A Day in the Life of College Coaches

Compiled By: Austin Alexander-October 9, 2008

College Coaches and the Life They Choose: Much is said and has been written about the hours that college baseball coaches work, the miles they travel, the personal sacrifices they make, all to advance the game and the programs they are employed by. We have surveyed a number of them at each level of the game to weigh in on their daily routines and responsibilities across 365 days. This article is very long, but provides you an in-depth look at all of the things that these guys juggle, just to produce a quality product for you and their institution on the field.

An ACC pitching coach said:

(Day) Thursday before a weekend series at home:

6:00 Wake up

6:30 Breakfast

7:15 In the Office. Things I try to cover are: watching video of the opposing teams, getting our scouting report completed, figuring a plan of attack for the oppositions hitters, making sure I have charts, pencils, pens, stopwatches ready for the Friday game!

10:00 Morning Lift and Run

11:30 Lunch

1:00 Sunday starter’s bullpen – discuss our plan of attack according to his strengths as a pitcher, discuss the things from the previous start that we need to get better at this Sunday.

2:00 Team practice will begin: this will be a very light day for our relievers, the Friday night starter is on his own (under my supervision), this is a light conditioning day for us as well.

4:30 Practice is usually over – I usually sit around the field and relax for a little bit.

5:00 Shower and return to the office to organize my night.

6:00 (ritual meal when at home) I eat at a nice restaurant, nice steak, no bread, no potato, vegetable of the day, sushi appetizer, water to drink.

7:00 Starbucks: 4 shot, venti, non fat, no foam 3 splenda, sugar free hazelnut latte

7:15 Return to the office: quiet time, review my notes on the up and coming weekend, review video if I need to, chew some tobacco and read some form of an educational book.

10:00 Return home, ritual movie selection, crash out and get ready for the weekend.

Typical day/week in the Fall:

Sunday: 2 hours of office work to organize the up and coming week

Monday: Team Lifting groups at 7:00 am, 8:00 am, begin office work – emails to answer, call JUCO coaches, call high school coaches, place kids in summer baseball, talk with parents on the phone, ect.  

2:00 Pitchers will Long Toss, Long run in the afternoon.

Tuesday: 5:30 am run, 7:30 am in the office, begin office work – emails to answer, call JUCO coaches, call high school coaches, place kids in summer baseball, talk with parents on the phone, ect. 2:00 Pitchers will have Drill Work and PFP, 4:30 we will condition as a staff

Wednesday: Office work…same as usual, 2:00 Pitchers will have drill work and PFP, 4:30 we will condition as a staff, 5:00 Team Lift, 7:00-10:00 return to the office for scheduling of the following week and making recruiting calls.

Thursday and Friday: Office Work…same as usual, 2:00 Pitchers will begin bullpens, 4:00 PFP, 4:30 Conditioning, 5:00 on Friday is another team lift.

Typical day/week in the Summer:

3 Weeks of Atlanta Perfect Game

5:30 Head to the Gym, Lift weights, Run

7:00 Breakfast and Starbucks

8:00 Arrive at a Field somewhere in Atlanta

9:00 Game, 11:30 Game, 2:00 Game, 4:30 Game, 7:00 Game

10:30-11:00 return to the room and organize what you have seen over the day

12:00 Hopefully showered and in bed

This is the exact same schedule that myself and the (then) assistant at LSU, along with Vanderbilt kept for 3 straight weeks.

A JUCO assistant coach said:

Family life – my baseball team is my family. I feel like I’m living through my players and it feels unbelievable to help their development on and off the field. As for my parents and relatives, I never get to see them and I know that it is tough on them.

Personal life – well…baseball and female relationships don’t mix. You gotta pick one or the other. I have lost out on some girls that I was truly in love with because of this game. I’ve come to realize that I will never have the classic american family, as long as I’m coaching.

Income – I make zero money from baseball. My income stems from a warehouse where I make hydraulic hoses and deal with UPS shipments. I earn $1,200 a month by working 7:30-1:30. Practice starts at 3:00.
Daily – This past Monday…I woke up at 5:15 and was in the weight room at 5:50. I handled 3 different groups of players on lower and upper body lifts, as well as agilities and conditioning. I left school at 6:55 and got to work at 7:30. I dealt with about 30 UPS packages and the computer BS that goes with them. Then I made about 60 different types of hoses ranging from 6 inches to 150 feet. When I leave work, I usually eat at McDonald’s and get to the field at 2:25. We practice from 3:00 to 5:30, then I’ll usually have 3 to 5 guys in the cage getting extra BP or drill work. For dinner, I try to sneak in the backdoor of the cafeteria and snatch a free meal. At night, me and our other assistant coach will be on the computer/phone dealing with scouts, recruits, coaches, or parents till about 9:30.
The best part about being a junior college coach is that you can take a kid who had zero Division I offers out of high school and watch him transform himself into a legit prospect with hard work and determination.

A JUCO assistant coach said:

Typical day/week in the Spring…
At the moment I am still taking classes and working on getting my teaching degree which I should have by December of next year. So for me, the day begins with about three hours in a classroom and on a good day I make it to practice on time and work with my guys during individual defensive drills. There are days however when class overlaps practice and we have to alter things a little bit to better fit my schedule. In addition, I try to make as many games as possible to see players that may or may not be able to help our program without neglecting our current players or my obligations as a student. Fortunately, this coming spring will be the last season like this for me.

Typical day/week in the Fall…
My day in the fall consists more of trying to get recruits in for visits and finding out which travel team they are playing for. If we have no tournaments on a given weekend, then I will try to catch a tournament close by. Other than this, the fall is almost the same as the spring.

Typical day/week in the Summer…
I coach travel ball in the summer. On weekdays that I don’t have a tournament, I work grounds on campus. I usually do spend very little time at home.

Sacrifices made and effects on family life, personal life and even your (lack of) income.
Although coaching did contribute to my first marriage falling apart, I am currently not married so I do not have a wife and kids to think about. I do, however, have a nephew that lives with me whose mother works and his father is away right now. It does take me away from him a lot. But I am able to spend a lot of time with him on days when I do get to come home. As far as income, this season, I will be living off of financial aid. Next year I will be living off of a teacher’s salary.

Some coaches have to teach, work odd jobs, etc. Paint as clear a picture as you can.
In addition to working grounds at the school and coaching summer ball, I also give one-on-one instruction to local youth baseball players (usually at the field as we are finishing up practice).

A Big South Recruiting Coordinator said:

Typical day in the Fall:

Wake at 5:00 am for Weights and/or Conditioning at 6:00am

Tuesday and Thursday, I teach a Weight Lifting Class from 8:00 – 9:00 am, after which I get in the office and from 9:00 until about 1:00 or 2:00 pm, return as many calls and emails that I can.

Also, I call high school and JC Coaches about prospects and to get transcripts, Summer Ball coaches for our current players, D1 coaches about scheduling for next season, vendors about equipment and hotels about our spring travel.

I usually take a break about noon because us Fat Boys gotta eat! Individuals/Practice takes place from 2:00 – 6:00 pm roughly Monday-Friday, weekends are usually intra-squads that last 4 hours for the players but you know we are always there 6 or 7.

Evenings after practice are typically recruiting calls til about 10 pm and then home just in time to kiss my 2 month old little girl good night.

Typical Days in the spring may not consist of 6 am workouts but many mornings still start that early getting ready for an 8 am road trip. I still teach two mornings a week at 8 am in the spring as well. Either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.

A lot of calls in the spring are for high school schedules and checking weather to see if someone is playing. Also, scouting reports take up a lot of time as well.

Recruiting in the spring is a lot more emails to underclassmen but at the same time, it seems like each year I am still chasing high school seniors and JUCO sophomores all spring.

The best example I can give of a typical summer day in July starts about 6:45 am in Atlanta with a quick continental breakfast before driving sometimes 45 miles to your first game at 8:00 am, and then 10:30, 2:00pm, 4:30pm and finally 7:00pm before meeting up with a few friends for a late dinner around 10:00 pm. After which we head back to the hotel to shower and set the alarm to do it all over again the next day and the next for 2 weeks straight. And how could I forget I-75 and I-575 traffic and the occasional shower that occurs in Atlanta in July. And, don’t let me get started on the HUMIDITY. Did I also mention that many of us have already been out as many as 28 of 30 days in June and will not return home until the end of July. Life on the Road….

I hope I have painted a vivid picture to the outsider looking in but you know as well as I do that we love every minute of it or we wouldn’t do it. The players, the game and the fraternity of friends is what drives you to do it again each summer.

I would be lying if I said it is not a burden on a family though, especially with a newborn and I have laid awake many a night without my wife and little girl and asked if it is worth it for roughly $40,000 a year ($30K salary and approx $10K from camps).

For me it is because I have a loving and supportive wife that loves me, loves the game, and loves the kids and can’t wait to raise our family around them because that is how she was raised and that is all she knows. That is the big key for me. Sure, we would love to go to college football games in the fall and vacations to warm places in the winter and major league games in the summer and have weekends off to visit family and it is hard sometimes to sacrifice all that, but we do it because we share the same passion for the game and the kids.

A Division II Recruiting Coordinator said:

I think the thing most people don’t understand is that we do not have an off-season. The recruiting never stops, player development goes year round, fundraising is a constant issue at small schools…I have coached in both high school and college and the biggest motivating factor for me in the college game is that you can, to a certain degree, control what you put out on the field through recruiting. In high school ball you kind of get what you get and try and make them better. In college you try and bring in talented players, you have to win and also develop them for the next level.

A lot of coaches at the small school level have to grind it out…not only do we have to work other jobs, (I know landscapers, painters, teachers, golf course workers, etc.), all just to also coach at the small school level. Most D2 schools do not have full-time assistants and if they do, good luck living on that salary with kids…

My day starts at 5 a.m. trying to catch up on emails, or recruiting letters, etc….then I am at school from 7 a.m. until 3:00ish, teaching class all day and then I get to practice by 3:30. Practice goes from 3:30 to 5:30, then extra work (BP/fungos) from 5:30 to 6:00ish and then monitor the weight room. Then I finally get home and see my kids and wife for maybe an hour before bed…and after they go to bed I make recruiting calls for an hour or so. This job cannot be done without a supportive wife and kids!!! 

For us it is a passion…it drives you…If you don’t work at it somebody else is.

A Division II Head Coach said:

Here is our typical day in Fall, Spring, and Summer:
Before I get into a typical day in the life as a coach, I would like to talk about what most people call sacrifices to be apart of this profession we call baseball. First, you have BASEBALL PLAYERS and then you have GUYS WHO PLAY BASEBALL. There is a big difference between these two individuals who are both a part of the game.

"Baseball players" eat, sleep, drink, think about and dream about baseball. "Guys who play baseball" play for random reasons. They would rather be with their girlfriend on the beach during spring break rather than playing baseball on spring break. Baseball is just a hobby for guys who only play the game. Being a real baseball player is a way of life. We have our own lingo, unwritten rules, a certain way we react to different things, a different walk, and a different wardrobe than most people.

My point is that I consider myself a baseball player and I cannot see any sacrifices in my life by doing what I love. I feel extremely lucky to have my dream job. Some people will say that we don’t make enough money, or the hours are long, and the one I hate to hear the most is that I don’t see my family enough.
Let me answer all these so-called sacrifices:
1. Making enough money – It is true that only a certain few will become wealthy in the coaching profession but my bills are paid and my family is fed and clothed. I don’t drive a Mercedes or wear expensive clothes but to be honest, I don’t care. All I think about is baseball. If you are one of those guys that need that kind of stuff then marry a girl with a lot of money.
2. Hours are long- If your one of these guys then let me give you some advice. FIND ANOTHER PROFESSION. If you can’t watch an entire game on TV, sit in the stands to watch that kids last at bat, spend an extra hour in the office to help one of your players, receive a phone call at 1:00 in the morning because one of your players has a family problem, or you ever have a day that you truly feel like being a baseball coach is a job, versus a dream come true, then go into something else.
3. Less quality time with your family- Again, if you are a true baseball player or coach, then your wife probably has a pretty good idea about what is important to you and that baseball is the most important thing in your life and was at the time you met her. She probably already knows that the chances of you making a half million a year is bleak. It is true that it takes a special, remarkable, patient lady to put up with a coach for a husband. First, we are self-absorbed…completely. Second, being married to a baseball coach is like being married to a roller coaster. If the team is winning, then everything in our world is GREAT. If we are losing…not so GREAT. To avoid family conflict in the short or long run with your significant other, it is wise to make sure they love the game as much as you.
Lastly, my children are very involved with my baseball program. I have three children, all under the age of seven and they never miss a game. My oldest son travels with us on overnight road trips and away games. Your family can be involved in what you do everyday. I live by the motto: "Make it fun, and they will play". We, as coaches, also have a lot of freedom in our schedules to make up for the time we are not there. I don’t punch a time clock. I am my own boss and if I need to be there for my family, I can…as long as it’s not in the middle of my team’s baseball game. Then we might have to re-schedule!
Fall schedule:
6:00 AM get kids up and dressed
6:30 AM eat breakfast as a family
7:00 AM leave for school
7:15 AM drop kids off at school
7:45 AM get in the weight room
9:00 AM Fix all problems that could come up such as kids schedules,
teacher problems, financial aid, check injury report with trainers, parent questions, academic issues, practice schedules, scheduling umpires, scheduling games for next season, check fundraising, always checking the budget, field maintenance, recruiting, oversee assistant coaches and delegate priorities for the day, just to name a few.
11:30 AM – Eat Lunch
12:30 PM – get field ready for practice
1:00 PM – practice starts BEST TIME OF THE DAY
5:00 PM – clean field
5:30 PM – head home
6:00 PM – eat with family
7:00 PM – give kids bath and tuck them into bed
8:30 PM – kiss the wife
11:00 PM – Write out line-ups and pitching schedules OVER and OVER and OVER
12:00 PM – Dream about baseball
Spring Schedule:
The daily schedule is pretty much the same. Winning and recruiting being top priorities.
Summer Schedule:
You can have a lot of free time for fishing and golf, as long as the
recruiting is up-to-date, along with the field maintenance. Your summer can be whatever you want it to be.

A Division II Head Coach said:

Spring Day:

6 am- wake up, workout

7 am – feed my daughter

7:30 – out the door

8 am – check voice mail and Email

9 am – staff meeting, lineup decisions, rotations, etc.

10 am – scouting report review and weekly schedule

11 am – lunch

12 – scouting report review

1 pm – early work for hitters

2 pm – pitchers pre-rehab and weekly preparations

3 pm – scout report review and pre-game meal

5 pm – batting practice

7 pm – first pitch

**Every gameday; when there is no game, review game film with pitchers and hitters and practice.

Fall day – same exact thing except for practice instead of game @ 3 pm. Scout reports are subbed for recruits, etc and paperwork junk!

Summer day – recruiting etc! No vacation or nothing! Just on the road! 

No teaching or other jobs here.

Just a lack of family time. When we get home, time to put kids to bed and go to bed yourself. You know me, everywhere and don’t sleep!

A Big South Recruiting Coordinator said:

Typical week in the Spring:   

Every weekday morning is spent in the office- get into the office between 8 or 9 AM, paperwork from the weekend- team travel expenses, umpire evaluation etc., begin preparing scouting reports for opponents in upcoming week, academic meetings with certain players, look at some video from the weekend- of struggling hitters, finalize recruiting plans for upcoming days and weeks, spend time on phone in regards to recruiting every day. 

Monday- Mid afternoon- head to high school game. Almost- every off day for the team is a recruiting day trip for me. Get home 9 or 10 PM,

Tuesday- Game day- office work similar to other days

2 PM – do some early work with Red-shirts  

3 PM – Pre-game Meal  

4 PM – Pre-game BP  

6 PM – game time  

9 PM – field clean up 

10 PM – shower & head home 

Wednesday – Game Day – similar to Tuesday

Thursday – similar office work

1:00 PM  Early work with certain players

2:00 PM- team practice 

5:00 PM depart for high school game- to recruit or if we play away on the weekend, Thursday evening will be a travel night.


Three game series- Friday- night home game- schedule is similar to mid-week home games. Recruiting calls are made most every night possible. It seems like I may talk to 20 to 30 kids for every 1 that we actually sign.

Typical week Fall: 

Most weekday mornings – office work including- recruiting, summer ball placement, academic monitoring, team travel arrangements for the spring, equipment orders

Weekday afternoons- Unless we are in the team practice segment of the fall- I will have individual work 4 days a week. Most weekends are spent recruiting Friday-Sunday. When we are in the team practice segment of the fall we will typically have team practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I miss some weekends of fall practice to go on the road recruiting. Several weekends in the fall we will have recruits in for official visits.

Typical week in Summer– Most every week I am recruiting somewhere Thursday thru Sunday, & some weeks I am recruiting each day of the week. Get your office work done when you can but going on road and recruiting is the priority. For us, since we typically recruit heavily out of the north- that means longer trips and more time away from home.

Sacrifices- the number one sacrifice of the job is time with the family. I am the primary recruiter at my institution so I spend the most time on the road. You learn to incorporate the family in on a trip when possible. My wife and kids do travel to some of our road trips in the spring. I am fortunate to have a great baseball wife that understands the profession and the time demands that come with the profession. This is never a 9-to-5 job. We try to make the most of our free time.

Financially- I’ve always been in a position in this profession that I’ve earned a decent salary. I am fortunate. I know many coaches that have really struggled financially. None of us got into the profession to get rich. Many coaches that have gotten out of the profession did so because of family strains due to the job and financial strains. Obviously there are a lot of pro’s to the profession such as doing something you love and being out on the field on a nice day versus being in an office doing something I am not passionate about. 

An ACC Recruiting Coordinator said:

Typical day in spring:

Mondays and Thursdays are always recruiting days. We are either watching JUCO games if we still need to sign a player for the spring or out watching high school juniors. We get into the office early, do all of the post-game reports and start on scouting reports for the upcoming week. Mondays are usually a day off for the players but not for the coaches. Most Mondays are ‘catch up’ days and they become just as long as a game day. 

Game day:

Follow up calls on JUCO guys and guys that we have already signed. Making sure scouting report is done. Watch film on opponent, get to ballpark for early work.


Mornings are filled with tying up loose end from summer recruiting. Having juniors unofficial visits. Putting the final touches on the recruiting class. Start making JUCO calls, finding out what JUCO players are out there. Putting together official visits and all the paperwork that goes into it. Put together the fall recruiting schedule. The afternoons are either individual works, weights, conditioning or team practice.

Summer is recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. Having unofficial visits, making phone calls July 1st, making scholarship offers, some camps.

The family sacrifices a lot. This summer, I only slept in my own bed six nights from June 12 – August 8. Not many days off from January to November. You have to have a wife that understands the demands of the job. You have to make sacrifices to have a good family life. When you are first starting out, there is not a lot of money to be made. You have to do lessons on the side, do camps anything to make ends meet.

DP’s take: As you can see, college baseball coaches more than earn their chump change, all the while spending loads of time away from their families to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Often times they invest more of their efforts in you or your son, than their own.

So the next time you go to crucify a coach (in any sport for that matter) for calling a hit-and-run versus a steal of second or for not being at you or your son’s last game/tournament, it may add some perspective to know that he is somewhere working. Consider his 100-hour work weeks, meals missed and selfish time ignored. Not sitting in a tree stand or holding a fishing rod, not watching television or even sleeping, not banging balls all over a golf course…he’s likely working. And if he’s not working, he’s probably cramming as much time into his life away from baseball, namely his family.

Whether it be developing his own guys, preparing a game plan or on the prowl for future players, I’ll contend that there is not a profession on this earth that works more hours, for less pay, juggles more moving parts and all because they love their job description far more than the average American.

Fact is, most of the working class hates Monday, loves Friday and counts down each afternoon till 5:00. They use phrases like "don’t work too hard", openly discuss how much they dislike their bosses or job, then scour the calendar in search of the next national holiday, hence a day off.

The majority of college baseball coaches have given their life to the game that we all love. Perhaps it’s in identifying the next good player, then developing him as a person and athlete, while dealing with all the garbage that comes with any profession.

It’s my take that they should be saluted for their efforts, regardless of the superficial glare of the win-loss record they possess. The service that they provide the game is not comparable to anything that I am aware of. Here’s to a long-distance high-five to those who have given everything to the game and advanced baseball for high school players!