May 15, 2014

Head Coaching Change and Recruiting

Hi Coach,

My daughter was recruited by a D-1 program and verbally committed in Sept 2013, her senior year. Was offered and accepted an Athletic Full Ride.

In December, it was announced by the school’s AD, the Coach’s Contract would not be renewed.  Contacted the AD with the concerns her Athletic Scholarship would be honored. Due to the AD indicating via email that he had no knowledge of the player, verbal committment or scholarship, we re-opened the recruiting process.

Since then, three schools, all D-1, have indicated they are interested.  However, all three of the Assistants who were involved in the recruiting process before during and after official visits indicated they are interested, just do not have the authority to offer her a position/scholarship.  Had tremendous feedback from all three official visits.   All three schools now have their Head Coaches in place.

We have not heard from the Assistant or the new Head Coaches from any of the schools  … what do we do now?

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply.  We are dumb founded by the lack of communication! 



I was a bit confused after reading your email, so I will move forward under the following understanding:

1. Your PSA committed too DI school's AD had no knowledge of your daughter's commitment - This is probably because your daughter, as a senior should has signed her National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing period which was in November of 2013.  I am extremely surprised the old Coach did not send the NLI in November.

2.  Re-opened recruiting outreach effort, took three Official Visits but each of these schools also went through Head Coaching change? Crazy, but the way it is.

My feedback:

1.  If you went on Official Visits to schools before the new head coach was in place, then these were wasted official visits.  I am surprised that the Athletic Directors at these schools allowed Official Visits to occur when there was a Head Coach vacancy.  New coaches will be focused on what they want for recruits, and most often this is not the same as the assistant, especially a holdover assistant from a previous coach.  

1 a.  Unfortunately, you have used at least 3 of your 5 Official Visits, and maybe 4 of your 5 if you took an Official Visit to the school your PSA committed too.  You can still take Unofficial Visits, but your PSA may only have one more paid visit available.

2.  You need to continue and expand your reach out process - If the schools where you took the official visit have not communicated with you, then it is clear that they have moved in another direction (at least in the near term).  

3.  By your information, your daughter is DI talented or she would not have been offered a scholarship, nor taken additional Official Visits.  Use this affirmation to keep reaching out DI programs; there are a bunch of DI's who are still actively recruiting seniors but you have to make sure they 'find' you by your outreach efforts.

It is just nothing more than bad luck that the schools which you have had the most interaction with are also the schools which went through a head coach change.  Sometimes VolleyFamilies will hear me talk or read or Inside College Volleyball, and not believe when I reference all the coaching changes and how this recruiting process is just business for the college coaches.

But, you don't have time cry over spilt milk - You need to be persistent in your outreach process because we are now into the Qualifier season where the most number of DI coaches will be traveling to recruit!

Hang in there!

Coach Sonnichsen

Yes, unfortunately, this is often how college coaches handle such situations - business is not always graceful.

Good Morning Coach,

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to reply to my email.

You are correct, in the course of events which have unfolded, it’s been a roller coaster ride of bad luck.
If we knew now that the official visits were a waste of time, we would have not moved in that direction.
I can’t get over the behavior of the new Head Coaches not communicating if in fact  they have moved to recruit other players.  We are not made of glass and will not break if a Coach sends a polite email stating their intentions is to recruit another player.  In your experience, is this the standard method of operating for a new HC (to not acknowledge the recruit who took the time to visit the school, accepted by the admissions department and met the team of current players)?  If that’s the case, I believe it’s unprofessional and disrespectful to the Volleyball community, players and families. 

We have moved on, we keep being positive and learned not to burn bridges.

Thanks again for your time,



Yes, unfortunately, this is often how college coaches handle such situations - business is not always graceful.

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