Coaching Certificates & Requirements

Coaching Certification & Requirements


IHSA - (309) 663-6377

CLICK HERE for course options and registration.

Who must take a Coaching certification course for the IHSA?

Currently, you must have a current, valid Illinois Teaching, School Administrator, Substitute Teaching, School Psychologist, School Counselor, School Social Worker Certificate or be retired from teaching to meet the IHSA By-Law requirement to coach without going through an IHSA coaching certification program. If you have taken an exam and possess any of the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education), Certificates noted previously, then you are certified to coach in Illinois and do not need to take a coaches certification course. Normally, teacher’s aids and ancillary staff are not licensed through ISBE and must complete and pass an approved Coaches Certification course.


  1. Do you have to work as a teacher in the school you will be coaching?
    No, an Illinois Licensed/Certified Teacher may be hired to coach at any IHSA Member school.
  2. When you retire from teaching, do you have to maintain your Illinois Teaching Certificate in order to continue coaching?
    No, retired teachers do not have to maintain their Teaching Certificate and may coach at any IHSA Member School.


If you do not meet the criteria listed above, you may download our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about coaching certification. To print a copy, CLICK HERE.

IESA - (309) 829-0114

CLICK HERE for course options and registration


Who must take a Coaching certification course for the IESA?

Athletic coaches in all member schools shall be regularly certified to teach in the schools of Illinois or must complete an approved coaching education course. If the following criteria are met for athletic coaches certified to teach, these individuals are exempt from taking a required coaching education course:

  • Teaching or supervising classroom activity at least two periods daily in a member school; or
  • Employed full-time in any elementary, junior high, or high school or
  • An assistant teacher/resource aide, lay supervisor or other Para professional who is employed at least half-time per day in a member school; or
  • Teaching full-time, within the provisions of the Illinois School Code, in a member school or in a vocational or special education cooperative in which the member school participates; or
  • A retired teacher from a member school provided the person remains certified to teach.