Current Heads of Delegation, Finance Chairs and team administrators: Check out our HOD/Admin Portal for all your most-used resources!

Coaches are role models and character builders. They help athletes realize their worth, ability, courage and their capacity to grow and improve.

Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community. Here in Minnesota, we serve thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities every year through sports training and competition. Through sports, our athletes find belonging, empowerment, friendship and so much more.

We need coaches & team assistants to support teams & athletes across Minnesota!

Coaches and team assistants play a crucial role in the Special Olympics movement. The ideal coach isn’t necessarily an all-star athlete or sport guru. In fact, the requirements to be a Special Olympics coach are simple: have a big heart and enjoy having a good time. There is a great network of people at Special Olympics Minnesota who will help you along the way.

Which role is right for you?

All coach and team assistant roles are volunteer positions.

Head coach

Responsible for organizing and leading practices in order for athletes to be eligible for regional and state competitions. Receives support from other coaches and team assistants.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week for preparation, practices, and events.


Work with athletes at practices to develop skills necessary for athletes to compete and succeed at regional and state events. No sports experience required, though great if you have it! There are additional opportunities to become certified in specific sports.

Time commitment: Typically 2 hours per practice session, with most teams practicing once or twice per week over several weeks of a sport season (8-10 weeks).

Team assistant

Work with athletes and be of assistance to Head of Delegations and other coaches at practices and competitions. Responsibilities could range from equipment setup to playing catch to social media manager – there is a wide range of opportunity in this role depending on the team’s needs!

Time commitment: Typically 2 hours per practice session, with most teams practicing once or twice per week over several weeks of a sport season (8-10 weeks).

Team admin

If sports aren’t your forte, we still have a place for you.  There are behind-the-scenes roles with every team to make sure the team is successful. This could mean helping with registration, updating social media accounts, organizing fundraising, etc. If you would like to volunteer in this kind of role, we have teams that are in need!

Time commitment: Varies depending on the team’s needs.


All coaches who work with athletes need to be Level 1 certified. Level 1 certified coaches can coach any sport.

Step 1: Complete the online Level 1 training & volunteer application.

This training is designed for new coaches as well as current coaches who need to renew their Protective Behaviors certification. Includes General Orientation, Protective Behaviors and Concussion content.

You will receive an email from HireRight ([email protected]) to complete your background check. You may not receive an email if your background check is current and not expired yet. If you are a minor, you will receive an email to complete the background check after you turn 18.

Step 2: Renew background check

Existing coaches and volunteers that have questions regarding their background check can contact their delegation or email [email protected]