Words & Sports

5 Reasons Why Coordinators in Football and Business are so Important

And How Can You Apply it to Your Business


When football coaches get the offer for a head-coaching job at the college or NFL level, usually the first thing they do is they hire Offensive and Defensive Coordinators. When you start a business, you have to do the same exact thing. You may call them VP of this or Director of that, but, you still need someone who believes in your philosophy, supports your style of business, and can take care of things so you don’t have to.


1. You Can’t Do Everything
Nobody can coach the offense and the defense and have time to build the team, the culture, and arrange for everything else. You can’t do everything your team requires, either. You need an office manager, someone in charge of hiring and training, an assistant who keeps track of your schedule, or whatever other positions you choose to create based on your needs and abilities. The point is, you have to delegate some responsibility if you want to succeed.

2. You Need Specialists
A bunch of people just vaguely willing to accept delegation won’t help you either, though. You need an organizational structure that ensures the right expertise is brought to bear in the right place at the right time. The offensive coordinator needs to know how to run a great offense. The defensive coordinator needs to be an expert in defense. Your IT person needs to be a wizard with tech. You need specialists ready to handle specifically defined areas of responsibility.

3. You Need a Leadership Team
Your directors, managers, or whatever you choose to call them, have to have some independence, but you can’t have them each operating in an isolated little silo, either. The coaching staff of a football team is a team, just like the guys on the field are, and they act like it—each person has their own clearly defined role, but all work together towards a common goal. As you hire and manage your staff, you need to keep in mind that you’re building a team.

4. You Need People who Believe in You
It’s hard to keep going if you don’t have an inner circle who believe in you. There are enough naysayers out there already. Not saying you need yes-people, either; a big part of supporting someone is being willing to offer honest feedback. Just look for people who share your goals and believe in your abilities.

5. You Need People You Can Trust
It’s a competitive world out there, and people aren’t always fair or kind. You have to watch your back, but you can’t reach your creative potential if you can’t let your guard down sometimes. Your leadership team can be where you float ideas, speculate, and raise concerns without fear that what you say could be used against you. Plus, you can’t really delegate to someone if you don’t trust them, which gets back to the first point about you needing some help.

Hiring the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators

Obviously, you can’t hire just anyone for these important positions. You need those characteristics of teamwork, trustworthiness, and overall ability, but you also need people suited to the specific roles you need filled. A head coach can’t hire just any qualified offensive coordinator, it has to be someone who can run the kind of offense the team needs. You might choose to reach out to someone in your field whom you admire but don’t know personally, but you’re more likely to find the right candidate in someone you know, like, and trust.
Even if you’re not in a position to hire your offensive and defensive coordinators yet, don’t wait. Start looking around now, building relationships with people you might like to work with. That’s what up-and-coming coaches do. When they get the call, they already know whom to hire. And if you’re already running a business, don’t forget to question if you have the right coordinators. They might be great people, but if they don’t fit the role, you’ll have to do something about it, soon. These positions are just too important to let slide.

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Image of the Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins was taken by Keith Allison under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license