Recruiting Non-Negotiables for Head Coaches

Your recruits expect certain things from head coaches. Here's what they are...

One of the great things about our clients and Honey Badger Recruiting coaches who subscribe to our daily training is the follow-up questions they ask. Smart, insightful…it’s great to be in a conversation with all of you!

We just finished-up a short series about doing the hard work of recruiting:

  1. Recruiting Isn’t Sexy

  2. The Answer to “What Do I Write Them About”?

  3. “Getting Your Show on Every Channel” (15-minute podcast)

Yesterday, I had a coach ask

“All of those things make perfect sense, but now it’s making me wonder: Are there certain things in the recruiting process that your search says a head coach needs to be taking charge of?”

Is that a great question or what?!

Yes, there are a few key things that, according to the latest data from the recruited Class of 2019 (this year’s freshmen on campus), they’re looking for from a head coach while the recruiting process plays out:

  • Some kind of initial message from the head coach indicating that he or she is aware of them, and are personally interested in starting the recruiting process with them. I know a lot of head coaches farm out initial contact to their assistants, but even if it’s just your signature at the bottom of an email or letter, the prospect needs to get the feeling that a head coach is aware of them, and is on board with recruiting them. This is a major factor in converting more leads into campus visits, by the way.

  • Head coach contact with the parents, sooner rather than later. The prospect and the parents give extra weight to a head coach who takes the time to reach out (preferably by phone) to the parents. They’re a trusted source for recruits, and we want them to recommend making you one of the programs their son or daughter should take seriously.

  • If someone is going to ask for the commitment, it should be the head coach. It adds to the “officialness” (did you know that’s actually a real word?) of your offer or expression of interest.

Is that an exhaustive list? No, but it’s certainly representative of The Big 3 that we see positively impacting recruiting scenarios across the country with our coach clients we get to work with.

Is your program following these guidelines? If you’re not, you may now have some insights as to why the recruiting process fizzles at certain points in the process.


A quick update on some results to our earlier free public post, “Explaining Why You’re Better”:

It was all about how prospects are searching out help from you to determine why they should choose you over their competitors, especially as the recruiting process enters the final phase.

Two coaches got back to me (dan@dantudor.com if you want to chat, by the way) and told me they tried the tactic.

The first coach, a Division III soccer coach, said he realized he had never taken that approach before…he was a little hesitant because he doesn’t like to negatively recruit against another opponent (this doesn’t fall into that category). He said that he sent an email that personally told a prospect why he felt their school was better, based on some specifics he knew about the recruit, and the recruit immediately said that was really helpful - and was going to talk to his parents about possibly making a final decision to come to this coach’s program. Success! (Love it when that happens).

The second coach, a Division I assistant, did something similar and got positive, but slightly different results: She mentioned that her volleyball prospect immediately pummeled her with follow-up questions. That’s good! The coach said their phone call lasted about an hour, and the recruit asked several questions and brought up topics that had never been discussed before. That’s one of the other by-products of this strategy.


If you aren’t a subscriber yet (just 95 cents a day, invested into your college coaching career) we’d love to have you be a part of what we’re talking about every day. If it’s not right for you, don’t worry…we’ll still publish free articles every week or two!