Four tips in navigating D-III recruiting
As a former Ivy League head coach, I was blessed with a successful career and many fond memories. Considering the selectivity in admissions and the high price tag of an Ivy League institution, my recruiting yields were consistently strong and I learned valuable lessons about prospects and the potential benefits they can receive in the admissions process.
Ivy League and D-3 college coaches are unable to offer athletic scholarships to prospects, but they can significantly influence the admissions process that can lend strong support to prospective student-athletes. That aside, it is important that prospects, families and high school advisors clearly understand the nuts and bolts of this process and make every effort to grow honest and strong working relationships with college coaches.
In many cases, academic select colleges use an “Admissions Index” that objectively analyzes a student’s academic qualifications. The AI is simply determined by combining core grade point average with standardized tests results (SAT I, SAT II, ACT).
A perfect Admissions Index would reflect impeccable scores on standardized tests and a top class rank at a prestigious high school with brilliant academic credentials. The lowest Admissions Index (The Floor) that is acceptable in Ivy League and D-3 Admissions will vary, depending on the school, division and conference).
Typically, college sports program will be awarded an arbitrary number of “admissions support slots” to be used by the coaches to support athletic candidates. More popular sports tend to receive more “select” admission slots and in many cases, athletic directors will “tier” sports depending on the popularity and the level of success the team earns at the conference, regional and national level.
Athletic departments are encouraged to maintain an average student-athlete admissions yield that is no less than one standard deviation below the average AI for regularly admitted students. Many colleges have developed a system that subdivides the broader AI range into “bands” to assist coaches in recruiting prospects that potentially fall within coach’s allotment of support for any given recruiting cycle.
The number of admission slots coaches are allotted varies from sport to sport and college to college and based on the level of support, a coach’s recruiting strategy will be well-planned, systematic and precise. In addition, coaches are well aware that certain prospects will not be admitted, despite their level of...