Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
While talent is obviously a huge part of recruiting, our sport also rewards guys who are good teammates. For this reason I rely heavily on coaches’ references on character once we get down to the couple of athletes we are evaluating. Once we have guys in our talent range with good references, it all boils down to potential: athletic and academic. We can not afford to lose guys to academic issues and – fairly or not – we are under a lot of scrutiny from the university. Because we are a Varsity non-revenue sport in a school that has a growing football and very good basketball teams (both Division I) we know we are part of a vanishing breed. The pressure is on us to perform in and out of the classroom feels life threatening (for the team at least) at times.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
We have had a couple guys that have come in completely unrecruited by other schools and really excelled in our program. We hold these guys up to be emulated and actually use them as examples to future recruits. There are guys like this in every recruit class. Last year we had a kid from a small HS program that never won a race in his four years of rowing. He came in to Temple, became a believer and last year was part of a crew that went undefeated and won a National Championship. This year as a sophomore he is on the cusp of making the varsity 8. This was a kid who was tall & lanky, had ok scores, good academically, and good references. In meeting with him I saw that he wanted to win but did not know how at his particular HS. We are very happy with his progress. He is a kid that embodies the recipe for success in and out of the classroom: hard work, preparation, and learning from failure.