DID I CHOOSE THE WRONG PROFESSION?!: Football Coach Vs Band Director Salaries

In the south, there are two things that reign supreme… church on sunday mornings, and football on friday nights. Unlike church, football is a state supported, taxpayer funded “extra-curricular” activity that is, supposedly, a supplement to the academic curriculum. Just like all other teachers, football coaches are required to have met the state certification requirements for educators. They attend a four year college, graduate, and pass the necessary exams to receive a teacher’s certificate. A football coach could be certified to teach physical education, math, science, history, or any other content area. But unlike other content area teachers, in the south, football coaches are sometimes the highest paid employees of the school districts. But why?…

Some argue it’s the extra time football coaches put in during the summer hours and throughout the school year hosting two a day workout sessions and after school practices that demand this much higher salary. But don’t band directors do the same?

coach vs director

In my experience as a band director, I could argue that I’ve put in just as much (if not more) after school time than the coaches I’ve worked with throughout the years, but for less pay. I’ve found it difficult to explain to my wife, who works in the corporate sector, how this is even possible. She understands it as the more responsibility and time that your job demands (ie. value given) warrants higher pay. Comparing roles, based on value and responsibilities, the educator would be equal to that of a “Director” receiving executive or partner level pay (six figures) in corporate america. I find myself asking why is it so different in the field of education then? Why is “Educator” the only profession with very high amounts of responsibility and value, (like educating america’s youth) but compensated on a much lower level… unless you’re a football coach… I find it all a bit insulting.

What’s even more insulting is, unlike football, band is a “co-curricular” activity which means it is an extension of the academic curriculum and in many ways enhances the student’s aptitude for learning. Football is “extra curricular” which basically means your child could do without it and still have a perfectly balanced educational experience. So why are football coaches valued more by our state education boards, those who set the salaries, than music educators?

Next time you are at a football game look at the number of players (25 – 30 on average) and the number of coaches (6 – 8 on average) then look at the number of students in the band (80 – 100 on average) with no paid help. It’s a glaring picture of which is valued more by school leaders. Even with all of the studies showing why a quality music education is important for the overall educational experience, there are still glaring examples, such as this, that show we are far from where we need to be. When administrators have 6 coaches, in addition to the head coach, on the sidelines at a football game but tell the band director there is no money for uniforms, instruments, etc… They have clearly decided which they value more.

Either way, these are your tax dollars being used so what do you say?…  Do you feel as if Band Directors and Coaches should be similarly compensated? Do you feel that there is nothing wrong with the way things are? Let’s hear it…

Published by Ernest Stackhouse

-Music Educator -Marching Band Show Design -Musical Arranger -Adjudicator -Fine Arts Administrator -Band Director -Writer

2 thoughts on “DID I CHOOSE THE WRONG PROFESSION?!: Football Coach Vs Band Director Salaries

  1. You are at it again. Stirring up controversy. I can see where a lot of this extra money is going that so many people do not. I will probably get harassed all the way to hell for my response but it is forthcoming.

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