This week I have the opportunity to interview candidates for our boys soccer head coach position, and I hope to have an announcement out soon about that hire.

We put a lot of time and effort into this hiring process, because I believe it is one of the most important aspects of my job. I have had the opportunity to hire almost every one of our head coaches currently on staff at Park (trivia question – there is only one head coach that I have not personally hired at Park – can you guess who it is?).

I try to treat every selection and interview process the same. The building principal Mr. Herber and I read through the applicants’ resumes and reduce the number of candidates we will interview to four or five.

I then form an interview committee. The committee usually consists of the building principal or a designee, me, a parent or representative from the booster club, another member of the Park coaching staff, a representative from CGAA (for the sports that CGAA offers), our strength and conditioning coach, and sometimes a representative from Community Education.

I feel that a new head coach coming into the building must have a positive working relationship with each of the groups represented at that interview table. After interviewing all the candidates, the committee makes a recommendation to Mr, Herber and me.

Of the four or five candidates that we interviewed, we like the committee to narrow it down to their top two (or maybe three) choices. We make it clear that everyone on the committee must feel comfortable with any of the candidates that we move on.

If needed, the principal and I will conduct a second round of interviews. After making calls to check references, we are then ready to make our final decision on the best fit for Park High School.

I have had many people ask me if we have a district policy that states we must hire teachers as our head coaches. The answer to this question is no.

Of the 25 or so head coaches I have hired at Park, more than half are teachers in the district. There are a lot of advantages to having a teacher as a coach in a high school building (probably too many to mention here – that may be another column some day).

But the bottom line is we are dedicated to hiring the absolute best coaches possible, regardless of what they do for their “day job.” This process has helped us find many of the great coaches we have at Park.