Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
Apart from the usual qualities (talent, commitment, character, passion for the sport), we look for individuals that have the ability to be team leaders. We look for athletes that can immediately lead by example and take charge. With the time commitment that needs to be devoted to athletics and academics in college, our goal is to recruit top scholar-athletes that have stellar HS grades. We look for recruits that have good time management skills and are articulate.
Our interviews focus on the ability of the recruit to answer questions but we look at whether they are asking intelligent questions about the college and the athletic program. If the parents do all the talking and the recruit never responds with answers — that is never a good sign.
As a head coach I also look for whether the individual can respond to constructive criticism. I also look for whether the recruit will be someone that builds a team rather than one that follows. Again team leadership qualities are very important.
Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
We currently have an athlete (sophomore) that has been conference athlete of the week for past 4 weeks and has a 3.9 GPA. I discovered that she has been tutoring a freshman in calculus until 1 to 2 am in the morning. The freshman’s grades have gone from a D to a B. That small quality and has has had immeasurable effects on team cohesiveness and spirit.