NFHS Spirit Coaches Education Program

The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) has partnered with AACCA, ASEP, and Varsity Brands Educational Divisions to educate cheerleading and dance coaches throughout the United States. Read all about this exciting partnership!

Q – What is the NFHS Spirit Coaches Education Program?

A – It is a national program to educate coaches of cheerleading, dance, drill, and pom. It was created because of a tremendous need for spirit coaches education in this country. Since it is very difficult to hire and retain spirit coaches, the NFHS believes that coaches education is the most critical component in developing safe, successful high school spirit programs.

Q – Will I have national certification when I complete the NFHS Spirit Coaches Education Program?

A – No, the NFHS does not certify anyone. What the program does is give you a credential for each level of the program, stating that you have completed the required courses. This is merely a matter of semantics, but it is important to recognize that this is NOT a certification program.

Q – What courses will I take for the NFHS Spirit Coaches Education Program?

A – There will be three levels of credentials for the program, the Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The NFHS Spirit Association Advisory Board, comprised of spirit coaches and state association staff, is the governing body that will develop the courses. UCA is also a part of the program and will provide courses that deal with technique and form. Currently, the Bronze level will be complete beginning with the 2003-04 school year and we are in the process of developing the Silver and Gold level.

Q – What courses are in the Bronze Level?

A – The Bronze level of the NFHS Spirit Coaches Education Program has four (4) courses. Those are the AACCA Safety Certification course, the ASEP-developed Coaching Principles, Spirit Program Management, a modification of the current NFHS Comprehensive Guide for Spirit Coaches, and the UCA-developed Partner Stunt Progressions. Each course is approximately 4-8 hours long with a test at the completion of the course. After the test scores have been graded, coaches will receive a certificate of completion. After all four courses are completed, coaches will receive a Bronze level certificate, indicating that the coach has successfully completed that level.

Q – Where can I take these courses?

A – Some of the courses will be offered each year at the NFHS/AACCA Coaches Conference in April. We also are in the planning stages of finding state directors who will be the NFHS contact for the education program. These directors will work with the NFHS and help us set up the courses in each state. We recognize that sometimes coaches cannot afford to attend national conferences, so we hope to be able to offer the courses in each state.

Q – Will any of the courses be online?

A – Yes, we are in the final stages of developing online courses in Coaching Principles and a silver level course, Sport First Aid. We believe that this is a very exciting part of the program because it enables all coaches to work from their homes or schools to complete the courses.

Q – What is the cost of the courses?

A – Each course is different but they are approximately $65-$85. The exact total depends on the materials used and the instructors’ costs.

Q – I’m in a state that requires the Coaching Principles course for all coaches. Since I have also been certified in AACCA, do I have to take these courses again?

A – Good question! No, you do not need to repeat Coaching Principles. You will only need to show proof of your completion of the course to receive credit at the NFHS office. The AACCA Safety Certification course must be renewed every four (4) years, so that will dictate when you need to take that course again.

Q – Who do I contact when I have a question about the NFHS Spirit Coaches Education Program?

A – The best source for your questions is the NFHS office at 317-972-6900. Nicole Slone, Administrative Assistant to Susan Loomis at the NFHS, is the contact person at the NFHS office. She will be able to answer your questions. You may email her at Susan Loomis can also be contacted at

For additional information Click Here to visit the NFHS Spirit Website.

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