Why Do Coaches Wear Headsets In Football?

Ever wondered why football coaches wear headsets during a game? Well no worries, we answer all your questions here!

Football coach and referees

If you’ve watched at least one football game, you must have noticed that some of the coaches wear headsets. The camera usually centers on the head coach when he is making plays while talking on the headset. Why do coaches wear headsets in football?

The head coachassistant coaches, the quarterback, and one defensive player wear headsets. They use headsets to communicate between plays and maximize the vision over the field.

Hardcore football fans already know this but let’s expand for those that don’t.

Communication Between The Coaching Staff

You may have seen only the head coach wearing a headset but the assistant and booth coaches wear it too. Football requires a lot of communication, it’s the way most games are won.

Good coaches make good calls, especially in important games. This wouldn’t be possible without communication between the coaching staff. And, the staff can’t really communicate without headsets.

Communication Between The Coaching Staff

Why Do Coaches Need To Communicate?

This question has more than one answer. First of all, the football field is really big. You get the birds-eye view as a fan but one coach can only cover a small part of the field.

Throughout the game, the tactics change a lot. Coaches should read how their team and opponents are playing. So, when the main coach can’t see clearly who made the wrong play, the booth coaches can.

The booth coaches read how the opponents are playing and suggest adjustments. If they see something, they will notify someone. Defensive coordinators help with defense plays and offensive coordinators will help with the offense.

Communication Between Coaches And Players

Football teams include players of course. An offensive lineup and defensive lineup. The quarterback runs the offense. The defense is run by two players in the defensive line. Again, communication is crucial here.

Just like coach-to-coach communication was important, coach-to-player communication is also important. The quarterback rarely makes plays on his own, he listens to the coaching staff.

Only the quarterback and one defensive player have radio frequency in their helmet. A team performs well when these two players perform well. They can make the needed adjustments to win a game.

The players can’t always talk with the coaches, the radio receiver in the player’s helmet is on only between plays. It stops at 15 seconds before the play clock runs down.

Related article – Do Quarterbacks Have Headsets In Their Helmets?

Noise Canceling Coaching Headsets

Noise Canceling Coaching Headsets

You may be wondering: Why not yell instead of using a headset? Well, football games can be quite loud. Especially, if it’s a rivalry or a college game. We all know how loud the audience can get.

So, yelling doesn’t really work. Even if someone can yell loud enough, it’s absurd to keep it up the whole game. More so, you don’t want the opposing team to overhear you. That’s why sometimes you can see the coach covering his mouth while talking.

Booth coaches are far away from the field. They get a wide-angle view of the field. Image if they started yelling out info and calls. Only the audience will be able to hear them.

That’s why a radio frequency and noise-canceling technology are required. Remember, football is a complicated game, sideline technology is key. So, headsets and helmet radios provide that.

What Kind Of Headsets Does Football Teams Use?

Up until 2017, you could see football coaches using walkie-talkies or unbranded headsets. This all changed when Bose signed a sponsorship deal with the NFL. Since then, Bose headsets are used.

The Bose SoundComm B30 headset is the official headset of the NFL. It’s kind of a perfect headset for communication. What I like the most is the mic, it’s near enough to the mouth and it’s very stable. The coaches can jump from excitement or stress but the mic will stay in place.

The NCAA doesn’t have an official headset yet. College games are way louder than games in the NFL, so I really think a sponsorship deal is coming.

Do Football Referees Wear Headsets?

Do Football Referees Wear Headsets

Referees have one of the hardest jobs in football. They pay as much attention to the game as football coaches do. Sometimes mistakes are made and it’s not the referee’s fault.

That’s why the NFL equipped referees with headsets in 2014. With headsets, they can consult with each other on some calls. This also speeds up the game.

Football is a messy sport, sometimes one referee can notice something that others don’t. Because the field is so big, it takes time before a conclusion is reached. Headsets help make better and faster calls.

What Happens If There Are Technical Issues?

Technology sure helps us with a lot of stuff but it’s not always reliable. Anything can go wrong at the worst time possible. Headsets rarely break during the game but the frequency can get messed up. What happens then?

Both teams have communication technicians that help with any technical issues.  The communication technician is supposed to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

If the problem can’t be fixed or a headset is broken, there is a rule that comes into play. The rule states that the other team must also quit headset communication too. It’s not ideal but it’s fair.

Technical issues still happen but not that often. Fortunately, technology has reached a point of high reliability. The sponsorship between Bose and the NFL is supposed to minimize any issues.


To sum it up, football coaches wear headsets to communicate with the players and the booth coaches. More than 20 coaches on one team use headsets. There’s a channel for the offense and another one for defense.

The headsets help block out noise from the audience and make important win-decisive plays. Adjustments are made between each play. The football coaches discuss what needs to be done and inform the players.

Here we can end this post. I hope I helped your question. Now that you know all about this, you can get ready for the next game day. Show your friends and family what you learned. Also, pay attention when the coaches are using the headset, that’s when plays are made.

You may also like to read Best Headphones For Basketball That NBA Players Use.