Sep 21, 2017

Missed out on a football career? Six off field football jobs that will keep you close to the action


Professional football remains the most popular sport in America. According to Harris Poll survey results released in 2015, nearly one in three sports fans picked pro football as their favorite sport. College football came third behind baseball. Given the popularity of the sport of football, it should come as no surprise that many youngsters and college-bound students aspire to join the football league. Sadly, only a few ever make it. Fortunately, there are options. If one is passionate about football, but missed out on the chance to make it as a pro football player, there are plenty of football related careers on and off the field. Many of these potential careers are close enough to the action, and involve working for the NFL or any one of the NFL teams, or with colleges, high schools and minor leagues across the country.


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Here are six potential off field football-related jobs and career fields that will keep your football dreams alive and ensure you stay close to the action, even if you never make it to the Super Bowl.

1. Coaching

Coaching roles vary, depending on seniority, experience, and the particular specialization. At the NFL and college sports level, the top most coaching role is that of Head Coach. The head football coach directs the development, organization and management of all phases of his or her team™s football program. On a day-to-day basis, the Head Coach will direct the activities of the football staff in planning, organizing and coaching the football team. He will have responsibility for recruiting and developing players and other coaching staff.

Under the head coach is a team of assistant coaches or coordinators, each specializing in one area, such as offense, defense, special teams and wide receiver. Assistant coaches help the Head Coach in running the football team, and work closely with the football athletes to help them development their individual skills and overall playing the system.

In order to become a football coach, one needs to develop thorough knowledge of NCAA rules and regulations. Obtaining certification from a reputable training organization such as USA Football is also another way to build your knowledge and stand out. A bachelors degree and some playing experience are required for most entry-level roles and internships.

2. Refereeing

Football referees are responsible for making sure the games flow smoothly and for ensuring the game is played fairly and safely. They are the chief officials at football games and maintain control over the game. Referees enforce official NFL/NCAA rules, make sure that the game progresses, and call out penalties when players break the rules. They also keep track of the game and play clocks. When a penalty occurs, the referee makes announces a decision and explains the penalty to both team captains. 

To become a referee, develop thorough knowledge of the rules of the game. Find out how to become an NFL referee, and what you can expect to earn if you make it.

3. Media and Broadcasting

Millions of fans watch their favorite NFL and college football teams on television. As a sports television broadcaster, you get to present match highlights and interview football players and coaches. It is a job that requires deep knowledge of and interest in sports in general. The best broadcasters prepare thoroughly before they go on-air by reading up on the teams that they cover, researching the head-to-head records between the opposing teams and other critical stats about the players.

Related to broadcasting are the other media formats such as print, radio and online media. Newspaper journalists will write stories about the games for their newspaper audiences.

Social media is another huge part of the football experience and an increasingly important vehicle for teams and media organizations to engage with football fans. Social media teams are usually employed by news organizations and by the various football programs and teams are responsible for managing fan engagement, creating campaigns and content to keep fans informed about the latest team developments, and monitoring how well these campaigns and content are performing. It is their job to answer questions from visitors to the team™s social media pages.

4. Management, Sales and Marketing

Sports team management is not unlike other management fields. Many football teams are run like businesses, which means that they are expected to generate revenue to cover their costs. Many of the larger teams will have different functions and departments, including sales, marketing, human resources, and finance. Managers in football will be responsible for taking care of these functions, negotiating contracts with sponsors and other partners, and managing the overall financial health of the team. They will also negotiate with player representatives such as sports agents.

5. Fitness, Health and Nutrition

Keeping the team healthy and fit is requires specialized skills. Fitness, Health and nutrition experts work alongside the coaching staff to look after the team players. For example, nutritionists ensure that the players are eating right; psychologists help the players cope mentally with the stress of the sport; the medical staff (sports doctors and nurses) treat injuries; while the physiotherapists and massage therapists manage player rehabilitation.

6. Facilities Management

Facilities management staff are responsible for looking after the sports grounds and ensuring that all facilities are clean, safe and well maintained. They are responsible for various tasks such as repairing lighting, electrical components, plumbing and other fixtures, as well as maintaining the grounds and playing pitch. All these areas require different specialists, including electricians, plumbers, builders, security personnel, match-day stewards, catering staff, and landscape architects.

Take the next step to find your ideal sports career

These are just a few of the careers that one can explore. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool and our other career resources to explore potential careers and find the right course and college for you.


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