Here is a link to ASEP - American Sport Education Program

Regarding Coaching Certification

In order to be hired as a formal coach of a CPS athletic team, prospective coaches must be in compliance with IHSA Bylaw 2.070 .

To serve a member school as a Head or Assistant Coach, athletic coaches in member schools must:
(a) be regularly certified by the ISBE as a teacher, administrator, or school service personnel (i.e. counselor, social
worker, speech therapist, etc., including substitute teachers), or
(b) be a retired teacher/coach from an IHSA member school, or
(c) be a college student coaching as part of an official student teaching assignment, or
(d) be certified through ASEP, NFHS or other IHSA Board approved coaches certification program (see IHSA Policy
Number 9 for a complete list of approved programs), and
(e) be at least 19 years of age, and
(f) be officially employed by the local school board of the member school.

I am an ASEP certified instructor so primarily, I am referring to getting a coach certified through ASEP (American Sport Education Program).

Many coaches think that certification consists of attending a class and receiving a certificate at the end. Others know that it involves a test, but figure that during the class or at the end of the class you take the test.

Actually, ASEP certification process is a more extensive process. First of all, there is a fee which can range anywhere from $110 - $250 (I will explain later). Then there are three tests that must be taken; Coaching Principles (100 questions), First-Aid (75 questions) and IHSA rules (25 questions). Each of these are open book, but nonetheless take time to complete. Course materials are made available which give academic information as well as game plans for certain scenarios. The class portion of the certification consists of hands on activity and group discussion.

There are two avenues toward ASEP certification. My suggested avenue is the online option. Go to's%20Revised.pdf and you will find all the information necessary for your coaches to take the course online and become certified. This is my recommended option especially for the winter coaches. Certification costs $110 or $140 plus shipping. The $110 option is for coaches who are only concerned with coaching within Illinois, and are not necessarily looking for professional development in the coaching area. The $140 option (recommended) is for those who are serious about becoming a better coach as the material is comprehensive and you receive the textbook, "Succesful Coaching".

The alternative avenue is the classroom option. Coaches would need to find an instructor, who would require payment upfront, and must clear 8-12 hours for class instruction (which does not include the test). I am an instructor, but I am no longer working in this capacity under the auspices of the Chicago Public Schools. Anyway, if you chose to, you would need to hire me as an outside agent in the same way that you would hire a different instructor. The benefits of the classroom course avenue, other than the human interaction, is that the tests are scan tron, which makes it easier for coach collaboration when taking the test.

I intend to offer a class for the spring/fall coaches in January or February.

Hopefully, you find this information useful and you can send me more specific questions if you need to.

Thomas E. Smith
City-wide Sport Coordinator