Spirit 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:  What You Need to Know

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:  What You Need to Know - 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.

Coaching Position (Head or Assistant) Fundamentals of Coaching
First Aid for Coaches (or equivalent)
AACAA Spirit Safety Certification
Competitive Cheer Yes Yes Yes
Competitive Dance Yes Yes Yes
*Sideline Cheer (stunting) Yes Yes Yes
Sideline Cheer (non-stunting) Yes Yes No

 *If a qualified cheer coach and/or school-approved supervisor is not in attendance at an activity, the cheer team WILL NOT be allowed to perform stunts.