RICHMOND, Va. -- There are roughly 5,000 men and women across Virginia who help coach football at the high school level.
And now, they will hopefully be getting a voice.
The Commonwealth Football Coaches Association has been formed to be a clearinghouse of information for high school coaches, regardless of their size, experience, or success.
“Giving everyone an equal voice no matter what division you’re in,” explained Manchester head coach Tom Hall. “No matter what size school, no matter what your record was. That doesn’t mean anything. What does mean something is that you’re a football coach.”
In the past, coaches have had other state-wide organizations that had mixed success with presenting a unified front on items that directly affected their sport. This time, Hall said the initial interest is strong and is only expected to get stronger.
“This has been in talks for years,” Hall said. “What COVID-19 has done is light a spark under us.”
Hall estimates the only scholastic organization with more potential members is the state teachers union, which numbers well over 5,000. He believes in strength in numbers, especially when the subject is how he and his fellow coaches will be able to operate moving forward.
“There have been talks on offseason workouts, putting more restrictions on us,” Hall explained. “Possibly changing the number of divisions, and when we can start being with our kids again. We miss them greatly. We’re following what our surrounding states are doing. We have a plan in place and we’d really love an opportunity to sit down with the VHSL and share our thoughts.”
One of the things the CFBCA hopes to streamline is coaching certification and instruction. They plan on holding a statewide clinic each year to bring all coaches up to speed on the latest techniques and requirements. Another objective is to be a trusted source of information for coaches on what may or may not be in their future.
“You get an opportunity to find out what’s going on and it’s not speculation,” added Monacan head coach Jim Henderson. “You’re not hearing things 3rd, 4th or 5th person. You’re hearing it from someone who was actually sitting in the meeting.”
While the tangible effects of this organization may not be felt immediately, it will hopefully lead to a better product on the field for future teams and staffs. And may encourage coaches from other sports to get as organized themselves.
“I’m hoping we’re going to lead the way,” Hall said. “Coaches need to have an active part in the decision making.”