This week I am coaching at a high school cross country camp. I am loving it! I love the kids, I love the running and I can't wait to bring peanut to see the camp races tomorrow! Woohoo!
I think the cross country community likes me too. The director of the camp tipped me off about a possible head coaching job at a school about 25 miles from my house. Apparently, this school's coach just up and left with no warning leaving the kids high and dry. The team is very small--a Div III school and a relatively new program to boot. Then to top things off a kid from the team who is attending the camp begged me to call the AD about the job to see if I could become his coach! This kid is dedicated, hard-working and a total leader. I love this kid. I want to help him!!!
But then I called. UGH. There is only one girl on the team so far and about 5 boys total. Ok. Not great, but I can live with that. I'd need to get a couple of quick certifications. Ok. I can do that. Oh by the way, it might only pay $1300 for the entire 3+ month season. It should pay $3500 but the faculty and staff are in contract negotiations so there is no guarantee of what the pay will be. Best case is $3500 and worst is $1300. Even if it was guaranteed $3500 I am not sure I could justify the time away from peanut, gas and child care expenses for less than $1200 a month. To do the job right would take a lot of my time. I couldn't take it and just show up for 90 minutes of whatever practice and half ass it. These kids deserve someone dedicated and who cares. Without enough pay and the logistical issues I think I could not give them what they deserve and even though my half-assing might be better than the loser they had before or god-forbid if some other loser takes the job, I cannot be the one to disappoint them. I cannot take on the responsibility and then give them nothing but my best. These days I have to think of what's best for peanut first and unfortunately, as hard as it is to do I think I have to turn this great opportunity down. If it was closer and guaranteed the $3500 or so I could make it work. But the 40 minute drive to and from and the $.50/hour pay is just not something I can swing with peanut. And selfishly, I would prefer to coach girls. So my ideal coaching job would guarantee at least $1200/month, be close to home and have a solid group of girls to work with.
So, I think I have to say no. And all I can picture is telling that poor dedicated kid that he still has no coach. It's killing me!