Kedge, I hear what you are saying. I was referring just to the actual coaching part. If you add in the teaching, then it does shift the percentages some. However, you do get a full three months of summer off. You do make more $, in many states (not all).
In some ways it's apples to oranges. Both fruit, but different types of fruit. Which means it might be preference. I have coached both high school and multiple levels of college. I was not a teacher when I coached high school. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
I do think a lot of the college coaching desire is ego though. If you want to coach and want to help kids, there are amazing opportunities everywhere. Taking $30k to work 60+ hours a week as a college coach has a lot to do with pride in many cases (or it is often subconsciously about hanging on to the good times they had as a college athlete). A lot of college xc and tf coaches think they are special. They are unaware that most of the world couldn't care less if they are a "college" xc and tf coach.