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June 25th, 2012

Effective Strategies for Bridging the Gap Between Admissions and Athletics

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

* Full disclosure before I begin: Front Rush offers a product that handles the issues we’ll be talking about below, but this is not a sales pitch…rather a justification for why we have such a product that addresses this problem.

The future of recruiting – especially in Division II and Division III – is going to be much more integrated with admissions.

Here’s why:

Current recruiting applications and packages allow for coaches of the same staff to be on the same page by providing a solution that has all of the recruit data in a single place. These applications replaced the old model where coaches would have their own excel sheet or binder and would be limited in sharing information with other coaches on staff. The problem that we see today is not that coaches aren’t “on the same page”, but that they are completely separated from admissions even though the goals of the admissions department very close parallel the goals of athletics, at least from a recruiting perspective.

There is a tremendous overlap with the number of prospects being recruited by coaches and admissions yet very little information sharing. We have seen some schools attempt to solve this problem by using an admissions application that has some of the same tools that an athletic recruiting application offers. However, these software applications fall short on the coach side and leave coaches handcuffed and wishing for more. This is exactly why companies like Front Rush exist…admissions applications are built for admissions type users and lack any focus for coaches. With this in mind, its our thesis that there should be a bridge between coaches and admissions and this bridge should be automated and seamless.

Coaches are collecting highly qualified data on recruits that any admissions officer could use for their own recruiting initiatives. An athlete may fall short in their athletic ability and may not be a fit for their respective sport but at the same time that does not mean that they are not a fit for the university as a whole. The university could benefit greatly by having access to that vital recruit information. Similarly, if the recruit is a fit for the team and the university, the combined efforts of the coach and admissions officer could help improve the probability of actually recruiting that athlete. Then from a coaches perspective, they could leverage admissions data to help focus their efforts. For example, it would be great if a coach knew immediately when a recruit’s academic status changed from applied to accepted.

The tools that are being built now have this ideology as the focus. The fragmentation that currently exists between athletics and admissions is the problem that is being solved. These two departments share extremely similar goals and the historic barriers that have kept the two from communicating efficiently are being torn down. The future of recruiting is fully integrated from the bottom up. The software that the coaches use will speak directly with the software that the admissions departments has at their desks even if they are built by completely different companies.

If a recruit is added for a coach, admissions will be immediately alerted and the data can be pre-qualified to make sure it fits the caliber that the admissions department requires. Data will be passed back and forth so coaches can know the status of their top recruits in real time. This data passing is happening now and will only become more seamless and more detailed as time progresses.

That’s what coaches have been asking for, and now it’s ready to be delivered.  Click here for more details, or email me at sdevlin@frontrush.com so I can answer your questions one-on-one.