Football Offensive Coordinator

football offensive coordinator


The offensive coordinator in football is the coach in charge of the offensive unit. The responsibilities of offensive coordinators include leading the offense during practices, designing plays and strategy, and calling offensive plays during football games. Offensive coordinators report to the head coach. Below is a chart showing the structure of power within a football team’s coaches.


The offensive coordinator is located below the head coach in terms of their responsibilities, but they do have authority over the various offensive position coaches.

The following all report to the offensive coordinator:

Play Calling

In most cases, the offensive coordinator is responsible for the play calling of the offense. They decide the formations and plays that they want to run. They work with the team’s quarterback, designing the system they want to run and one that the quarterback feels comfortable in. Longer tenured quarterbacks have more of a say in the play calling. On some teams, the head coach will take over the duties of play caller and the offensive coordinator will suggest plays to the head coach rather than deciding himself.

Designing the Playbook

The offensive coordinator typically plays a large role in designing the offensive playbook for their team. Since they are the ones that will develop offensive strategy during the game, it makes sense that they are behind the design of the plays.

Roster Management

Offensive coordinators are also responsible for managing the offensive roster throughout the season. They will make moves up and down the depth chart for each offensive position. While the head coach has final say in all roster moves, offensive coordinators will provide their expertise when discussing the offensive roster.


Given their importance as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, they currently make around $1 million per year. College football teams pay their offensive coordinators slightly less, between $200,000 and $800,000 per year.

It is quite common for a good offensive coordinator to be pursued and hired by another team as a head coach following a successful year.

Notable Offensive Coordinators

  • Kevin Gilbride
  • Mike Mularkey
  • Dan Reeves
  • Ed Hughes
  • Tom Moore
  • Marty Mornhinweg
  • Josh McDaniels


What is an offensive coordinator in football?

In football, an offensive coordinator is the coach in charge of all things offense for a single team. They are one of three major coaches beneath the head coach (the other two being the defense coach and the special teams coach). The offensive coordinator also has several assistant coaches that help coordinate offensive players and plays.

What does an offensive coordinator do in football?

In football, an offensive coordinator leads the offense during practice, develops various offensive plays and strategies, and then calls offensive plays during actual games. In addition to these main responsibilities, offensive coordinators report to the head coach and also give tasks to specific offensive position coaches.