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MICZamboni
01-01-2011, 10:15 PM
Rugrats brought up an interesting thought in the Wisconsin thread and it got me to thinking. What is the best recruiting tool? Is it winning tradition? Is it regional? The coach? The promise of playing time? Is it the amenities like a weight room or nice rink? Or maybe, God forbid, the academic reputation;)? It would be interesting to hear from ex-players or parents as to why a school was chosen.

ARM
01-02-2011, 12:00 AM
Or maybe, God forbid, the academic reputation;)?Maybe more encompassing than academic reputation would be academic fit. For some that might mean reputation, but for others it could mean a given degree program or an atmosphere that suits the student's personality. The answers that I hear on a regular basis to this question from freshmen that you didn't already mention are a) it just felt right; and b) I really liked my teammates. And the answer I hear most often might be a bit school-specific to apply to this discussion. ;)

WIrinkrat
01-02-2011, 12:09 AM
Maybe more encompassing than academic reputation would be academic fit. For some that might mean reputation, but for others it could mean a given degree program or an atmosphere that suits the student's personality. The answers that I hear on a regular basis to this question from freshmen that you didn't already mention are a) it just felt right; and b) I really liked my teammates. And the answer I hear most often might be a bit school-specific to apply to this discussion. ;)

Elite players and winning. You just don't see many truly elite players going to weak programs, regardless of the academic fit, facilities, or whatever. Of course it only takes 1 or 2 elite players to start the ball rolling quickly in the other direction (ie Cornell, Nodak, BC, etc)

Trillium
01-02-2011, 03:57 PM
Rugrats brought up an interesting thought in the Wisconsin thread and it got me to thinking. What is the best recruiting tool? Is it winning tradition? Is it regional? The coach? The promise of playing time? Is it the amenities like a weight room or nice rink? Or maybe, God forbid, the academic reputation;)? It would be interesting to hear from ex-players or parents as to why a school was chosen.

I've actually asked this question to literally dozens of kids who've successfully gone through the process, and of course, the ultimate choice does depend on what their options were, as most don't have the opportunity to actually go to their "dream school"--even many top tier recruits. I've had a couple kids of my own go through the process too, one actually was lucky enough to end up at her dream school.

For many players, winning tradition is a really big part of it. That often seems to trump academics, at least for the kids who tend not to think of the longer term after hockey is over--depends on how much influence the parents/advisors have, how mature the kid is, and how knowledgable/confident they are in the process. In any case, if schools are roughly comparable academically, a program much below .500 is usually a tough sell unless a student always wanted to go there. Dream schools are usually selected on the basis of past visits, past family/friend connections with a school, or even somewhat irrational ideas based on books and TV shows (lol). And these ideas can be hard to dislodge.

Don't think playing time plays a big part for most, as they all think they will play lots based on their past experiences, and pretty much every coach is notorious for promising lots of playing time anyway, whether it is likely to happen or not. If it is a factor, playing time is more likely to be somewhat a consideration for second/third tier recruits.

While the coach *may* be a consideration, usually it's more in a negative sense: virtually all coaches are extraordinarily charming throughout the process when wearing their recruiting hats, so it is generally hard to differentiate much on that basis, except in rare cases where a recruit and a coach just don't hit it off at all. However, for those who do a lot of research (which surprisingly is relatively few), either because of a coach's past reputation for histrionics, inordinately short bench tactics, mixed assessments from former players, or other personal styles that may not appeal, coaches and their programs are often discounted too on that basis.

Actually, I think probably what may be the biggest factor in the majority of cases, for Ontario kids anyway, is how long, how often, how aggressively and how personally they were courted by the program, especially by the head coach. Everyone wants to feel wanted and needed. The most overt expressions of being shown they were really wanted (at least more than other programs showing interest), often is enough to create a positive halo effect on their assessments of other aspects of the school. Some coaches are fantastic as this, and it can often overcome other potential negatives (eg. location, facilities, academic reputation/programs, etc). I guess you could say that, in that sense, the coach(es) can make a big difference.

So I think it's no accident that programs that spend more time on the recruiting trail are appropriately rewarded--and in cases where the head coach is directly involved as much as/more than the assistants, there seems to be particularly strong conversion rates. The Eastern schools have relied to a significant extent on players from Ontario. Head coaches Doug Derraugh of Cornell has been a regular fixture in Ontario rinks for the past few years, as has Rick Sealey of Quinnipiac, and the Desrosiers of Clarkson--and all have had successive strong classes of incoming recruits the past few years, despite a lack of significant winning traditions prior to that. Mike Sisti of Mercyhurst and Mark Johnson of Wisconsin are also seen with some frequency every year. I believe John Burke's regular presence on the recruiting trail has played a significant role in the respectable performance of RPI in short order since their change to D1 status. In some other programs, the head coaches rarely if ever get directly involved with recruiting off-campus, and are now seeing difficulties sustaining their historical strength.

Choice of schools can be a highly emotional rather than rational process. Loving a particular atmosphere/campus at first sight can happen. I've actually heard of players rejecting schools even before actually visiting for basically random, inconsequential and sometime irrational reasons or misperceptions. I didn't like the sound of the name of the school. I hated their website. The school didn't do Recycling. The coach there never sent me a thank you after I visited. The head coach was away when I did an unofficial. The head coach has never seen me play (I don't think that one's irrational at all, by the way). They took too long to respond to my email. Their campus is too scary (never visited, ended up going someplace statistically worse). They didn't call me on July 1. I didn't like their letter, it sounded arrogant.

Despite the fact that prospective recruits should be proactive in the process to ensure the best fit--and more and more they know enough to actually do this, a great many still say they ultimately chose the one that had showed the most interest and persistence.

RStarr
01-02-2011, 04:17 PM
Connections to National Teams.

rugrats
01-02-2011, 04:53 PM
Excellent points....

SlewFoot
01-03-2011, 08:39 AM
I think the reasons are very varied depending on lots of factors such the status of the player and the number of choices, coaches, academic fit, etc. My own daughter was not a tier one hockey recruit. She is a solid hockey player but never played on a National Team and did not have the size that is desired. She had lots of opportunities due to her tier one academic status. Going to a good academic institution was very important to her (just as important as playing college hockey) and she limited her choices to good academic schools. She had opportunities at a lot of great academic schools and top D3 schools were definitely in the mix. The decision among these opportunities came down to a chance to play D1 hockey, at a good school, for coaches that pursued her and really acted as if they wanted her and promised that she would play. In other words, she liked the fact that the school fit and liked the coaches and players and she felt comfortable that she would play because the coaches paid a lot of attention to her.

valiantfan08
01-03-2011, 09:02 AM
LOCATION,LOCATION,LOCATION - I know Manhattanville emphasizes its proximity to NYC and internship possibilities that exist down there. I would think that's a factor.

PrezdeJohnson09
01-03-2011, 09:39 AM
A working scoreboard. ;)

Just kidding.

Elmira and Norwich both offer unique traditions and storied hockey program histories.

Norwich plays in a rink that is twelve years old and looks like it was built yesterday. Looks brand new and clean every day.

Both also have excellent foreign finnancial aid programs.

rugrats
01-04-2011, 10:38 AM
A working scoreboard. ;)

Just kidding.

Elmira and Norwich both offer unique traditions and storied hockey program histories.

Norwich plays in a rink that is twelve years old and looks like it was built yesterday. Looks brand new and clean every day.

Both also have excellent foreign finnancial aid programs.

How is the Elmira rink (arena)?

Thanks!

5 4 Fighting
01-04-2011, 12:25 PM
How is the Elmira rink (arena)?

Thanks!

extremely difficult for opponents to win in... ;)

PrezdeJohnson09
01-04-2011, 05:20 PM
How is the Elmira rink (arena)?

Thanks!

It's unique. The lockerrooms were renovated a couple years ago and are on par with pretty much any in D-III. The ice surface is smaller but usually very quick ice with the building always pretty cold.

The arena itself is past it's glory years but it's still a neat place. There are great sightlines when you sit up high in the bleachers and the place can get quite loud when a good crowd is there.

It was my home for 15 years before I went to undergrad at Oswego and now I'm at Norwich working.

The domes will always be home, no matter how much seymore butts craps on them :)

5 4 Fighting
01-04-2011, 05:28 PM
A working scoreboard. ;)

Just kidding.

Elmira and Norwich both offer unique traditions and storied hockey program histories.

Norwich plays in a rink that is twelve years old and looks like it was built yesterday. Looks brand new and clean every day.

Both also have excellent foreign finnancial aid programs.

...and you should point out Prez that this foriegn aid isn`t just for the finn`s. ;)

5 4 Fighting
02-03-2011, 05:52 PM
Maybe not the BEST recruiting tool but one that continues to gain traction with parents...webcasting of home games.

pakidnyc
02-03-2011, 08:56 PM
Overall, I think a combination of the type of school academically (major offered) and the program. While the facilities would not be the final determinant for my daughter, I know she was turned off by the fact that some schools had much better facilities for the Men's program than the Women's. I know that's the reality of college sports, but there are a few programs out there that show their respect for the Women and what they give to the school, athletic program and sport.

IceIsNice
02-03-2011, 09:34 PM
What about FanForum thread quality and reputation? :eek:

D2D
02-03-2011, 09:53 PM
What about FanForum thread quality and reputation? :eek:

Wouldn't go there...;)

gojackets
02-03-2011, 11:12 PM
What about FanForum thread quality and reputation? :eek:

Then Superior would have the top recruiting class year in/year out :)

rugrats
02-15-2011, 09:20 PM
Free?