Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Career Opportunities

The University of Northern Colorado helped establish the model for sports coaching education with our pioneering master’s degree in sports coaching. We now offer one of the nation’s first sports coaching bachelor’s degrees. This career-oriented program offers all the benefits of UNC’s acclaimed master’s program. You’ll work with expert faculty who’ve made UNC a national leader in sports coaching education, while developing superior skills for career opportunities at all levels, from youth leagues to the pros.

The program includes hands-on experience and internship experience, along with sport-specific training in a wide range of sports. You’ll gain expertise in motivation, communication, psychology, and leadership, with additional coursework in conditioning, weight training, injury prevention, and international coaching. Demand for coaches is increasing rapidly, so UNC’s sports coaching degree provides you with an outstanding start on your career.

Degree Options

B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science: Sports Coaching Emphasis

The Sports Coaching program falls within the Sport and Exercise Science degree area. You’ll study the psychological and physical aspects of coaching, while gaining an excellent background in general health and fitness education. The program includes sport-specific elective courses that address the coaching and officiating of individual sports, including baseball, football, basketball, tennis, soccer, swimming, softball, track and volleyball.

Sport and Exercise Science Coaching Minor

UNC’s Coaching Minor has been designed to prepare students to assume coaching roles in school and non-school settings. You’ll complete 19 credit hours including a 2-credit-hour physical education internship.

Your Future in Sports Coaching

UNC’s career-oriented sports coaching degree positions you to take advantage of the rapid increase in job opportunities in coaching. Schools, fitness centers, parks and rec departments, and other employers are expanding their sports programs, while college and professional sports coaching staffs are becoming larger and more specialized. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, sports coaching will experience above-average job growth between now and 2020.

Consider UNC’s B.S. in Sports Training if you:

  • Are passionate about athletics, fitness and health
  • Have a commitment to teaching
  • Enjoy working with diverse populations
  • Possess strong leadership skills

You’ll learn:

  • Motivation and psychology
  • Fitness and exercise physiology
  • Teaching and education
  • Planning and administration

Sample courses:

  • Principles of Coaching
  • Social Influences on Sport and Exercise Behavior
  • Biomechanics
  • Prevention and Care of Sports Injuries
  • Coaching and Officiating
Scott Douglas


Scott Douglas, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Scott Douglas, Ph.D. is the program coordinator of UNC’s sports coaching program and teaches in the School of Sport and Exercise Science. Known to his students as "Dr. D.," he is a former professional athlete who won the bronze medal in wheelchair tennis doubles at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney. Today, he applies what he’s learned as an elite wheelchair athlete in his classes, sharing his stories with students. He shares insight and experiences—such as the time he traveled to Greece in a diplomatic role as the Paralympics assistant chef de mission in 2004, during a tense time when America was at war with Iraq. A member of the Paralympic Research and Sports Science Consortium, Douglas helps facilitate Paralympic-related research, and presents his own research on Paralympic and adaptive sports and coaching at conferences around the world.

Read more about Douglas, featured in UNC Magazine

Learn More

Beyond the Classroom

The sports coaching program provides you with extraordinary opportunities to work directly with athletes and gain practical, hands-on experience in coaching. UNC maintains active relationships with sports organizations throughout the region, including our own NCAA Division I teams in 16 sports. You may be able to work as an intern or volunteer with coaches in UNC’s athletic programs, while getting additional experience with community partners such as school districts, parks and rec programs, youth leagues and fitness centers.

Where can your degree take you?

  • High school or college athletic coach
  • Youth league coach or director
  • Sports officiating
  • Physical education
  • Master’s program in sports coaching

What You Need to Know Right Now