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8 Coaching Qualities Athletic Directors Expect And Look For In Coaches

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Steve Kryger (@coachskryger) is an Athletic Director at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, CA. Kryger has been at M-A since 2008, also teaching math and coaching boys' lacrosse. Prior to M-A, he coached basketball at Hillsdale, Palo Alto, and San Mateo highs, and was named San Mateo County Girls' Basketball Coach of the Year in 2000 and again in 2008. In 2017, Kryger and Co-AD Paul Snow were named the Northern California Girls and Boys Athletic Directors of the Year by the California Coaches Association (CCA).

According to Kryger, finding great, transformational coaches can be difficult as an Athletic Director. In the coaching search process, Kryger looks for coaches who:

1) Look at the student-athlete as a human being, not just someone to help you win in an athletic arena

2) Coaches care about the things their student-atheltes are learning

3) Prioritize academics, and help their student-athletes prioritize academics

4) Can relate well to student-athletes

5) Can communicate well with student-athletes

6) Are experts in the sport they are coaching

7) Are looking to continuously improve and learn

8) Are innovating and being creative in their approach to teaching skills and communicating with athletes so that things don't get stale for student-athletes.

Although these are ideal quallities that leaders can look for, they are very hard to find, and many organizations are hurting for high quality people that can live up to these qualities. Coaches don't get paid a lot of money, but a supportive administrative staff can help leaders attract coaches that are more likely than not to have these qualities.