at all times. Accordingly, the following guidelines for coaches have been adopted by the NFCA Board of Directors.
- The coach shall be aware that he or she has a tremendous influence, for either good or ill, on the education of the student-athlete and, thus, shall never place the value of winning above the value of instilling the highest ideals of character.
- The coach shall uphold the honor and dignity of the profession. In all personal contact with student-athletes, officials, athletic directors, school administrators, the state high school athletic association, the media, and the public, the coach shall strive to set an example of the highest ethical and moral conduct.
- The coach shall take an active role in the prevention of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse.
- The coach shall avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco products when in contact with players.
- The coach shall promote the entire interscholastic program of the school and direct his or her program in harmony with the total school program.
- The coach shall master the contest rules and shall teach them to his or her team members. The coach shall not seek an advantage by circumvention of the spirit or letter of the rules.
- The coach shall exert his or her influence to enhance sportsmanship by spectators, both directly and by working closely with cheerleaders, pep club sponsors, booster clubs, and administrators.
- The coach shall respect and support contest officials. The coach shall not indulge in conduct which would incite players or spectators against the officials. Public criticism of officials or players is unethical.
- Before and after contests, coaches for the competing teams should meet and exchange cordial greetings to set the correct tone for the event.
- A coach shall not exert pressure on faculty members to give student-athletes special consideration. A coach shall not scout opponents by any means other than those adopted by the league and/or state high school athletic association.