(3-23-22) Blackhawk Christian High School in Ft . Wayne is in the process of starting an 8-man football program.

NFHS 8 Man Football Rules And A Look Back In Rule Changes Over The Years

Ohio 8-Man Football Takes The Next Step

According to athletic director Joel Cotton, the Indiana Football Coaches Association is piloting an 8-man football program beginning next school year (2022-23).

Reports are at least 12 teams will participate.

Blackhawk Christian posted the job for a full-time Coach.

SECONDARY SCHOOL | Head Varsity Football Coach

FULL TIME – to begin 7/2022


This is a position reporting to the Athletic Director that is responsible for managing and directing all
aspects of the football program.

• Creates practice plans and game strategy that help maximize the team’s potential
• Provides team members direction and support for off-season development
• Maintains budget operations and follows expenditure procedures
• Challenges athletes to grow spiritually
• Disciplines student-athletes when necessary
• Ensures student-athletes practice good sportsmanship and abide by team/departmental policies
• Ensures knowledge and compliance of current school and IHSAA policies and procedures
• Responsible for inventory of equipment
• Works closely with Athletic Director for providing information on results and recommendations of
student-athletes for awards and special recognition
• Works closely with Athletic Director on all academic eligibility issues
• Works closely with Athletic Trainer for ongoing care, strength & conditioning, and injury prevention of
• Works closely with coaches at the elementary and middle school levels to help facilitate the
development of the grade school programs
• Performs other duties as assigned by the Athletic Director
• Demonstrates commitment to a Christian education by upholding to the mission of Blackhawk Christian
School and modeling a Christian lifestyle


The ideal candidate will possess strong communication and organization skills. Previous coaching
experience and playing experience are strong preferences. A bachelor’s degree is preferred.


Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and completed Coaching Application (available on the
BCS website) to Joel Cotton, Athletic Director, Blackhawk Christian School, 7400 E. State Blvd., Fort
Wayne, IN 46815 or email: jcotton@blackhawkchristian.org. No phone calls please.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

All Applicants must meet the following job qualifications:
Blackhawk Christian School is both a Christian ministry and a school. As such, employees must effectively represent Christ as well as possess the technical skills for the position. A successful applicant will provide evidence of being:

  1. A born-again Christian with a mature walk of faith and whose lifestyle, convictions, and beliefs are consistent with Biblical principles.
  2. Demonstrate commitment to a Christian education by upholding to the mission of Blackhawk Christian School and modeling a Christian lifestyle.
  3. Faithfully engaged in a local evangelical church.
  4. Able to clearly articulate both the Biblical components of salvation and the ability to lead a child to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
  5. In agreement with and will support the school’s Statement of Faith, Mission, Vision, Core Values and Teacher’s Articles of Employment.
  6. Demonstrate commitment to a Christian education by upholding the mission of Blackhawk Christian School and modeling a Christian lifestyle.
  7. Able to provide at least 3 favorable references including a pastor, a current supervisor, (if employed) and a colleague.
  8. Able to provide a “clean” background check.

Background on the early process—

IFCA 8-man proposal to IHSAA on August 25, 2020

The Indiana Football Coaches Association seeks to sponsor and pilot 8-man football as an IHSAA fall sport offering to begin in the fall of 2021.
8 Man Football to be offered to any school with an enrollment of less than 300 total students and would like to start an 8-man football team and is not currently playing 11-man football.
2020-2021 School year – Recruit 16+ schools currently not playing football to commit to starting 8-man football to participate in the fall of 2021.

  • IHSAA in partnership with IFCA will send out surveys to IHSAA schools to identify interest. The IHSAA and the IFCA will work with interested schools to:

  • o Guide initial set up and format planning.
    o Provide resources and guidance for schools and coaches to use for how to navigate the different
    rules, run an offense, defense, kicking game, conduct efficient practices, etc.
    o Seek grant money for start-up costs, and develop a program for donating and sharing of protective
    equipment. (USA Football, NIKE, Adidas, Div.1 programs).
    o Work with pool of schools to develop a full schedule for 2021 season to include out of state games,
    common game locations (4 games at 1 site in 1 day) and other scheduling obstacles.
    o Develop a tournament format that concludes the weekend of week 10 of IHSAA football regular
    season. (Bye week for class 6A and 5A).
    o Work with schools to address questions and concerns as they pilot an 8-man football season.

Begin playing 8-man football in fall of 2021.

Some members of the Executive Committee expressed concern over the effect this might have on the smaller school conferences with some opting for 8-man while others would not, along with the added expense for schools in the current environment. The Commissioner said by enacting this rule proposal would require a by-law change.
The above proposal from the IFCA did not receive approval due to lack of a motion.

Proposal 2022:
Our membership seeks to add two divisions of 8-man football to the current IHSAA sport offerings to begin in fall of 2023.
Division 1 to include any school with an enrollment of less than 300 total students and would like to start an 8-man
football team or move from 11-man to 8-man football with evidence of declining enrollments, participation trends, etc. Division 2 to include any school with an enrollment of 300 or more total students who would like to start playing 8-man football or who currently plays 11-man football and would like to move to 8-man football.

  • Eligible schools must notify the IHSAA of their intention to start/move to 8-man football /11-man football by December 1 prior to year of reclassification cycle in IHSAA calendar.
  • Schools who currently play 11-man football and wish to drop to 8-man football will have to provide evidence of declining enrollment and or declining participation trends in middle school and youth programs to the IHSAA. The IHSAA will determine the validity of the data to recommend playing 8-man or 11-man for the next classification.
    o IHSAA will consider each school on a case by case basis as it relates to school enrollment data, football program participation rates, feeder school and youth program participation rates and other circumstances that influence the number of eligible student athletes wanting to participate in football.

o The IHSAA will also consider such program policies such as roster limitations, eligibility restrictions and other qualifications that impact participation rates.

  • Schools would be required to play in a classification (8-man or 11-man) for a two year cycle. This includes new football playing schools.
  • Once schools are classified as 8-man or 11-man football teams, the IHSAA will classify the 11-man football teams as follows:
    o 32 largest schools in class 6A
    o 32 smallest schools in class 1A
    o 64 teams in class 2A, 3A, 4A.
    o Class 5A will be adjusted with the remaining schools
    The 11-man football tournament will be played as usual with bye weeks in class 5A. o 8 Man Football Division 1
    o 8 Man Football Division 2
    There will be separate 8-man tournaments for each 8-man division, each to conclude the weekend of week 10 (1st round of 11 Man tournament).
  • A motion for approval was made by Tim Grove; seconded by Dave Worland; motion failed 0-19. Because this proposal would require a by-law change as it’s adding a new sport (8-man football), the Executive Committee requested the staff further study this proposal in conjunction with the Indiana Football Coaches Association for future consideration