Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education Administration


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Wright-Mair, Raquel

Committee Member 1

Tinnin, Andrew

Committee Member 2

McCombs, Tyrone


Coaches (Athletics); College athletes--Mental health


Health and Physical Education | Higher Education


The purpose of this narrative inquiry study was to examine how well-aware and equipped head coaches are when handling a student-athlete with mental health-related conditions. The primary goals of this study were to interview head coaches and learn about what resources their college institution provides for them, as well as the steps taken when approached by a student-athlete concerned about their mental health. The research on a head coach's awareness and knowledge on helping student-athletes is limited, but the research on the number of student-athletes with mental health-related conditions is not. By combining the literature on student-athletes, mental health, and college head coaches, this study can improve the knowledge a college coach can obtain about mental health. The findings from this study showed that head coaches were well-aware of mental health among today's student-athletes, as well as showed that several proactive procedures are taken when a head coach is approached by one of their players. These procedures all involve resources on campus as well as what the athletic department provides. While several head coaches take different steps when handling a student-athlete with mental health-related conditions, they are knowledgeable and compassionate for the struggling student-athlete is the primary goal for them. In conclusion, this study showed that head coaches are highly capable of playing the role of mentor for their players.