January 2022

IZA DP No. 15024: Which Former Professional Football Players Become Successful Professional Head Coaches?

Matteo Balliauw, Marco Verheuge, Stijn Baert

revised version published online in: Applied Economics Letters, 20 May 2022

One of the potential avenues for former professional football players to pursue their career is to become a head coach of a club's first team. An important question is how to best prepare for such a reconversion. This letter is the first in the academic literature quantifying the association between success as a professional head coach and prior experience of former professional players as a youth coach, player-coach, head coach at a lower division, assistant coach, in other staff positions and in club management positions. Our regression analyses, based on unique coach career data, show a significant positive association for the jobs of assistant or youth coach.