Recruiting Coordinators Are the Most Underappreciated Men in College Football
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Angus McClure has been at UCLA since then-head coach Karl Dorrell hired him as the Bruins' tight ends coach in 2007. McClure has seen a mind-boggling amount of staff changes at UCLA and yet he has managed to avoid being a victim of collateral damage after Dorrell and his successor, Rick Neuheisel, were both dismissed.
McClure was Neuheisel's recruiting coordinator but after Neuheisel's dismissal, new head coach Jim Mora kept him on staff.
McClure has been invaluable to UCLA's recruiting efforts and Mora recognized the importance of a great recruiting coordinator.
Recruiting coordinators aren't just recruiters—all assistant coaches are recruiters and usually have a designated area that they are responsible for. Usually their area of responsibility is a region where they have established ties or developed pipelines to local high schools and their coaches.
When Norm Chow was Neuheisel's offensive coordinator, Chow was responsible for recruiting in Hawai'i and Utah. Chow is considered a legend in Hawai'i and Utah—he's a native of Hawai'i and mentored great quarterbacks while at BYU. His name and resume attracted those states' elite recruits and he was well-received when he hit the recruiting trails.
A recruiting coordinator, on the other hand, is responsible for all aspects of recruiting. The great amount of detail the coordinator has to deal with is tedious and time-consuming—it's not for the faint of heart.
In 2008, Morehead State listed a job opening for a recruiting coordinator/special teams/defensive line assistant coach. The job requirements were jaw-dropping. Keeping in mind that this job also has defensive line and special teams coaching responsibilities attached to it, here are the requirements for just the recruiting coordinator aspect of the open position.
- Establishes staff recruiting areas and responsibilities.
- Compiles recruiting list from coaches, service, etc.
- Compiles May recruiting list and transfer information to MSU senior recruiting in the fall.
- Arranges recruiting visits for home games.
- Creates gameday brochure and mail to prospective recruits.
- Organizes game day visit itineraries with staff.
- Completes all forms and letters in regards to visits, tickets, etc. with compliance/athletic staff.
- Tracks NCAA Clearinghouse list as it pertains to initial eligibility.
- Compiles and submits pass list for recruiting days.
- Processes proper paper work for official visits w/staff.
- Maintains mailing list and check-list on recruits.
- Schedules recruiting programs and rooms on campus.
- Secures lodging for prospective student athletes on official visits.
- Keep Head Coach up to date on all recruiting matters.
- Maintains up-to-date records on all incoming freshmen.
- Tracks admissions status for incoming freshmen/transfers.
- Tracks housing status for incoming freshmen/transfers.
- Keeps staff informed of school calendar, activities, events, recruiting calendar and period, test dates, etc. on monthly basis.
- Recruits in state area by travel, phone and letter.
- Recruits out of state area by travel, phone and letter.
- Maintains recruiting Phone call log and collects from staff.
It's a wonder how schools manage to stay within the NCAA recruiting guidelines.
Schools have gotten in hot water with the NCAA over various recruiting violations, and many of the violations committed by schools were due to erroneous paperwork, phone logs not being updated or improper contact with a recruit.
In 2010, South Carolina was sanctioned by the NCAA due to impermissible recruiting, extra benefits and preferential treatment. From the NCAA's final report:
According to the facts of the case, twelve student-athletes lived in local hotel while paying a daily rate of less than $15 per person, an amount that was considerably less than what was available to the general student population. In addition, nine student-athletes received special loan arrangements by deferring rent payments through an agreement with the hotel. In total, the student-athletes received approximately $51,000 in impermissible benefits.
If any of the student-athletes had been freshmen at the time, the violations would have fallen on the head of the recruiting coordinator (and compliance director) since he is in charge of housing statuses of incoming freshmen. It's a big responsibility, especially with some schools having at least 25 incoming freshmen in one year.
But with the NCAA's limit on how big a staff a program can have, a recruiting coordinator can wear a lot of hats. USC's recruiting coordinator is Ed Orgeron. The school is currently on NCAA probation so it's imperative that USC cross its t's and dot its i's when it comes to recruiting. Orgeron has an already heavy responsibility as recruiting coordinator, but he's also the assistant head coach and defensive line coach and thus, shoulders a heavy load.
It's the little things that he and all recruiting coordinators do that make a difference in recruiting. Pairing up the right player with the right recruit for an official visit can mean the difference between a verbal commitment and a recruit committing somewhere else.
Oregeron was named 2004's National Recruiter of the Year by Sporting News and Rivals, and 2011's National Recruiter of the Year by Scout/FOXSports.
Orgeron is a relentless recruiter but his job as a recruiting coordinator—similar to that of a conductor presiding over an orchestra—is one that is sometimes underappreciated by fans. The same goes for McClure.
While fans praise the recruiting efforts of Adrian Klemm and Demetrice Martin—the two Bruin assistant coaches who've reeled in some incredible talent while under Jim Mora—McClure rarely gets the spotlight shone on him.
Here's to you, recruiting coordinators. We tip our hats to you all.
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