Coaching a group of girls is one of the most rewarding ways to get involved with Girls on the Run. Volunteer Coaches and Assistant Coaches serve as role models and mentors for the girls who participate at over 60 locations in the Greater Kalamazoo Area. Coaches are needed for both the Heart & Sole middle school program and the Girls on the Run program. Both programs are held in the spring. Coaches do NOT need to be runners. Lesson plans, activites and materials are all provided by Girls on the Run.

coach a team

Head Coach Overview

TheTeams meet two times per week after school for an hour and a half and are led by two coaches, whom we train.  Most Heart & Sole teams begin meeting between 2:30 and 4 pm, and Girls on the Run teams generally meet between 3 and 5:30 pm.  Coaches may indicate a preference for the site at which they would like to coach.  If coaches do not have a preference, we will assign them to a location. We will provide a thorough training for our coaches.  Training will cover organizational policies, procedures and "sneak-peaks" at various lessons within our curriculum.  Tips on communicating and motivating girls/adolescents will also be covered during training.  Valuable life lessons, specifically targeted for this age group, will be modeled after the familiar premises of self-respect, team and community.  The program finishes with a celebration event that includes a 5K run/walk.


  • Coaches must be at least 18 years old
  • Attend a Mandatory Coaches’ Training
  • Become CPR and First Aid certified (3-4 hours) - several dates and times will be available
  • Attend one mandatory coaches’ meeting during the season
  • Prepare for and supervise (20) ninety-minute lessons in a manner consistent with the Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run philosophy and curricula; this includes attending practice two afternoons per week for the duration of the program
  • Serve as a role model for the girls and encourage the girls at all times
  • Wait at the school following all practices until all girls have been picked up
  • Plan and coordinate the end of season celebration for the team—to be held after the celebration 5K event *Distribute the program pre- and post-surveys as directed
  • Participate with the girls in the end of season 5K run/walk Celebration Event
  • Provide direction to other volunteers


Assistant Coach Overview

Assistant coaches play a vital role in supporting the two head coaches for each of our teams. Assistant coaches must be 16 years old or older for Girls on the Run and 18 years old or older for Heart and Sole. Being an Assistant is a very rewarding and easy way to be involved in our program.  Runners, non-runners, parents, teachers, school administrators, college students, and people who are committed to developing and celebrating our youth make great assistants.  Assistant Coaches do not deliver lessons or curriculum since they are not fully. They agree to attend at least one Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole practice per week and assist the two head coaches as needed. 


  • Attend at least one biweekly practice - approximately 1.5-3 hours per week- for 10 weeks, and serve as a number one encourager, cheerleader, finish-line-greeter and high-fiver
  • Provide support for the coaches by handing out supplies, shoes, snacks, filling water bottles, etc.
  • Provide one-on-one attention to girls in need of extra help
  • Run or walk with the girls and encourage them to put their best effort into the workouts
  • Assist in the coordination of an end-of-the season party
  • Assist in the coordination of a team community service project
  • Take photos of the girls during practices
  • Participate with the girls in the end of season 5k
  • Serve as a role model for the girls and encourage the girls at all times
  • Heart & Sole assistant coaches may substitute for a coach who has to be absent from practice (as long as there is one fully trained coach present)


Junior Coach Overview

The Junior Coach is a volunteer position for high school students to assist the Head and Assistant Coaches at a Girls on the Run program site. The position entails approximately 1.5-3 hours per week for a 10-week commitment.


  • Junior Coach must be 16-18 years old
  • Must be a high school student
  • Attend Girls on the Run coach training
  • Able to attend practices once or twice per week
  • Have fun!


  • Serve as a role model for program participants
  • Assist with setting up and breaking down of games and lessons
  • Provide one-on-one attention to program participants
  • Participate in games and workouts with the girls
  • Lead an activity with assistance and supervision of the Head Coach if desired
  • Participate in the Girls on the Run 5K

New Coach Application

Returning Coach Application

Frequently Asked Questions


There will be coach training sessions but the dates have not yet been determined. You will be able to select the session you’ll attend when you fill out your coach application form.



Coaches may indicate a preference for the site at which they would like to coach. If coaches do not have a preference, we will assign them to a location in need of volunteers.

Girls on the Run- Greater Kalamazoo
3901 Emerald Drive
Suite E
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

(269) 532-1220