Calling all coaches


Hayden Umphenour

Girls Varsity Soccer without a coach.

Ariana Cross and Hayden Umphenour


Orcutt Academy has been struggling with a shortage of coaches in different sports since the schools opening in the fall of 2008. But why are people so hesitant to take the job?


OA teacher Josh Bennett coaches varsity boys soccer. In an interview he expressed what he thinks is attributed to Orcutt’s difficulties in finding a coach. “If you look at salaries coaches receive throughout the county or area it’s always less here at Orcutt Academy.” On top of the low salary coaches receive, Orcutt also has lackluster facilities.


It’s hard enough to find a coach with perfect conditions, and most people are either not qualified or hesitant to take on such a big responsibility. Coaching a high school team means multiple games and practices a week, many out of town. Bennett shared, “I probably personally spend twenty hours a week trying to schedule rides for everyone”. Being a coach is stressful at any school, and especially stressful when adding in low pay and poor facilities.


Athletic Director at Orcutt Academy Chad McKenzie spoke about the reasons why coaching staff are so hard to come by. “The two main reasons people don’t take coaching jobs here is because of money, and time.” On average, football coaches at other schools in the Santa Maria Bonita School District make $3-4,000 per season whereas coaches at Orcutt Academy make less than half as much.


Recently, Orcutt Academy has been searching for a varsity boys volleyball coach, and McKenzie has had to contact around 20 different people, half of which declined the offer due to inadequate pay, or lack of time. Not only is it hard to find coaches, it is also difficult to keep them. The average coach at Orcutt Academy, with a few exceptions, stays with a team for 3-4 years.


Orcutt Academy competitive cheer coach Megan Moore expressed that while the pay isn’t enormous, it is definitely worth the stress to get to work with our athletes. “If anyone is looking to coach to get paid a great amount they might need to look somewhere else, but if you want to coach to help out the school and give kids an opportunity to learn something, you can look past the average amount.” As long as the coaches are passionate about the sport then the team will have a successful season. “Us coaches always want our teams to succeed.”


The main obstacles when hiring a coach fall to finding one who is passionate about the sport and players, able to fulfill the time commitment, and can look past the low pay. Without a larger sports budget or better facilities, Orcutt will continue to struggle in finding coaches. This issue directly affects athletes when they are left without a coach, or a coach who isn’t fully committed to the team and challenge that comes with this position.