When you win as much as Bill Belichick, you can start dressing like Bill Belichick. Until then, sports team coaches should dress like the professionals they are.
High school athletes get a lot of good advice from their college or career counselors: Dress for success. Dress for the job you want. All the stuff about first impressions.
Then they leave the classroom for practice and hear great things from their coaches: We're one team! Play for the shirt! Wear the uniform with pride! The best coaches enforce the standards that go with these instructions, making sure the uniforms look presentable and are truly uniform (is the team tucking in their shirts or not?), that the grass and dirt is cleaned off the players' shoes before taking the field, that the helmets shine under the lights.
The most reliable and exemplary way for coaches to enforce those standards is to follow them on the sidelines. If the coach is wearing a ratty hoodie, the players will wonder why they need to look sharp. If the part-time assistant coach isn't wearing team colors, does she really want to be part of this team?
The staple of every high school coach's closet is the polo shirt. They're comfortable at practice and look the part on game day. Plus, they work well for just about every sport, so the school can order a large quantity and outfit the staff for several seasons. Polo shirts come in every color and often have customizable trim so the coaching staff can be on brand and in uniform at all times.
Polo shirts are also easily embroidered, letting you put the school name, team name, logo or mascot on one side of the chest or just below the collar on the back.
For cold, windy or rainy days and sports that play no matter the weather, pullovers and jackets are the next on-brand must-have. The design of these can be a little less specific than the polos or player uniforms: they only need to match the team's primary color, and can even be "close enough" when we're looking at foundational colors like deep blues, black or gray. Like polos, the heavy and durable material of pullovers and jackets are ideal for embroidering logos, team names and even the coaches' names so they don't get mixed up in the office or locker room.
And as long as the sleeves remain intact, unlike Coach Belichick's style, there is still a place for hoodies on the sidelines, benches and dugouts. We can even help you go up-market for the Pep Guardiola look with Holloway's Artillery Sherpa Jacket, which is part hoodie, part bomber jacket, part cardigan... and still all sport.
Fans, photographers, opponents and your own players will be looking at you to learn the tone and values of the team. Don't let them down by looking less than your best. Set the standard and take pride in your colors, just as you expect your players to do on the field or court.