Bachelor’s in Coaching Programs Guide

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Join the Growing Industy of Coaching

Ever want to experience a team’s win not from the spectator’s side, but from the coach’s position? A degree in coaching can make that a reality.

The tradition of sports and recreation is largely associated with American culture. Every year, families and fans gather around at the large spectacle of sporting events and tournaments, whether it be a local community event or one at the professional level. There is just something about coming together and cheering on a team while wearing the same colors and screaming the same chants. People can enter into this industry in ways other than becoming a professional player.

An undergraduate degree in coaching will prepare students for the exciting athletics industry. Whether graduates choose to become coaches themselves or work more on the business-side of things, this major will give students the opportunities to experience this bustling career themselves. This growing industry is expected to reach a value of $73.5 billion by 2019 according to Forbes, definitely creating more job opportunities in the future.

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What type of coaching degree should you get?

The most common degree that falls under this category will either be a bachelor’s in sport management or a bachelor’s in sports and recreation management. This degree prepares graduates to coach or manage athletics at the community, collegiate, or professional level. Often related to business, students will take courses such as Finance, and see how it relates to sports. Students will also take science courses such as wellness and physiology.

This degree is offered either on-campus or online. An online degree may be preferable for already working adults or for those whose schedules do not fit with traditional daytime classes. Online students still get all the benefits of an on-campus course; tutoring, internship programs, and community involvement are just a few of the things available. An online program is also sometimes more affordable.

Check out our ranking of the Best Bachelor’s in Sport Management.

How much do people make with an online coaching degree?

According to PayScale, the average salary of a sports management degree holder is $47,000. However, a starting salary can be anywhere from $35,000 to the early $40,000s depending on title and location. For instance, sports managers in New York earned an average salary of $58,000, while those in Iowa only earned $37,000. It is safe to say that the coaching industry is not a “get rich quick” one, but rather one that is rewarding over the long term.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of business managers for athletes is $62,080, regardless of experience. The top ten percent of earners made more than $194,810. While coaches make the least amount of money, top managers and analysts can easily make six figures. Those with a Master’s degree can also increase earning potential, but experience is said to be just as important in this industry.


What can you do with an online coaching degree?

An undergraduate degree in this major prepares graduates for entry-level positions within the athletics and recreation industries. Other than coaching, some typical jobs include marketer, facilities manager, recruiting, or athletic director. Because of the business nature of the industry, a successful worker will need to have a solid understanding of the economics of the field. Some degrees offer concentrations that prepare students for a particular job.

Sport management majors can be employed by a variety of businesses, with the most typical ones being sports teams themselves, sport networks, apparel companies, or marketing firms. It should be noted that a holder of an online degree will not have any less or more job opportunities than one who took classes on-campus. In fact, “online” will never be written anywhere on the diploma.

What are the requirements for an online coaching degree?

Applicants should have a high school diploma or GED from an accredited institution. A strong candidate should possess a GPA of at least 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and have at least average SAT/ACT test scores. While not required, taking advanced courses in physiology, anatomy, economics, or statistics would also be an asset.

Students can expect to take about 120 credit-hours and complete the program in about four years. Coursework will include sports (coaching or sport psychology), wellness (kinesiology, nutrition, injury prevention), and business classes (i.e. accounting, human resources, finances). Many times an internship will be required for graduation. This well-rounded degree will prepare young professionals for the diverse set of jobs available.

What are the best online coaching degrees?

We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer fair not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line - just how much is this going to cost? Check out our methodology page for a more in depth description of our data.

Once we determine all of the above, we curate a list of stellar schools for you! These not only represent the best degrees you can get, but also ones that will fit your budget. Check out our picks below!


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL




    Experience the Gators Online Advantage through the University of Floridas extensive online program. With over 160 years of history, UF is a public research university that always pushes the boundaries of innovation within the state. Thanks to the flexibility of an online UF degree that allows students to take as many or as little credits as they want, you can finish your degree without the pressure of traditional time constraints. Despite being online, students are still encouraged to participate in on-campus clubs, organizations, and events.

    Program Features

    Learn the fundamental business practices of sports organizations in UFs online BS in Sports Management degree.

    • 12 credit-hour, full-time internship requirement
    • Networking opportunities
    • Sample Courses: Sport Facility Design, Business Finance, Sport and Society


    In 2016, the U.S. News World Report ranked UFs online bachelors programs #11 in the country.

  2. American Public University

    Charles Town, WV




    American Public University was founded by a retired Marine Corps officer with veteran students in mind. APU, which is part of the American Public University System, offers flexible and affordable education primarily to adult students. In fact, 87 percent of students are working adults, with the average age being 33. Online degrees are made so students can complete work on their own time, with technology allowing collaboration between faculty and peers. Since 2015, APU has received the Best for Vets Colleges award from the Military Times.

    Program Features

    Graduates of APU's online BS in Sports Management degree will be prepared to coach or manage sports programs at the collegiate or high school level.

    • Ability to transfer up to 90 credit-hours
    • Monthly start dates
    • $270 per credit-hour (discounted military rates)


    APU offers partnerships with several employers that allow students to receive a discounted tuition rate.

  3. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE




    Since 1965, Bellevue University has offered career-centered, adult-friendly higher education. It has offered distance learning programs since 1996 and was one of the first institutions to do so. Bellevue is dedicated to serving a diverse population, with many of its students ranging from age 18 to over 65-years-old. Offering partnerships with local community colleges, scholarships, and generous financial aid, accessibility is a key feature of a Bellevue education. Students can enroll in the coaching degree either online or on-campus.

    Program Features

    Get a head start in your career in business through Bellevues online BA or BS in Sport Management program.

    • For-credit internship
    • Online tutoring and writing help
    • Sample Courses: Legal Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity, Sport Marketing


    The only difference between the BA and BS degree is that the BS degree requires Applied Statistics.

  4. Troy University

    Troy, AL




    With its roots beginning as a Normal School to train teachers, Troy University is a comprehensive public university with over 18,000 enrolled students. Through Troy Online, students can receive the same degree as a traditional on-campus student would, but on a much more flexible schedule. Online students still have full access to Troys library, writing centers, and tutors.

    Program Features

    Gain a solid understanding of management principles in Troy's online BS degree in Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management program with a concentration in Sport Management.

    • Accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation
    • Merit-based scholarships available
    • Nine-week courses


    Troy offers five online start dates throughout the year. To this day, Troy has awarded over 19,000 online degrees to students around the world.

  5. Florida International University

    Miami, FL




    Located in the beautiful city of Miami, Florida International University is one of the states leading public research institutions. The vision for a state university became a reality in 1972 with a starting enrollment of over 5,000 students. Today FIU is a nationally recognized university with both online and on-campus degrees. U.S. News World Report ranks FIU among the top 100 public universities in the country.

    Program Features

    Be prepared for the dynamic sports industry by enrolling in FIU's online BS in Recreation and Sport Management: Recreation and Sport Management Track program.

    • One-on-one success coach
    • $212.71 per credit-hour in-state
    • Program Sessions: fall, spring, summer


    There is a 4+1 option available for students who wish to pursue their Master's degree right after graduation.

  6. Averett University

    Danville, VA




    Averett University is a private school that was originally founded as a Baptist womens college in 1859. Although the school is technically affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, all students regardless of faith are welcome. Averett values education that is personalized, career-centered, and aware of cultural diversity. Online students receive all the benefits and support through Averett's distance learning program made for adults.

    Program Features

    Averett's online BS in Physical Education: Sport Management degree prepares graduates for positions in various athletic sectors.

    • Multiple start dates
    • Tuition assistance available for qualifying students
    • Coursework offered through online Moodle system


    Averett offers its online programs through IDEAL, which stands for Individually Designed Education for Adult Learners. Students interact with peers and faculty completely through the schools online platform.

  7. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    Lafayette, LA




    The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the largest university within the UL system that never stops striving. Its vision is to become among the top 25 percent of its peer institutions by 2020. UL Lafayette prides itself on not only creating great students within the classroom, but also wonderful leaders and citizens in the real world. The university is known for its Ragin Cajun spirit, helping the community in various needs and new projects. In 2017, UL Lafayette was mentioned in the U.S. News World Reports Best Online Programs ranking.

    Program Features

    UL Lafayette offers an online BS degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Health Promotion and Wellness for students who wish to become health advocates.

    • Prepares students for the Certified Health Education Specialist certification
    • No out-of-state tuition difference
    • Accelerated program format available


    Students will partake in a clinical experience and/or internship. Clinical experiences are 40 hours, while internships are 320 hours.

  8. Concordia University Chicago

    River Forest, IL




    Concordia University is a private, liberal arts Christian university in Chicago. It aspires to be a place where students can grow in their faith and become new leaders in their respective fields. Concordia is associated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod faith and thus follows a Lutheran tradition. Its coaching degree is offered through its Sports Leadership and Exercise Science programs which are 100 percent online. Concordia's programs are also highly transfer friendly, allowing sometimes up to 50 percent of the credit-hours to be transferred.

    Program Features

    Concordia's online BA in Sports and Recreation Management degree will develop the necessary skills to make business decisions in the athletic world.

    • 128 credit-hours
    • Tuition guaranteed to not increase over the years
    • New start date every 5 weeks


    This program is asynchronous, meaning that there are not scheduled class times and students can log on whenever they have time to finish coursework.

  9. Southern New Hampshire University

    Manchester, NH




    What began as a small school to train bookkeepers in 1932 has become one of the most prominent universities within the state. Known as the 2017 Most Innovative University in the North by the U.S. News World Report, Southern New Hampshire University is a private school with over 90,000 online students worldwide. Its goal is to offer higher education that transforms the lives of students. Why choose SNHU? Its online programs are easy to access 24/7, have a generous tuition rate, offer constant student support, and offer a no-fuss application process.

    Program Features

    Earn your BS in Sport Management from a school with over 25 years of history in the industry.

    • Accelerated BS-to-MS track
    • Eight-week classes
    • No application fee


    Students who take the accelerated path to an MS degree can take up to two graduate courses while paying undergraduate tuition. Through this program it is possible to gain your Master's in as little as one year.

  10. Toccoa Falls College

    Toccoa Falls, GA




    Toccoa Falls College is a private, Christian liberal arts school located in northern Georgia. The college is made up of three schools: the School of Christian Ministries, School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Professional Studies. Throughout these colleges, TFC also offers online degrees. All online students are assigned an academic advisor just like any other on-campus student. They can also participate in things such as athletics, study abroad, and campus ministry.

    Program Features

    Learn the foundations of the athletics industry from a Biblical perspective through TFC's online Sport Management degree.

    • Internships with sport organizations
    • Receive a National Coaching certificate upon graduation
    • Sample Courses: First Aid, Coaching Techniques, Organization & Administration of Sport


    100 percent of graduates from this program report being employed in the sport industry within six months of graduation.

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