Coaches Handbook

Recreation & Wellness

Club Sports is a program area within the department of Recreation & Wellness, which is part of the Division of Student Affairs at GVSU. Our offices are located in the Recreation Center on the Allendale campus. Make your time at Grand Valley healthy, fun, and memorable by taking advantage of a wide variety of recreational, wellness, competitive, and educational resources that support your physical and mental well-being.


To empower and support students to pursue their overall well-being by providing impactful experiences to build community, develop life skills, discover passions, and have fun. 


The GVSU community will be involved, active, and well. 


WELL-BEING  |  We promote health, support personal development and advance a culture of well-being

INNOVATION  |  We welcome new ideas and embrace changes to enhance the student experience

IMPACTFUL EXPERIENCES  |  We create intentional, meaningful experiences that lead to lifelong learning. Everything we do has a purpose. 

COMMUNITY  |  We provide enjoyable and safe experiences that encourage connection and belonging. 

INCLUSION  |  We are committed to creating experiences that are accessible, adaptive and welcoming for everyone. We will celebrate and respect the diversity of every person. 

Office Hours

During the academic year, the Recreation & Wellness office is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday on days when classes are in session. For hours when classes are not in session, including the summer, please call the Recreation & Wellness office at (616) 331-1732. 

Office/Mailing Address

D135 Recreation Center
1 Campus Dr. 
Allendale, MI  49401

Office Phone: (616) 331-1732
E-mail: [email protected]

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Club Sports Admin Staff

Title & Name

Office Phone


Assistant Director, Club Sports & Business Administration - Anna Tollefson


[email protected]

Club Sports Coordinator - Andrew Rolls 

(616) 331-9412

[email protected]

Associate Director - Mike Przydzial

(616) 331-3212

[email protected]

Office Coordinator - LeaAnn Tibbe

(616) 331-1732

[email protected]

The Associate Director, Assistant Director and Coordinators are primary contacts for all clubs. Prior approval of club activities including but not limited to: travel, planning events, logo approvals, budget expenditures and facility reservations must first be approved by Club Sports Administration. Professional Staff are available for consultation regarding any aspect of your organization. 

The Recreation & Wellness Staff can assist with services and benefits that include:

  • Program advising and leadership development
  • Budget preparation and presentation
  • Equipment purchase advising
  • Facility scheduling for practice and competition
  • Team travel logistics and reimbursement
  • Tournament planning

It is the responsibility of club officers to seek assistance of Administration regarding any club issues and questions. Club officers can schedule an appointment, send an e-mail, or call the Recreation & Wellness office to ensure attention is provided. 

Please call Recreation & Wellness at (616) 331-1732 or e-mail [email protected] at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment.

All general questions, facility reservation requests, event requests, on-campus account balance requests, purchasing requests, and website/social media updates should be e-mailed to [email protected] before contacting professional staff member. 

Coach Roles, Responsibilities, & Expectations

As a Club Sports Coach, you have taken a supporting leadership role within the organization and student body of GVSU. As a coach, you have the opportunity to use your expertise to help GVSU students learn and develop skills, both in and out of their sport. Your leadership and dedication to the club helps ensure continued club success.

Club Student E-Boards recommend candidates, but the final decision must be approved by the Recreation & Wellness Administration. 

Expectations of a Coach

As a coach, you are expected to understand and accept the roles and authority of your position as described below:

  1. It is your responsibility to become familiar with GVSU Club Sport guidelines and procedures that govern operations. Coaches are expected to abide by all applicable rules and regulations of the University and any conference, league, or governing body in which the club may be a member.
  2. You may act only in areas in which the club has authorized, subsequent to approval by GVSU Recreation & Wellness, and understand that a club sport is first and foremost a student organization to be administered by elected student officers.
  3. You may not solicit money from any source, or purchase, rent, or commit anything in the name of Grand Valley State University or the above-named club without approval from the club, Club Sports Administrative Staff, and other University officials.
  4. You may not be listed on the club’s off-campus bank account without prior written authorization from Club Sports Administration, nor spend club funds without approval from the club's E-Board.
  5. You are responsible for promoting fair play and good sportsmanship at all times.
  6. You will represent the club and Grand Valley State University Club Sports in a positive and professional manner at all times.
  7. You are responsible for coordinating appropriate safety practices at all club functions and reporting issues to Club Sports Administration.
  8. You are responsible for conducting safe and well-organized practice and training sessions that will enable club members to develop and improve their skills.
  9. You are expected to meet with your club's e-board regularly to discuss goals of the club, expectations and respective roles. 
  10. You are responsible for attending club practices, competitions, and other club functions as well as meetings set forth by Club Sports Administration.
  11. You are responsible for keeping all required certifications current and on file with Club Sports Administration.
  12. You will maintain good communication with not only your team, but also with Club Sports Administration.

In accepting your role as a coach, you further understand:

  • The risk associated with this position, and that you are responsible for any medical or other costs associated with bodily injury or property damage sustained by you in the performance of your duties.
  • That you are responsible and accountable to Grand Valley State University Club Sports, as well as to the club sport for which you are coaching and/or providing instruction.
  • That you are not able to be paid from any funding source outside of Grand Valley State University.

Coach Hiring Requirements

All contracted coaches (new, returning, head, and assistant) must complete this onboarding checklist and submit it to Club Sports to receive their first payment

Coach Onboarding Checklist


Hiring & Onboarding Resources

New Coaches are required to complete and submit the following documents and forms to Club Sports Administration prior to participating in any team activities.  This paperwork is required for all contracted Head and Assistant Coaches who are being paid.

Once the above paperwork is completed and processed, GVSU will issue new coaches an internal network ID and email.  The following items must be completed after that is assigned

Please see the "training and certification" module below for additional details on these requirements

Returning Coaches are required to complete and submit the following documents and forms to Club Sports Administration prior to participating in any team activities. This paperwork is required for all contracted Head and Assistant Coaches who are being paid.

  • Appointment Letter (signed and submitted to Club Sports)

If it has been three years since you have updated the following forms, please complete and submit

Please ensure to login into your GVSU accounts occasionally to keep them active.  Do not forget to complete the following annual items as needed,

Please see the "training and certification" module below for additional details on these requirements

Head Coaches are responsible for the search, hiring, and supervision of their coaching staff and are expected to follow the guidelines below for paid assistant coaches:

  1. Determine your stipend allowance for a coaching staff. Take into consideration how much wages both Recreation & Wellness and the club are able to fund.
  2. Assess coaching staff needs for the year and develop position roles for each assistant in collaboration with the club's student E-board.
  3. Report contact information (name, email, phone number, and address) of your coaching staff to Club Sports Administration and include each individual's stipend amount (from both Recreation & Wellness funding and the club's), and their start/end date for the creation of an appointment letter.
  4. Complete and submit all new hire documents, forms, and trainings as listed above.
  5. After all documents are submitted, you will receive clearance from Club Sports Administration that an assistant coach may begin helping to support club operations. Your cooperation is expected in not allowing assistance coaches to be involved with the club until they have been hired.

Download the required Volunteer Form below. Complete and submit to Club Sports Administration, [email protected]:

  1. Volunteer Profile, Disclosure and Consent Form

All volunteer and unpaid coaches must register as University Volunteers and pass a background check prior to any contact with members of a club sport. Once submitting the above form, an email requesting information for your background check will be sent to you.  

Policies and procedures on becoming a University Volunteer can be found through the Risk Management web page. Please note that the Head Coach or club E-Board must appoint Volunteer Coaches as they are not open positions.

Payment Policy

Volunteer coaches are unable to receive any compensation from Grand Valley State University or their Club Sport.




Each club sport is awarded an annual amount of funding to pay their coaching staff that will be communicated by Club Sport Administration prior to each fall semester. Head coaches will determine how stipend amounts are split.

Any additional funds that clubs would like to pay their coaches must be communicated by the club E-board to Club Sport Administration. Additional coaching stipends are eligible for funding by the Club Sport Executive Council, but are not guaranteed.

Payment Policy

Clubs that are supplementing their coaching stipends must do so through Club Sports. Clubs are responsible for the principal plus any additional fringe cost. 

No coaches are to be paid from any funding source outside of Grand Valley State University.

All coaches (non-volunteer) are required to have the following certifications current and on file with Club Sports Administration:

You will be asked to resubmit copies of current certifications annually.

Pre-Season Action Items

Pre-Season Action Items

All paid coaches must be contracted GVSU.

Head Coaches are responsible for the search, hiring, and supervision of their coaching staff and are expected to follow the guidelines in the "Assistant Coaches" section in the Hiring Section for hiring paid assistant coaches.

Please see "Volunteer Coaches" for more information on establishing volunteer staff.

Ensure that financial records and the current year budget are up to date and accurate with the team’s current or previous treasurer. 

Regular financial meetings should be held within the organization to ensure the members are well-informed on the financial status of the club.

Monthly statements for off-campus bank accounts are required to be submitted to Club Sports Administration by the Club's E-Board.

Ensure that all equipment and uniforms that are necessary for the start of the season are ordered ahead of time. 

It is important to note that each printed item using GVSU’s intellectual property or club sport organization name, must follow all marketing and branding guidelines provided by Club Sports Administration prior to printing. All printing or embroidery using GVSU's name, the club's name, or GVSU intellectual property must be printed by a licensed vendor.

Please refer to the Club Sports Handbook when assisting with the design and ordering of apparel.

Reservations for use of the Outdoor Athletic Fields, ICA Weight Room, Fieldhouse Arena, Fieldhouse Combative Room, Fieldhouse classrooms, or the Kelly Family Sports Complex should be made through the Club Sports Annual Form. 

Clubs must submit a competition schedule of games and/or events as soon as possible. All events are subject to facility and staff availability and are not guaranteed.

All requests submitted by these deadlines will be looked at fairly in comparison with other club sport requests. Scheduling games and practices can often be a frustrating experience due to lack of availability of facilities for many club sports. Early communication with Club Sports Administration can help resolve this problem.  

For questions regarding scheduling of Club Sports on campus, please contact Club Sports Coordinator, Andrew Rolls.  Clubs utilizing off-campus facilities should contact Assistant Director, Anna Tollefson, to ensure a Facility Use Agreement is in place.

All coaches are expected to have a GVSU ID card upon getting hired.

With the issuance of a GVSU network ID and G# you may visit in person to receive your staff. ID. Please visit Student Services at 10800 N Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401 to complete.

Volunteer Coaches will receive a Facility Access Card upon completing their required paperwork.

In-Season Action Items

In-Season Operations

Members of teams that include coaches will also be asked to complete an evaluation survey with the coaching staff at both mid-year and end-of-year.  These surveys will be turned in to Club Sports Administrative staff to help ensure the needs of the club sports organizations are met.  

Head Coaches will be contacted to schedule a post-season evaluation to discuss performance and contract renewal for the following season. Coaches are encouraged to discuss salary contributions from their club prior to meeting with Club Sports Administration.


Mentor Club Eboard on appropriate budgeting and financial transactions.  Help keep track of expenses and revenue and what the status of the current budget and accounts are at.

Regular financial meetings should be held within the organization to ensure the members are well-informed on the financial status of the club.

Monthly statements for off-campus bank accounts are required to be submitted to Club Sports Administration by the Club's E-Board.

Ensure agreed upon coach duties are being met.  Communicate with student leadership about direction and outcomes of the season.

Facilitate communication with Club Sports about specific Game Operations needs in a timely manner.

Please refer to Club Sports Handbook for additional Facility and Event hosting details

Review and understand all EAPs for your respective spaces.  Review and understand all weather related emergencies and their action plans.  

Help Game Ops staff anticipate potential emergencies including but not limited to athlete injuries, acts of god, weather, or additional situations.

All Risk Management policies and procedures can be found within the Club Sports Handbook and at GVSU Emergency


Ensure your club is in compliance with all GVSU required travel details.  The inability to follow all travel regulations may result in the removal of travel for the club.

All coaches must be registered and approved as "authorized drivers" should they wish 

Please see the club sports handbook for more details


All coaches should help ensure their club's webpage is revised and up-to-date.  This includes, but is not limited to, contact information, roster, season schedule, and results.

Social media information should also be up-to-date and coaches should help student leaders maintain effective and appropriate content.

Post-Season Action Items

Post-Season Operations

If desired, coaches are able to recruit student-athletes to their club sport, but it is not required. Clubs that actively recruit high school students, transfer students, and current students to join GVSU Club Sports are typically more successful. Please note, funding for recruiting efforts is not supported by Recreation & Wellness but rather from your club's student E-board.

Coaches may work with the Admissions Office to set up campus tours, get connected with financial aid, among other tools to help with recruiting efforts. Visit their Be a Laker, Bring a Laker program for more details.

Each Club Sport is responsible for keeping an inventory and safely storing equipment. If storage space is needed, please contact Club Sports Administration.

If you are interested in hosting a Camp or Clinic for your club, please contact Club Sports Administration to begin planning. No camp or clinic is to be hosted without prior authorization from Club Sports Administration.

Clubs are encouraged to utilize off-season times to continue their fundraising efforts.  Please contact Club Sports Administration with additional questions

Additional Resources

Page last modified August 1, 2023