Coaches spend year recruiting
The process of recruiting new athletes for Georgia College is an arduous one. Nights are spent scouring videotapes and letters of interest, and days are spent driving across the Southeast and beyond to scout for the next Georgia College athlete, which makes recruiting a yearlong process.
Men’s basketball coach Terry Sellers and women’s soccer coach Hope Clark know the ins and outs of recruiting through their own experience of scouting potential athletes.
“The process is very, very different depending on each year and what we’re looking for and what our needs are as a team,” Clark said. “As we forecast recruiting in the coming years we’re typically two years ahead.”
Clark says the team has already lined up six recruits for 2013, but notes they have all already been signed up for the last five to six months.
“In soccer, recruiting is just extremely advanced,” Clark said. “But we’ll basically search everywhere. We try to catch them in multiple venues such as with their club teams at tournaments where we can sit and watch hundreds of players at one time.”
Typically, the majority of athletes at GC come from the state itself, but athletes also come from across the nation and international sources as well.
For Sellers and the men’s basketball team, the coaches not only watch nonstop video and recruit through letters, but also subscribe to recruiting services to aid in their search for the best student athletes.
“Parents and athletes pay a service to market them,” Sellers said. “So I just get emails, and if the player looks like he is at a position of need for us and has the academic record we want, we’ll email them back or make a phone call just to get more information and make that first contact.”
Sellers and his staff travel to several tournaments in the off-season.
“In the summer, we went to multiple AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) tournaments in Augusta and Orlando and we watched games all day long and we just make notes,” Sellers said. “We evaluate them and get all their information and gauge their interest in us and go from there.”
Sellers and his crew constantly add and take off names of recruits during the scouting process.
Since Georgia College is a small school in Division II, Sellers knows when to use his time wisely and when not to waste other recruiting opportunities.
“If we’ve got a guy on our list that has 10 Division I offers, there’s no sense in us using our resources to pursue him,” Sellers said. “We know we are not Duke.”
The list is always changing as players occasionally slip through the cracks and are not seen by Sellers and his coaches. Sometimes recruits also do not meet the academic and character standards the Department of Athletics and coaches have set.
“Usually we like to call the coach first to figure out what kind of attitude, work ethic and academics the player possesses,” Sellers said. “Because here, if they don’t have a high character, we don’t recruit them. I think we work hard to recruit high character guys that have the high grades and potential we want.”
Both Sellers and Clark also stress the importance of building a relationship with recruits so they know interest is there from GC.
Former baseball player and junior accounting major Cal Milano says a connection with coaches was important when he was recruited.
“I first got in contact with the GC baseball when I played overseas in Amsterdam my sophomore year,” Milano said. “The head coach of GC was one of the coaches on that team. I was able to stay in contact with him, and my senior year I was invited down to GC for a workout in front of the coaching staff. I went down for the workout in January and about two weeks after my visit I received a phone call from the head coach offering me a spot on the team.”