Publication Date

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Jessica W. Chin


athletic training, coaches, knowledge, relationships

Subject Areas



The goal of this study was to explore coaches' experience with athletic trainers (ATs) and knowledge of their roles and responsibilities at the NCAA Division I level. The data collection involved a questionnaire and follow-up phone interviews. The survey was sent out to all 144 official head coaches of NCAA Division I universities in the Bay Area region of California, as defined by the California Department of Social Services in 2002, and there was a 22% (n=31) return rate. Nearly 60% (n=18) of coaches said they communicated with their athletic trainer over five times per week. Another ~60% (n=20-n=28) of the participants correctly identified all of the competencies under each domain of the athletic training profession. Of the 31 participants who participated in the survey, four participated in the follow-up interviews. The data from the follow-up interviews were organized into four higher order themes: qualities of the relationship between the AT and the coach, coaches' desired personality traits of an AT, qualities of the AT as a professional, and causes of conflict between the AT and coach. The participating coaches provided evidence that they are well versed in the profession of athletic training and have strong knowledge regarding the roles and responsibilities that are designated under this profession's scope of practice. In addition, all the coaches emphasized the importance of good communication within a professional relationship.