NYS Coaching Certification

Anyone wishing to coach an interschool athletic team in New York State must meet certain minimum requirements as set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. This includes all head coaches and assistants for varsity, junior varsity, freshman and junior high (modified) teams of public schools.

The Department of Health & Fitness at SUNY Oneonta is a New York State Dept. of Education Authorized Provider for the required coaching coursework and First Aid and CPR certifications.

The certification requirements vary depending on your background: Certified Physical Education Teacher, Other Certified Teacher, or Non-Teacher Coaches.

  1. Certified Physical Education Teachers. A person who holds a valid certificate to teach physical education in New York State may coach any sport in any school but must meet the first aid/CPR requirement prior to starting to coach.
  2. Other Certified Teachers. Coaching a secondary school athletic team is considered teaching physical education. However, a person who holds a valid teaching certificate in an area other than physical education may also be appointed to coach. The person may either complete appropriate courses or meet the provisions of the "grandfather" clause. The "grandfather" clause qualifies a teacher under Section 80.2(c) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to do incidental teaching (coaching) in an area other than the one for which the person holds a certificate. In addition to the first aid/CPR requirement prior to starting to coach, the certified teacher must (a) complete an approved course in Philosophy, Principles and Organization of Athletics in Education within two years from the date of initial appointment as a coach; (b) complete a course on Health Sciences Applied to Coaching within five years of appointment as a coach; and (c) also, within that same five years, complete a course on Theory and Techniques of Coaching the sport or sports for which he/she is appointed. A certified teacher does not need to apply for a Temporary Coaching License.
  3. Nonteacher Coaches.
    1. Temporary Coaching License (TCL). A person who does not hold a current New York State teaching certificate may be appointed as a temporary coach only if there are no certified teachers available with experience and qualifications to coach the team. The nonteacher coach must obtain a Temporary Coaching license from their school district’s BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) by applying online through the NYSED TEACH system and meet all of the same course requirements for coaching as does the certified classroom teacher within the same timelines and extensions. For complete details, see the Guidelines For The Coaching Requirements at NYSED's PE Toolkit.
    2. Professional Coaching License (PCL). A person who has completed all the required coaching courses, child abuse, and violence abuse workshops, maintains fingerprint clearance, has valid first aid and CPR certification, and has held a minimum of three Temporary Coaching Licenses for a sport may apply for a three-year renewable Professional Coaching License. For complete details, see the Guidelines For The Coaching Requirements at NYSED's PE Toolkit.

Specific details are available in the Dept. of Health & Fitness main office, 200 Chase or from the NYS Dept. of Education website.


Regardless of experience or teaching certifications, anyone coaching an interschool athletic team must have valid First Aid and CPR certifications. These may be obtained by successfully completing one or more of the following courses. (NOTE: These certifications will expire after 1-2 years. You may wish to wait until your senior year to complete them.)

  • PHED 126 CPR Certification (CPR cert. only)
  • PHED 210 Emergency Care and Prevention (First Aid & CPR)
  • PHED 216 American Red Cross Lifeguarding (First Aid & CPR)

If you are not a Certified Physical Education Teacher, you must complete the following courses (unless you meet the provisions of the "grandfather" clause, noted above). These courses have NO expiration.

  • Philosophy, Principles, and Organization of Athletics in Education (PHED 222, 3 s.h.)
  • Theory & Techniques of Coaching (PHED 207, specific to the sport coached, 3 s.h.)
  • Health Science Applied to Coaching (PHED 321, 4 s.h.)

If you do not have any type of Teacher Certification, you will also need to complete workshops in Child Abuse Identification, School Violence Intervention and Prevention, and Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). In addition, you will need fingerprint clearance and a recommendation from the school district where you will be coaching. More information on these may be found at these websites:

Certification from Start to Finish

Child Abuse Identification Workshop

School Violence Prevention and Intervention Workshop

DASA Training Information Applicants for Certification


To apply for Coaching Certification

Applicants must begin the licensure process directly through the online State Education Department TEACH system application process. TEACH System

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