3 helpful examples for emailing college coaches

USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities to play at the college level. Jason Smith is a former NCAA DIII athlete and college coach at all three division levels. Jason is just one of many former college and professional athletes, college coaches, and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience, and dedication along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation, and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.

If you haven’t already guessed, recruiting involves a whole lot of email—from introducing yourself, following up, and then responding to college coaches. It can be pretty daunting, especially when you’re not exactly sure what to say.

But a well-crafted email can be the reason you receive a second evaluation and stay top-of-mind with college coaches. So, putting a little extra effort in writing them is definitely worth it.

To make it easier, we’ve created three templates you can use at different points in your recruiting. Keep in mind, you must adapt them to fit your background and interest in the program. Knowing how to begin can give you just the boost you need to hit send.

Introductory email

Your first step to contacting a college coach is introducing yourself and sending your highlight video. Before you start writing this email, though, you need to do your research. Personalizing your email is a must for getting a response. You want to become familiar with the roster, academic and athletic requirements, and campus. You’ll maximize your opportunities if you focus your attention on programs that are a good fit for you both athletically and academically.

Read more: How to find your best college match

After you’ve done your research, you’re ready to write. Your goal is to grab the coach’s attention, while providing the key information they need to evaluate you. Here are a few things you should always include:

  • Your general information: Name, graduation year, high school and or club name
  • Academics: GPA, test scores, if they would be important information for the coach you’re emailing
  • Athletics: sports-specific stats and relevant measurables
  • Contact information: your phone number and email, as well as the contact information for your coaches
  • Link to your online recruiting profile

At the same time, you need to show your personal interest in the coach’s program. You should explain specifically why this school is a good fit for you. After all, you’ve done the research—now show coaches what you’ve learned! You should also let them know when you’ll be calling or following up, as some coaches may not be allowed to directly contact you back just yet.

Here is a good introductory example to follow:

Dear Coach Smith,

I’ve been following your team for a while now and was really impressed by your team’s performance in the championship game last year—congratulations! I wanted to connect with you because I would love to be part of this competitive team.

My name is Jane Doe and I’m a 6’2” forward at Generic High School in Chicago, IL. I was recently named the Gatorade Player of the Year. I am currently a starter on my AAU basketball team and am a four-year varsity starter for my high school team. I think that my work ethic and talent would be a great match for your program. I have a 3.5 GPA and a 29 ACT score. 

For the rest of my athletic stats, highlight video, academic stats and personal statement, please visit my online profile at: [link to online recruiting profile].

I’m planning a trip to visit your campus this September, and I would love to meet you or another member of your coaching staff. Can you please let me know if you have any availability to meet with me? I will also be calling you tomorrow at 5p.m. CT to schedule a meeting!

Thank you!

Jane Doe

Class of 2018

Senior | Forward | 6’2”

Generic High School, Chicago, IL

Online profile:


Phone number: 555-555-1234

Social media @janedoe_forward

Read more: How to Write a Subject Line that Gets Your Email Opened

Follow-up email

Emailing college coaches is never a one and done situation—your follow-up is just as important as your initial email. College coaches are extremely busy, and they rely on proactive student-athletes. If you want to stay top of mind and give it your best shot, you need to be persistent and continuously reach out to coaches.

For example, you may follow up after an event or camp where the coach was present, after you placed a phone call with them, or when you have a noteworthy update to let them know about, like new highlight video, accomplishments, grades, etc.

Read more: 25 Good Reasons to Contact a Coach

Here is an example of a follow-up message:

Dear Coach Smith,

Thank you again for your guidance at the Elite Soccer Camp this past week. The offensive drills we worked on together really improved my skill development and I will continue to work on them this summer!

We spoke briefly at camp, but I just wanted to follow up and let you know I’m very interested in your program still. I noticed you are graduating 5 seniors this year and I would love to help bridge the gap left by those departing seniors.

I recently updated my online recruiting profile with new highlight film, along with my GPA (3.7), ACT (27), and personal statement. Here is a link: [Link to online recruiting profile].

I also just sent you a friend request on Facebook and started following you on Twitter. I’d love to stay connected throughout your recruiting process. I plan on calling you tomorrow at 5 p.m. CT. to talk further. Thank you for your time in advance!

John Smith

Class of 2018

Senior Forward

GPA: 3.7 | ACT: 27

Generic High School, Chicago, IL

Online profile:

Phone number: 333-555-1234

Social media @john_soccer

Responding to emails

On the flipside, college coaches may email you, and you can receive all kinds of emails from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp invites and personal emails. While the personal emails will stand out in your inbox, it’s important to respond to each one you receive from a coach. You want to build a good rapport with coaches. Plus, you can take a mass email from a college coach and use it as an opportunity to start a conversation by responding. So essentially, you’re using this as a chance to introduce yourself and get the coach interested in you.

Read more: Turn That Mass Email From a Coach into a Conversation

Here’s an example:

Dear Coach Smith,

Thank you for sending your recruiting questionnaire! I have been following your team’s success, and I think I would be a great fit on your team.

My name is John Smith and I’m a left-handed pitcher with an 85-MPH fastball. I’m currently a starter on varsity, and my biggest asset is that I’m a team player who focuses both on the field and in the classroom. I’m currently in the top 5% of my class with a 4.0 GPA and a 32 ACT.

You can view my profile for more information about my athletic and academic qualifications, as well as my skills video here: [Link to recruiting profile].

I will call you tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. CT to discuss further, if that time works for you. Thank you and I look forward to speaking with you!

Thank you,

John Smith

Class of 2018

Senior LH Pitcher

GPA: 4.0 | ACT: 32

Generic High School, Chicago, IL

Online profile:

Phone number: 333-555-1234

Social media @john_leftpitcher

The hardest part about emailing college coaches is just getting started and these examples should help you get the ball moving.  Remember, one of the biggest mistakes student-athletes make in the recruiting process is just not being proactive enough in reaching out directly to college coaches. Any athlete today that wants to get recruited should invest their time in finding the right programs to contact, doing their research, personalizing emails, and always remembering to follow up.

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