Recruiting Tip: College coaches might be evaluating parents also

Recruiting Tip: College coaches might be evaluating parents also

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: College coaches might be evaluating parents also


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An athletic scholarship is a huge investment for a university to make in a high school athlete and college coaches take the responsibility of making scholarship offers very seriously. As we discussed last week, they evaluate a player’s physical abilities, their academic standing and their behavior on social media. Making the right decisions on which athlete’s they recruit is critical to their livelihood. For that reason, at times college coaches also evaluate the parents and families of the athletes they are recruiting. A parent’s actions and behavior might actually influence a college coach’s attitude about a particular recruit.

If for some reason you don’t believe me, here are the thoughts of Pat Fitzgerald, the football coach of the Northwestern University Wildcats:

An increasingly larger part of the evaluation of the prospect, for us, is evaluating the parents. It’s a big part of the evaluation. We have and probably will more so, and it’s a private deal – I’m not going to share who and where – but when we talk about our fit, we’re evaluating the parents, too. And if the parents don’t fit, then we might punt on the player and not end up offering him a scholarship. That has changed over a decade. Ten years ago, that wasn’t as big of a role. Now it’s a big part of it.

Parents need to understand that their actions and behavior at games or in meetings can make a difference. This is the athlete’s recruiting experience and the coaches want to get to know the player, not his or her parents. Parents need to be involved in the process, but they need to know their role. Be available to listen and provide support, but don’t try to run the process.


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