Skip to main content

Top 10 BOEE Tips for Coaches

BOEE Tips for Coaches


As a coach one of the worst things that can happen to you is to have someone file a complaint against you with the Board of Educational Examiners alleging that you have violated the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Educators.  For some of you this may never happen.  For others it may happen more than once.  We hope you will never have a complaint and with that in mind here are a few recommendations on things you can do to keep yourself out of trouble.

  1. As a coach you may have more one-on-one time with students.  Thus, it's important to maintain appropriate relationships and boundaries with students and staff.  This includes appropriate physical boundaries (minimal touch), emotional boundaries (you are the coach, not a counselor, parent or friend), and social media boundaries (stay off social media & texting with students) (Standard I).
  2. When traveling for athletic events with students make sure you are not alone with a student in a vehicle or hotel room.  Ensure that students are rooming with other students and not other staff.  (Standard I).
  3. Do not bring or use alcohol or controlled substances on school grounds or to a school sponsored event. This includes bringing alcohol to school as a gift for other staff members - while this may be a nice gesture this is a technical violation.  This also includes having a drink before the big game or having a drink at lunch and returning to school.  (Standard II).
  4. Do not dispense medication or other drugs to your students without following medication administration protocols and prescriptions.  This includes medications related to athletic training.  (Standard II).
  5. Do not falsify or misrepresent information about yourself, your students, or staff.  This includes information on a job application, to college recruiters, in the gradebook, on an IEP or relative to a student's test answers and scores.   (Standard III).
  6. If you handle district property or funds make sure you are properly handling and accounting for the property or funds.  Do not use district funds for your own personal use, commingle funds with your own funds, or ask for fraudulent reimbursements.  This includes getting a kickback from a uniform company for your own FREE gear when your students have to make purchases.  (Standard IV).
  7. Make sure to treat students, staff, administrators, and parents with respect and refrain from discrimination in any form.   This includes respecting varying points of views of students and staff and not pushing your own views.  This also includes keeping student information confidential.  (Standard VI).
  8. Even though the Supreme Court has said you can kneel and pray at the game, refrain from leading the team in prayer or encouraging prayer.  (Standard VI)
  9. Remember, corporal punishment is illegal in Iowa.  You cannot make your athletes run sprints as a form of punishment, but you can have them run sprints for conditioning. (Standard VI).
  10. Pay your legal obligations including taxes, child support, and make sure to comply with other orders.  (Standard VII).
  11. Keep up with your professional development and maintain professional competence by keeping up with minimum standards of acceptable and prevailing educational practices in Iowa.  (Standard VIII).

While this is not an exhaustive list of things to do or avoid, it is the nuts and bolts to keep you on the right track.  Thank you for the work you do.

If you need legal advice be sure to contact your district attorney or union.  If you have any questions about the ethical standards you may contact Nicole Proesch at or call 515-242-6506.