Assistant coaches seek out second jobs

Anthony Palermini at his desk on campus.

Vince Lombardi, Phil Jackson, and Bill Walsh were all legendary head coaches. But like Drake said, they all started from the bottom.

All began their coaching careers as assistant coaches, a position that often gets overlooked by fans and the media.

Nick Green, an assistant coach for the Chico State women’s golf team, said being an assistant means not doing it for the money or being able to work with the team like a head coach.

“The unfortunate part about being an assistant, especially golf assistant, I wish I could give the team a lot more time and spend more time working with them,” Green said. “Some coaches have a little bit higher salary, but I have a full-time job aside from being an assistant.”

Green is the director of instruction for Bidwell Park Golf Course. He needs to have a full-time job in order to make a living and pay rent, Green said.

The average annual salary for a Chico State assistant coach is $5,260 for men’s teams and $4,556 for women’s teams, according to an Equity in Athletics Act report. However, the average annual salary for a head coach is $65,470 for men’s teams and $56,665 for women’s teams.

Green received his master’s degree in kinesiology from Chico State in 2010 and still hopes to become a head coach.

“I’ve been in the system, this is my third year with the women’s team and I spent years with the men’s team before that,” Green said. “I received my master’s degree with the intention on being a head coach one day.”

The flexibility of having another job is not an option for all assistant coaches.

Cross-country assistant coach Anthony Palermini is getting ready to pursue a teaching credential at Chico State. He said since he is going to be sticking around he wants to help his former coach, Gary Towne, with the team.

“I’m aiming for the high school level for where I want to teach after I receive my credential,” Palermini said. “I think it would be really cool to coach track and cross-country there because it was in high school where I got my inspiration for running.”

Being consumed by school and an assistant coaching position, Palermini could not fit a part-time job into his schedule this semester, but he said he will look for a job in the spring because he’ll need to a way to pay rent.

“Next semester I’ll have a lighter schedule and probably get a job part-time to help pay rent and all that good stuff,” Palermini said. “Head coaching is not my primary goal, it would be a great bonus to be one while teaching because I love the running environment.”

Assistant coaches do not get the same amount of money and fame as head coaches, but they do get experience. That experience will be integral if they decide to become a head coach.

Sergio Sanchez can be reached at [email protected] or @sergechez on Twitter.