It’s been a few years since I’ve have been involved with any football program, but I have been on the sidelines listening and watching how things have turned out for our program at Richmond Hill High School. I’ve also been following the discussion of what to pay high school coaches.
It seems to me that some are completely missing the key factor in paying coaches what they’re worth. What reporters and others seem to missing is gate receipts.
I haven’t seen any reporter or supporter bring this up, so I am. And to start, I’m going to rewind back to 2008.
At that time our football program was struggling. I was heavily involved and when the chance came to discuss bringing in a new coach to help out, I jumped in with both feet.
Because of my experience dealing with some of the best high school football coaches and programs around the country, I knew exactly what we needed and who we needed. We needed a coach like Lyman Guy, whom I had known for a few years when he was with other programs.
We needed one that had a history of winning and understood what a winning program brings to a community. It was a very difficult task but one that then-principal Dr. Charles Spann understood.
Our athletic budget was operating in the red and just to get an extra coaches t-shirt was a struggle. Needless to say, the decision was made to hire Guy, and for a while it seemed that everyday I was ridiculed by those opposed to his hiring. People were telling me how wrong I was, so let’s just say that I’m very proud of what I did and Guy certainly did his part.
I’ve continued my friendship with Guy and even though I can’t speak for him I can tell you that if it wasn’t for the fact he had an offer to coach in his hometown, he probably would not have left. But he got an opportunity, and I’m very happy for him, Carman and their boys.
But when he came here, Guy knew that if we could get the football team winning it would be a win for all sports.
Gate receipts go into the general athletic fund and directly helps pay for low or non-revenue generating sports. In a recent article I read where the writer said “don’t throw money at coaches” and went on to ask about more money for coaches other sports.
I agree with the writer in that you can’t just throw money out there for all coaches. But the bottom line, like it or not, is that football funds all other sports, assuming of course you have a winning team.
I know firsthand that back in 2008 football gate receipts for the entire year weren’t much more than $10,000 and the athletic fund operated in the red most of the time, so other sports couldn’t get what they needed because there just weren’t any funds.
I’m guessing that under Guy, gate receipts and revenue generated from a single game was well over $10,000, based on my guestimate I bet that football added maybe $100,000 this year to the general fund to help other sports.
It’s been asked, in a sarcastic way, if a high school football coach should be paid more than principal.
You bet they should, but if, and only if, they are bringing in that kind of revenue to the school. A lot of high school coaches around the state do make more than principals only because of the revenue they generate.
A losing program can’t afford higher supplements. That makes me wonder if a coach can be paid based on performance. But like it or not, the fact is football drives all other sports, not just in gate receipts, but also in community involvement. You can have state championships in other sports and unfortunately they won’t get the recognition they deserve or what football gets.
Winning football unites and excites a community. Local businesses are more excited about helping with sponsorships and donations when they’re excited about the football team. So, the bottom line from a business perspective is that winning football means more money for all sports. Losing football means less funds.
That’s just my two cents. I am not saying anyone is doing anything wrong. I’m asking that folks take a hard look at the big picture and be circumspect in their thinking and decision making.
Butch Broome is a local business owner and is a former president of the Richmond Hill High School Gridiron Association.