Download Position Specification Here

Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) purposefully integrates the liberal arts, professional studies and civic engagement in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. With distinctive international programs and close student-faculty research opportunities, PLU helps its 3,100 students from all faiths and backgrounds discern their life’s vocation through coursework, mentorship, and internships at world-class Puget Sound-area businesses and institutions. Founded in 1890 by Norwegian pioneers, PLU continues the distinctive tradition of Lutheran higher education through its commitment to the advancement of knowledge, thoughtful inquiry, and questioning, the preparation of citizens in service to the world, and to its ongoing reform. Located in the Parkland neighborhood of Tacoma, Washington, PLU is set in a region that also offers vast opportunities for outdoor recreation, culture, and sports.

The Position
Reporting to the Director of Athletics, the Head Football Coach will plan, organize, direct, and evaluate all phases of a competitive, NCAA Division III intercollegiate football program. Primary duties involve every aspect of administrative planning associated with the day-to-day operations of the program, including student-athlete recruitment, practice planning, scheduling, coordinating team travel, budget management, fundraising, supervision of assistant coaches, monitoring academic progress of student-athletes, coordination with admissions and enrollment policies and practices, use of appropriate institutional and sport-specific technology, and administration of the football program in full compliance with NCAA, Northwest Conference and Pacific Lutheran University rules and regulations.

PLU sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports teams. Members of the university community including athletic teams identify themselves as Lutes. Among the 19 sports are men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor, and outdoor track and field. Also represented are women’s rowing, volleyball, baseball, football, and softball. The program is a member of Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes in the Northwest Conference (NWC). Lute teams have captured 243 NWC championships, 11 National Championships and more than 400 Lute student-athletes have received All-American honors.

Football began intercollegiate competition at Pacific Lutheran University in 1929 and has had only eight head coaches since then. Since joining the Northwest Conference, PLU football has won the NWC Championship nine times and participated in the NCAA Championship six times, winning the National Championship in 1999.

Pacific Lutheran University constantly envisions developing, retaining, and graduating their student-athletes by exemplifying the principles and practices of a winning program with outstanding educational values. PLU strives to be a leader in athletic achievement as well as academic measures within the Northwest Conference and NCAA Division III. The ability to work closely, collaboratively, and appropriately within the NCAA Division III and institutional rules with admissions, enrollment, financial aid, counseling, advising, student life and other campus departments is paramount, along with a sincere commitment to inclusion and diversity in every regard. PLU places as much value on the contributions that all members of its community – students, faculty, and staff – bring to the institution as it does on the value that the institution provides in return.

This position requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and five years of previous coaching experience; collegiate coaching is preferred. A master’s degree is preferred. The ideal candidate should have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, proven recruiting skills, demonstrated experience in teaching and coaching the game, and must have a commitment to academic success and student-athlete well-being. An understanding of and appreciation for the principles and philosophies of NCAA Division III athletics is essential.

The successful candidate must demonstrate a working knowledge of NCAA Division III Football rules and regulations and be familiar with and supportive of current health and welfare concerns and trends within the industry, especially concussion protocol. Although primary player recruitment has been within the Northwest, more diverse recruiting ties are desirable. The ideal candidate will have a solid understanding of the dynamics and culture of developing a strong and focused team within the framework of the overall student experience. The successful candidate will also have a clear and effective communications protocol for parents/guardians and understand their role in the success of the program. The ability to hire and mentor assistants is essential, as well as the desire to further one’s own professional growth and development.

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Dell D. Robinson at or Phil Goldstein at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Pacific Lutheran University website at:

Pacific Lutheran University is committed to providing equal opportunity in employment and in education for all members of the university community without regard to an individual’s race, color, creed, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. Pacific Lutheran University is committed to enlarging and maintaining the representation of ethnic, gender, cultural and economic diversity among its employees, as well as among its student population. PLU is further committed to the reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities. In furtherance of these goals and in accordance with state and federal law, Pacific Lutheran University has adopted a program that reflects its intent to provide applicants, employees, and students equal opportunity in all aspects of employment and education and to provide a working and learning environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment.

Download Position Specification Here