Do athletic recruits pick a school because of the school itself or because of the coach/coaches?  

Do recruits pick a school before of the school itself or the coach?When you sign an National Letter of Intent to make your college decision official, one of the things that it states is that you are signing a this letter with the school. And while the school is an important factor during the recruiting process, few would pick a school without a coach doing what he can during the recruiting process to show him attention.

There will always be athletes who make a college decision based on academics (Which I do love to see). But many others decide where they want to school based on what the college can do for them. In my position by position recruiting articles, I talk about certain things to look for in a coach and what to ask. But when you make that final decision official, should you be basing that decision based on the school or the coach?

I will start with why you should base your decision on the school first. The obvious reason is that things happen often in the coaching ranks. Money talks in a situation like this so don’t be surprised to see him move on if a school is willing to triple his salary (And do you really blame him?).

While you may be known for being an athlete, you are going to school to get an education. While everyone wants to be able to play their sport professionally and make loads of money, the percentage that actually does is very small. That means you should be using the time to get an education that will set you up for the rest of your life. If you finish sports and graduate by the time you are 25 (Which is old for college athletes), you still have to work forty years before you hit the magic retirement age of 65. You may have played for sports for twenty years but you don’t want to be floundering in the real world for forty years.

The school itself will have a major impact on your life. It will help you establish friendships that will last your entire life and potentially meet your eventual spouse. The environment around the school will also effect you when trying to find a job or an internship. You will really be shaped during that time by the school.

As for why you should focus more on a coach, this coach is going to basically be a father figure to you. Many coaches set up their teams like a family just because most players have to adjust. This may be the first time that they are away from their real family and they need to find influences like teammates and a coach.

Like I said before, coaches are the ones that recruit you and the ones that you bond with during the process. If these coaches were not there, chances are the campus life of the school would not sell you on what the program has to offer. It is the coach that draws you in and sells you on the positives.

The coach also is the one that will help you become the best player that you can be. Not all athletes end up loving their coaches, but for the ones that do, it is a lifelong relationship. It is always great to know that your coach will have your back when you need it. They also will help you with potential jobs down the road.

There are obvious advantage of both the school itself and the coach. And even though the Letter of Intent says that you are signing it with the institution, I don’t know if I really buy that completely.

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