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An offensive coordinator plans and directs the offensive scoring strategy for a college or professional football team. As the second in line behind the head coach in the coaching hierarchy, equal in rank to the defensive coordinator, the offensive coordinator manages all the offensive players and coaches. He often serves as a role model for players and represents the team both on the field and off, so he is always expected to behave in a professional manner.
The offensive coordinator designs offensive plays and game plans during practices. He oversees the game plan during games and makes necessary adjustments as needed. He is expected to adapt to changes in the opposing defense's strategy to give his offense the best chance of moving the ball, scoring points and winning the game. In addition to teaching players the technical and strategic aspects of offensive football, the offensive coordinator is responsible for motivating players to perform to the best of their abilities and offering necessary critiques on their performances. For college teams, he might assist in recruiting high school players by traveling to their games and meeting the players, their coaches and their families. At the professional level, offensive coordinators might help out with scouting and drafting the right prospects.
Qualifications and Experience
An offensive coordinator needs outstanding interpersonal, leadership and communication skills to be successful. He must be dedicated to the success of his team and have the ability to make decisions quickly, while under extreme pressure. He often has prior playing and coaching experience at the collegiate or professional levels, and needs a thorough knowledge of league rules. Almost all candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often preferred.
Working long hours is expected for an offensive coordinator. During football season, he is expected to attend all practices, team meetings, games and other events, which requires substantial night, weekend and sometimes holiday hours. Travel is a regular part of the job, both to attend away games and to travel on recruiting or scouting trips. Football games and practices are held in all types of weather, so an offensive coordinator must be willing and able to endure unpleasant conditions.
Job Outlook and Opportunities for Advancement
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of all scouts and coaches, including offensive coordinators, to rise 15 percent from 2012 to 2022. To advance into a head coach position, an offensive coordinator must have years of experience coaching as well as a reputation for being successful.
Laura Woods is a Los Angeles-based writer with more than six years of marketing experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.