General Coach Requirements

Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the following courses shall be required for completion by all coaches, paid or volunteer, for athletic activities grades 9-12:

  • NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching
  • NFHS First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches
  • NFHS Concussion in Sports

Each course also has a defined renewal period per SDHSAA Board of Directors action:

  • NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching - No renewal required after completion
  • NFHS First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches - Must be renewed every two (2) years
  • NFHS Concussion in Sports - Must be renewed annually after July 1st per SD Codified Law (SDCL)

The only exception to these rules is as follows:  Individuals who graduate from an accredited education program and obtain a teaching certificate from the South Dakota Department of Education which includes a Coaching Endorsement pursuant to SDCL 24:15:06:32 will have a five-year grace period to complete the requirement of the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching course.  This course must be completed prior to beginning coaching duties within five (5) calendar years from the date of graduation.

Continuing Education & Graduate Credit

Registration and Payment

To register for the online courses, go the SDHSAA website ( and click on Athletics, then Coaches Education.  On the Coaches Education page, you will find links that will take you directly to the NFHSLearn website (  Course registration and payment of fees will be completed online and made payable to the NFHS.  Course materials will be received from the NFHS.

Cost of NFHS online courses:  Fundamentals of Coaching = $40.00, First Aid, Health & Safety for Coaches = $40.00, Concussion in Sports - What You Need to Know = FREE.

Required coursework must be completed prior to the individual beginning their coaching responsibilities.

NOTE: All Coach Education Courses have been approved by the South Dakota Department of Education for application toward Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for certificated teachers. Please visit the Department of Education's website for more information, as well as access to the appropriate paperwork.  To view the clock hours for Department of Education credit, please click here.

NOTE: Through a partnership with the University of Sioux Falls (USF) and the SDHSAA, any individual who completes the "Fundamentals of Coaching" and "First Aid, Health, and Safety for Coaches" courses is now eligible to earn one (1) semester hour of graduate credit through USF in addition to meeting the SDHSAA/DOE guidelines for coaching requirments.

By registering with USF through their workshop/outreach program, this one (1)  semester hour of graduate credit can be obtained for a fee of $45.00 payable to USF.  This $45.00 fee is paid directly to USF and covers their expense; no financial gain is realized by any other organization, including the SDHSAA or NFHS.  For more information or to register for the graduate credit, please visit