Budget cuts make coaching jobs tougher to find

FORT WORTH, Texas -- One of the features of the Texas High School Coaches Association convention is a free job placement service.

Would-be coaches tack up their resumes to one side of a board while school districts display openings on the other.

Cuts in state education dollars have changed the job placement landscape this year.

“There’s always more people looking than there are jobs,’’ said four-year THSCA job placement worker Dennis Smith. “But this year, it seems like we have more looking and fewer jobs.’’

Smith, of San Antonio, retired after a 36-year career in coaching and a six-year run as an athletic director.

“I stayed in one place for 30 years and never had to do this,’’ Smith said. “It is a good feeling to see someone get a job.’’

Teaching specialties make a big difference for those seeking a coaching job.

On Monday, job applicants outnumbered listed job openings in physical education/health by 30 to 1.

Those that specialize in math or science, on the other hand, were much more in demand.

One of those PE/health applicants was Mario Bronson of Temple. He coached for two years at Tyler John Tyler and was fresh from an interview with a representative from the Waco ISD.

“It’s a little overwhelming,’’ Bronson said. “There are so many people looking. It is bad timing to be looking now, but hopefully I’ll find something. I’ll keep hammering away.’’

Jim Bennett, beginning his 28th year as head football coach at Irving High, was in the market for a freshman football/baseball coach.

“We had a coach leave to take a baseball head coaching job and we just received word today that we can hire someone,’’ Bennett said. “We’ve been filling jobs from within our school district since the spring.’’

Bennett said he detected a real sense of urgency among applicants this year.

“They’re a lot more willing to become certified in another field,’’ Bennett said. “They say 'I’ll take the test. I can pass it.’

“The worst part is a lot of young coaches aren’t going to be hired and the profession is going to lose some outstanding people. They’ll get a job doing something else and the education profession will be the loser.’’