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Reports: NCAA approves proposal turning all volunteer assistant coaches into paid coaches

arizona baseball
arizona baseball

The days of volunteer assistants may now be a thing of the past according to multiple reports. Kendall Rogers of D1 Baseball and former Utah gymnastics coach Greg Marsden both tweeted about the development on Wednesday afternoon, stating that the NCAA had voted to make all volunteer assistants into paid positions as of July 1, 2023.

The development is especially significant in baseball and a number of women’s sports, including softball, gymnastics, and volleyball. The fight to add the extra position in baseball and softball has been ongoing since 2019.

It was voted down in April 2019 after some baseball programs objected to softball being included. Those programs included Pac-12 members Oregon State and California with OSU athletic director Scott Barnes publicly criticizing the addition of softball to the proposal.

At the time, now-retired Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea firmly disagreed with the decision, noting that a third paid assistant coach for softball would allow more former players to stay in the sport. Currently, Arizona has several former softball players working as volunteer assistant coaches in conferences across the country. With so few pro leagues in women’s sports, college coaching is the only high-level option open to former players of those sports.

“I think the game has grown a lot now where we have a lot of former players getting into the coaching profession, and I think that was always a great opportunity to have that available,” Candrea said at the time.

The new rule does not require schools to add the positions. If they do, these new full-time coaches would be able to recruit, which current volunteer assistant coaches cannot do.

Another proposal regarding coaching was not voted on today according to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated. That rule would have allowed “any institutional staff member” to coach during practices. That would include the numerous staff positions that have sprung up in football and basketball, including “analysts” and “special assistants.” That proposal could be voted on at a later date.