Document Type


Publication Date



Health and Human Performance


college athletics, job satisfaction, athletic coach, role conflict, church related colleges, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics


The head coaches at smaller colleges usually have other job responsibilities that include teaching, along with the responsibilities of coaching, recruiting, scheduling, and other coaching-related jobs. There is often a dual role involved for these coaches who try to juggle two different jobs that sometimes require different skill sets and involve different responsibilities that may lead to role conflict. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the level of job satisfaction of coaches in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). This study also sought to determine if there were differences in coaches' levels of job satisfaction based on their personal and specific job characteristics. Finally, the study also identified specific job responsibilities that coaches perceived to have enhanced their levels of job satisfaction and which responsibilities coaches perceived were barriers to higher levels of job satisfaction. The Great Plains Conference is an organization of 13 small faith-based colleges in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. The Great Plains Athletic Conference head coaches from 10 different sports were emailed a survey that focused on job satisfaction and personal and job characteristics. The coaches who completed the survey were very satisfied overall with their jobs. The two job characteristics that gave coaches the most job satisfaction were the opportunity to work with young people and the enjoyment that comes from working with a team. There were also many significant differences found based on personal and job characteristics. Non-coaching job responsibilities were the most significant barrier to job satisfaction. The functional role of the teacher-coach model has a long history. College coaches who work at small colleges and universities are required to perform other tasks and have other responsibilities. The economy and college financing determine if the teacher-coach model is necessary at different institutions. Coaches enjoy working at colleges and have a high level of job satisfaction despite having to teach and be responsible for other tasks. History indicates that many smaller colleges cannot afford to hire and pay full-time coaches for many sports. College presidents, athletic directors, and coaches need to understand the aforementioned circumstances. Those administrators involved in hiring college coaches, directing college athletics, and the college coaches themselves may benefit from knowing what characteristics lead to high job satisfaction. The college head coaches in this study drew job satisfaction from working in a faith-based institution. As coaches at small colleges, it is important to them to focus on the things that give them job satisfaction and to realize that coaching positions at smaller colleges will usually require other job responsibilities.


  • A dissertation submitted to the graduate faculty of the University of South Dakota in partial fulfillment for the degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATION
  • © 2010 Craig L. Stiemsma