Ncaa Coach Certification – How To Become An Ncaa Coach?

by Jerald Dyson
ncaa coach certification

Ncaa coach certification: Starting a career as an NCAA coach is quite rewarding. This field will give you respect as well as money. So, the real question is, how to become an NCAA coach?

Well, unlike other coaching niches, NCAA coaching is not an unregulated industry, which means you need to be certified to start your coaching business. Plus, for college-level coaching, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to start your career as an NCAA coach.

Read on to learn everything about NCAA and NCAA coach certification:

ncaa coach certification

What Is NCAA?

NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association – is a non-profit organization that supports student-athletes from more than 1,268 North American conferences and institutions. Along with North America, this organization also regulates athletic programs of universities and colleges in Canada and the United States. 

According to an estimate, NCAA helps more than 4,80,000 students annually in college sports. At present, there are three divisions of NCAA membership. While students of Division I and Division II get scholarships, the Division III institutes might not offer any athletic scholarships. 

Average Salary Of An Ncaa Coach

An NCAA coach is a professional who helps student-athletes in their specific games. In general, all NCAA coaches have to be certified and have at least a bachelor’s degree. Compared to other sports, college football coaches are the highest-paid. 

On average, a college football coach can earn more than $2 million per year. Furthermore, a head coach can easily make more than $1 million per season – an increase of 75% since 2007.

Average Income By Division

By divisions, the average salary of NCAA coaches also varies, such as:

  • Pac-12 Head Coach can make up to $2.7 million
  • ACC Head Coach can make up to $2.7 million
  • Big Ten’s Head Coach can make up to $3.1 million
  • Big 12 Head Coach can make up to $3.4 million
  • SEC Head Coach can make up to $4.3 million

6 Best Basketball Coach Certifications

ncaa coach certification

Before starting a career as an NCAA basketball coach, you must have some know-how about this field. To help you out in this regard, below, we have mentioned our top 6 basketball coach certification programs that you can take to become a certified basketball coach:

Advanced Personal Training Certification – APT

Ncaa coach certification: Let’s start with one of the oldest certification programs. Advanced Personal Training Certification is offered by AFPA – American Fitness Professionals and Associates. This certification has been internationally and nationally recognized since 1994. 

APT certification offers the most authoritative and comprehensive resources, whether you are working as a personal trainer in a college or in a health & fitness club. The best thing about this certification program is that it does not require experience or prerequisites.

If you are seeking a career as an NCAA coach, this program will help with your head coach position. To get your APT certification, you’ll need to attend written or oral exams. The average cost of this program is about $500, which is quite budget-friendly. 

Certification Details

  • No Prerequisites
  • Require Renewal after 2 years

Athletic Trainer Certification – ATC

ncaa coach certification

Next, we have Athletic Trainer Certification. This certification program is famous among assistant coaches, high school coaches, head coaches, and head basketball coaches. This one is not that comprehensive. In fact, the ATC program is an entry-level program that provides all requirements to become a certified athletic trainer.

Unfortunately, to attend this basketball coach certification, you need more than 2 years of training and education after high school. Plus, it also requires written or oral exams as well as renewal after every three years.

Certification Details

  • Require Prerequisites
  • Renewal after every 3 years

OSHA Safety Certification

OSHA safety certification covers both the General Industry 1910 and Construction 1926 standards. It allows you to learn about recognition of physical hazards, health issues and interpret the Federal Register. The main focus of this certification is on health procedures and pro-active safety.

Unlike other certifications on our list, this one does not require a written or oral exam. Plus, you don’t have to renew OSHA safety certification once you become a certified basketball coach. However, this certification program does require at least two years of experience and a bachelor’s degree.

Certification Details 

  • Require Prerequisites
  • No Need of Renewal

National Safety Council

ncaa coach certification

Another basketball coach certification that deserves a spot on our list is National Safety Council. This certification allows you to learn the basics of AED, CPR, and First Aid. This program meets the requirements set by OSHA certification programs. 

This basketball coach certification program is quite popular among football coaches, head basketball coaches, girls’ basketball coaches, and assistant basketball coaches. It does require two years’ worth of training and education after high school, but you don’t need to renew this certification ever.

Certification Details

  • Require Prerequisites
  • No Need of Renewal

Master Certified Coach – MCC

Ncaa coach certification: Master Certified Coach program is offered by the ICF – International Coach Federation. The ICF coaching programs are quite strict and require certain hours of training for accreditations. 

To become a master certified coach, you must attend a written or oral exam. Plus, this certification program requires at least two years of experience and a bachelor’s degree. Due to its intensive nature, this certification program is a perfect pick for football coaches, head basketball coaches, girls’ basketball coaches, and assistant basketball coaches.

Certification Details

  • Require Prerequisites
  • Need Renewal after every 3 Years

Certified Personal Trainer

ncaa coach certification

The Cooper Institute of Personal Trainer offers this certification program. This basketball coach certification program allows you to learn the skills and knowledge of “Personal Trainer” through a rigorous, valid, reliable and defensible process. 

You don’t need an advanced degree or any experience as a basketball coach; all you need is to enroll in this certification program, take a written or oral exam, and get your basketball coach certification. Plus, you’ll also need to renew your certification after every 3 years.

Certification Details

  • No Prerequisites
  • Renewal After 3 Years

Ncaa Coach Certification: How To Become A Certified NCAA Coach?

Once you know the basics of coaching, you can become a certified NCAA coach. According to their official website, all NCAA coaches must be certified. To become a certified NCAA coach, you’ll need to take the Coach Recruiting Test. 

You can find this certification test on NCAA’s official website. There are some additional tests available on their website associated with a specific sport, but these are not necessary for all NCAA coaches.

NCAA Coach Divisions

When it comes to recruiting new NCAA coaches, the rules are different for each division. As mentioned earlier, there are three divisions in the NCAA organization. For Division I and Division II, you’ll need to attend the Coach Recruiting Test. This certification test assesses your awareness of the rules leading to recruiting.

NCAA Coach Recruiting Test

The above-mentioned certification programs allow you to learn the basics of basketball coaching. If you enroll in one of these training programs, you’ll be able to pass the NCAA coach recruiting test. You can visit NCAA’s website to get the athletics certification handbook, summaries of brand-new legislation and outlines of the NCAA coach recruiting test.

NCAA Division III

ncaa coach certification

If you seek a career in NCAA Division III, you don’t need to take the Coach Recruiting Test. For Division III coaches, NCAA has created a “Division III Rules” test. You can find the outlines and study materials for this test on the organization’s website. 

Specific Sports

Ncaa coach certification: Unlike life coaches, the NCAA coaches must follow some code of ethics. Plus, if you want to start a career as an NCAA basketball coach, you have to take some additional certifications, depending on your divisions.

Continuing Education

Once you become a certified NCAA coach by taking NCAA tests, you can continue your education. However, this step is not compulsory. NCAA offers several conferences, workshops, and seminars throughout the years that can help you in your continuing education.

NCAA Basketball Coaches Academy

NCAA also offers “NCAA Basketball Coaches Academy.” This institute offers an opportunity to full-time basketball coaches’ insight into intercollegiate basketball coaching. As a full-time coach, you’ll learn about a wide variety of topics in your field.

The NCAA Basketball Coaches Academy allows you to become a leader of student-athletes both off and on the field. The curriculum of this academy focuses on effective communication, building a culture of excellence focused and becoming a CEO of your program.

Division III Coaching Enhancement Grant

Ncaa coach certification: To help Division III coaches, the NCAA also offers a “Division III Coaching Enhancement Grant.” This grant promotes the enhancement of gender representation and ethnic minorities in assistant coaching positions and athletics administrations.

Here are some of the most popular NCAA Division III grants available out there:

  • Women’s Internship and Ethnic Minorities Grant
  • Coaching Enhancement Grant
  • Strategic Alliance Matching Grant


ncaa coach certification

There are several NCAA coach certifications available out there. However, no matter what certification program you attend, you have to take NCAA recruiting test to become a certified NCAA coach for Division I and Division II.

For Division III, you have to clear the NCAA Division III Rules Test. All these tests are available on NCAA’s official website.

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