For college sports teams, recruiting is the lifeblood of their programs. As players graduate and move on, other talented players are needed to take their spots. This is why recruiting is so important and why attracting new players is crucial, said Volleyball Recruiting Coordinator Julie Street.
“[Recruiting] is big to keep a program thriving and keep it surviving for future seasons,” Street said.” And without good recruiters [out] there, it’s detrimental to the success of future seasons.”
A college recruiter’s job is to scout out high school players that the coaches may benefit their team. Street is in charge of organizing visits and connecting potential recruits with the UIndy volleyball team.
“I think it [recruiting] is really exciting, because we get to kind of wonder and get excited about what the future of UIndy could be like,” Street said. ”It’s cool to kind of dream big dreams in that aspect.”
Each athletic team has specific needs based on the sport and different positions to fill. Seeing who fits those positions and if they can be a part of the team is what recruiters look for when scouting according to street.
“First off, they [the recruits] have to be great humans, because we’re going to spend a lot of time with them,” Street said. “We want them to be good people, and we want to help them figure out how to be adults. So if they’re great kids, they have great parents that definitely makes our job easier. Then we look for really good athletes.”
To get recruits to come to the UIndy, coaches form relationships with them, said Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kristin Wodrich. Wodrich said she forms these relationships by speaking with her recruits as often as she can and trying to maximize the face-to-face time they have together.
“You text them. You call them. You go to open gyms because there are certain times you can’t talk to them,” Wodrich said. “So, you can go to a high school game, but you can’t talk to them. They see you, but you can’t really form a relationship. A lot of it’s based on communication through your phone, writing letters. ”
Recruiting has different rules that coaches and recruiters have to follow. If they violate the rules, teams face potential repercussions from the NCAA that are determined on a case-by-case basis. One of the rules that women’s basketball and other NCAA sanctioned sports must follow is when they can and cannot speak to athletes.
The contact rules vary for each sport. To keep up with all of the recruiting rules, UIndy has Senior Associate AD for Compliance in Athletics Scott Young. Coaches have yearly trainings during which they watch videos and answer questions. Additionally, the NCAA sends them rules to inform them about changes it has made, according to Wodrich.
The hardest part for Street is keeping up with all of the names and details about the recruits, something she said is important.
“When I first got here, I thought the hardest part was remembering all of their names, because you’re juggling a lot of different recruits,” Street said. “They’re [also] different years. If you mistake a 2020, versus 2021, and you contact them incorrectly, that’s a violation. And so making sure that you remember their name with their year, … what their mom and dad do, where they’re from and….everything about the recruit so that you can easily access [that] when they email you, and they call you at the office, and you’ve had no time to prep for the phone call. So I think just making sure that you treat every recruit … [as though] they’re the one and making sure that you can handle the weight of the people that you’re recruiting.”