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NCAA Soccer Jobs: Pitch-Perfect Positions

NCAA soccer jobs are the most fulfilling career paths open to coaches and athletes outside of professional soccer play itself. The opportunity to lead younger players and foster a healthy team culture is as challenging as it is rewarding. The soccer jobs available to qualified candidates in the NCAA offer a vibrant and competitive landscape for coaches seeking to make their mark in the world of collegiate athletics. With over 300 NCAA universities across the United States fielding men’s and women’s soccer teams, there are ample opportunities for aspiring coaches to pursue a career in NCAA soccer. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of NCAA soccer jobs, including the various positions available, the qualifications and skills required for each, the challenges applicants face, and the surest routes to finding positions, applying successfully, and then thriving in this competitive and rewarding field.

ncaa soccer jobs

NCAA Soccer Coaching Jobs

NCAA soccer offers a variety of coaching positions that cater to different aspects of the game and program management. The primary coaching roles in NCAA soccer include head coach, assistant coach, and goalkeeper coach, and graduate assistants.

Head Coach

The role of an NCAA soccer head coach is pivotal in shaping the success and culture of a collegiate soccer program. Head coaches are responsible for developing and implementing effective coaching strategies, fostering a positive team culture, and maximizing the potential of individual players. They lead training sessions, analyze game footage, and devise tactical plans to compete at a high level within the NCAA. Recruitment is a significant aspect of their role, involving the identification and acquisition of talented student-athletes who align with the program’s values. Head coaches also serve as mentors, guiding players both athletically and academically, emphasizing personal growth and character development.

Beyond the field, they engage in fundraising, community outreach, and media relations to promote the program and build support. Successful head coaches demonstrate strong leadership, effective communication, and the ability to navigate the competitive landscape of collegiate soccer while fostering a positive and inclusive team environment.

Head Coach Salary Range: Varies widely across the size/level of the program, starting at $45,000 at smaller less-competitive programs up to $350,000 at top-ranked University of Indiana Men’s program.

Head Coach Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred. Successful background on the collegiate or professional level as a player and a coach is required; head coaching experience preferred. Thorough knowledge of recruiting practices and NCAA regulations are required. Previous experience with budgetary procedures and strong communication skills are necessary.

Assistant Coach

The role of an NCAA soccer assistant coach is dynamic and integral to the success of a collegiate soccer program. Assistant coaches collaborate closely with the head coach in various aspects of team management, including training sessions, game strategy development, and player evaluation. They often specialize in areas such as offense, defense, or goalkeeping, bringing specialized expertise to enhance the team’s overall performance. Recruitment is a shared responsibility, with assistant coaches actively participating in scouting, contacting prospects, and contributing to the selection process. In addition to on-field responsibilities, assistant coaches play a crucial role in player development, providing individualized coaching and mentorship.

Assistant coaches’ involvement extends to academic support, ensuring student-athletes meet eligibility requirements and excel in their studies. They also contribute to the program’s community engagement, fundraising efforts, and overall cohesion. Their adaptability, strong communication skills, and commitment to the program’s success make them invaluable contributors to the collegiate soccer experience.

Assistant Coach Salary Range: $35,000 to $55,000

Assistant Coach Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred, 1-3 years coaching experience, with proven organizational, instructional, leadership, compliance, and recruiting abilities. Collegiate soccer coaching and/or collegiate soccer playing experience required.

Goalkeeper Coach

While the role of an NCAA soccer goalkeeper coach is specialized and vital for the success of a collegiate soccer program, the role of a goalkeeping coach is often rolled into the duties of an Assistant coach. While this additional responsibility can also mean additional salary, it doesn’t always.

Goalkeeper coaches focus on the unique needs and development of goalkeepers, honing their technical skills, decision-making abilities, and overall game management. They work closely with goalkeepers during training sessions, offering tailored drills and feedback to enhance their shot-stopping, distribution, and communication on the field. Recruitment is another key aspect, with goalkeeper coaches scouting and identifying talented prospects to strengthen the team’s goalkeeping depth.

Goalkeeper Coach Salary Range: $35,000 to $55,000, or an additional $10,000-$15,000 for Head or Assistant Coaches with added Goallkeeping Coach role.

Goalkeeper Coach Qualifications: bachelor’s degree, 1-3 years coaching experience, with proven organizational, instructional, leadership, compliance, and recruiting abilities.

Additional NCAA Soccer Job Positions

Recruiting Coordinator

As with Goalkeeping Coaches, the role of Recruiting Coordinator, though vital to NCAA soccer, often falls to Head or Assistant Soccer coaches, even in larger better-funded programs. And likjewise the duties typically come with a similar boost to salary. The role of an NCAA soccer recruiting coordinator, whether as a position on it’s own or as part of the coaching staff’s efforts, is fundamental in building a competitive and well-balanced team within a collegiate soccer program.

Recruiting coordinators are tasked with developing and implementing comprehensive recruitment strategies to identify and attract talented student-athletes to the program. They work closely with the coaching staff to define recruitment needs, evaluate prospects, and establish communication with potential recruits. Organizing campus visits, coordinating communication between recruits and coaches, and ensuring compliance with NCAA recruiting regulations are central aspects of their responsibilities.

Recruiting coordinators play a pivotal role in creating a positive first impression for potential student-athletes and their families, showcasing the program’s strengths and values. Additionally, they keep abreast of emerging talent, attend showcases and tournaments, and maintain a network within the soccer community to stay competitive in the recruitment landscape. Their ability to effectively communicate the program’s vision and opportunities, coupled with a keen eye for talent, makes recruiting coordinators instrumental in shaping the future success of the NCAA soccer program.

Recruiting Coordinator Salary Range: $45,000 to $55,000

Recruiting Coordinator Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning plus a minimum of 3 years of college coaching experience in women’s soccer and a proven track record of success in the sport; prior recruiting experience, familiarity with NCAA rules and, if not already NCAA certified, prepared to become certified

Graduate Assistant

The role of an NCAA soccer graduate assistant is a unique and valuable position within collegiate soccer programs. Typically filled by individuals pursuing advanced degrees, graduate assistants support the coaching staff in various capacities, including training sessions, game preparation, and player development. They often take on responsibilities related to video analysis, helping break down game footage to identify strengths, weaknesses, and strategic opportunities. Graduate assistants also contribute to recruiting efforts, participating in scouting activities and communication with potential recruits. In addition to their on-field duties, they may be involved in administrative tasks, academic support, and logistical coordination. This role serves as a bridge between pursuing higher education and gaining hands-on experience in coaching, providing valuable insights and mentorship to aspiring soccer coaches. The graduate assistant position is instrumental in fostering a culture of continuous learning and development within the NCAA soccer program.

Graduate Assistant Salary Range: $7,500 – $12,500

Graduate Assistant Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree required, soccer coaching and playing exerience preferred.

The Secret Sauce & Essential Skills For Success

Success in an NCAA soccer job requires a combination of specialized skills and abilities tailored to the unique demands of collegiate soccer. Coaches, whether head or assistant, need exceptional leadership skills to inspire and guide their teams effectively. A deep understanding of soccer strategies, techniques, and player dynamics is essential for devising winning game plans. Recruiting coordinators must possess keen observation skills, networking prowess, and persuasive communication to identify and attract talented student-athletes. In sports marketing, creativity in campaign development, a strong grasp of digital platforms, and a knack for engaging fans are crucial. Analytical skills are vital for data analysts evaluating player performance or marketing campaign effectiveness. Communication skills, adaptability, and a genuine passion for soccer and collegiate athletics are universally important across all roles. Ultimately, success in NCAA soccer jobs hinges on a unique blend of technical expertise, interpersonal skills, and a deep commitment to the sport and its athletes.

Job Search and Application Process

Finding and applying for an NCAA soccer job involves a strategic and proactive approach. Begin by regularly checking the official NCAA Market site, university job boards, and specialized sports job platforms for relevant openings. Network within the soccer community by attending coaching conventions, workshops, and events where you can connect with professionals in the field. Build a strong coaching or professional resume highlighting relevant experience, qualifications, and achievements. Tailor your application to the specific job requirements and follow the application instructions provided in the posting. Utilize online platforms to showcase your coaching philosophy, achievements, and recommendations. Stay informed about the NCAA recruiting calendar and deadlines for coaching positions. Actively engage with university athletic departments, attend games, and express your interest in available positions. Creating a comprehensive and professional online presence, coupled with networking and a targeted application strategy, will enhance your chances of securing a rewarding NCAA soccer job.


NCAA soccer jobs offer a dynamic and rewarding career path for anyone passionate about the sport and dedicated to shaping the lives of student-athletes. By understanding the positions available, acquiring the necessary qualifications and skills, and pursuing relevant experience and networking opportunities, aspiring coaches can position themselves for success in the NCAA soccer coaching landscape. With perseverance, continuous learning, and a genuine love for the game, coaches can make a lasting impact on their athletes and contribute to the growth and development of collegiate soccer programs.

For those aspiring to land an NCAA soccer job, let your passion for the sport and dedication to shaping young athletes drive your journey. Embrace every opportunity to gain experience, whether through coaching, internships, or networking events within the soccer community. Cultivate a coaching philosophy that reflects your values and commitment to athlete development. Build a strong online presence to showcase your expertise, achievements, and enthusiasm for soccer. Attend coaching conventions, engage with university athletic departments, and stay connected with professionals in the field. Recognize that the path may involve challenges, but resilience and continuous learning are key. Your genuine love for the game and the impact it can have on student-athletes will set you apart. Stay focused on your goals, remain adaptable, and approach each step with a positive mindset. Landing an NCAA soccer job is not just about credentials; it’s about your unwavering passion and the positive influence you can bring to the world of collegiate athletics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications are required for NCAA soccer coaching jobs?

Qualification requirements vary, but generally, a bachelor’s degree, a proven track record in soccer coaching, and extensive knowledge of the sport are essential. Many of the upper-level positions prefer or require a master’s degree and/or coaching certifications.

How can I find and apply for NCAA soccer coaching positions?

Job postings are available on the NCAA Market site, university job boards, and specialized sports job platforms. Networking and attending coaching conventions can also enhance your chances.

What is the typical salary range for NCAA soccer jobs?

Salaries vary based on position as well as many other factors. Coach Salaries can range from a few thousand dollars for assistant coaching positions to six figures for head coaching roles at top-tier programs.

What challenges do NCAA soccer coaches commonly face?

Coaches face challenges such as budget constraints, group dynamics difficulties, difficulty balancing academic and athletic priorities for student-athletes, and dealing with the pressure to achieve success on the field.

How important is networking in the world of NCAA soccer coaching?

Networking is crucial for NCAA soccer coaches. Building relationships with other coaches, attending conferences, and connecting with scouts and administrators can open up opportunities for job placements, collaborations, and valuable insights.

What positions are available to someone looking interested in an NCAA soccer job?

Aside from the most widely available position of head and assistant coaches, NCAA soccer programs also hire directors of programs, and graduate assistants.