Welcome to Interview #93
I am pleased to share with you the wisdom of NCCAA and HBCU Baseball Coach of Selma University, Adrian Holloway.
In his tenure with the Bulldogs Coach Holloway has been to the Small College World Series, produced 5 HBCU (Historic Black Colleges and Universities) All-Americans, made the national tournament every season, and was named 2017 NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year.
Read on. This interview is full of great tips!
What can or should high school athletes do from their end to get on your radar screen? If an athlete personally contacts you by phone or email, what will you do next?
Players need to be proactive in their recruiting process. With all the travel ball clubs, showcases and camps, tons of players are getting exposure. To get on our radar screen recruits can always call the admissions office, go to our website and fill out a questionnaire or send an email. If a player contacts us, we always follow up. Depending on the time of year, we invite kids in for workouts and campus tours.
How do you find players?
We find players through recruiting sites, showcases, good old fashion scouting at games. Recruiting is so competitive now with universities upgrading facilities and hitting the trail hard. We try to locate the best players we can find. We’ve been blessed to attract some of the best talent in Small College baseball. We’ve had players from California all the way down to Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic.
What do you look for before you recruit a player?
First thing we look at is a player’s transcript. A player must be academically eligible and in good academic standing before we began actively recruiting and offering a player.
Players must also have and exhibit good character on and off the field. Being at a Christian University, character is very important because as a student-athlete you are an ambassador for the university and must conduct yourself accordingly.
What is HBCU? What is special about it and how does it affect Selma?
HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and University. It is a special label because it gives historic distinction to the colleges and universities who gave opportunities to African-Americans when other institutions would not allow them to enroll. It has been great for Selma being that we are located in a region where opportunities are far and few for most.
You compete in the NCCAA and have made the playoffs the past six years? What is the NCCAA and why has Selma chosen to compete there?
The NCCAA is short for National Christian College Athletic Association. We joined the NCCAA because we are a Christian University and felt like their mission matched ours.
Could you share, in whatever detail you are comfortable, what the athletic scholarship break down looks like on your rosters?
Just like many other small colleges, our scholarship budget is small. We spread the scholarships fairly among student-athletes, and we fill some spots with walk-ons or non-scholarship athletes.
What is the role of the parent in the recruiting process?
Parents play an important role in the recruiting process. The parents have to feel comfortable leaving their child in your hands, so you’re recruiting the parents just as hard as you recruit the student. It’s very important that parents are very informed during the process, because at the end of the day they more than likely will have an influence of where their child goes to school.
What are a few of the most common mistakes that prospective-student athletes make in the college recruiting process?
The most common mistake kids make is not being informed. Everyone wants to go D1, but are you D1 material? Do you have D1 grades? Do you have a D1 attitude and work ethic?
A lot of kids fail to realize that college athletics is also a business. Be informed of the requirements for each level of college athletics. Take the ACT and SAT early and more than once. Make sure you have a good GPA. Be mindful of your social media behavior. A lot of prospects have gotten into trouble and lost scholarships because of social media mishaps.
Selma University is a Christian school. What are differences that recruits should think about when choosing a Christian school?
Think about whether you can handle being an ambassador for a Christian School. You will be held to a higher standard. Can you handle that?
What should student-athletes expect from a Christian college athletic experience?
It’s not much different. We have prayer before each game, and try to conduct ourselves in a Christian manor. We also have chapel service once a week. Other than that, it’s just college athletics.
How did your own baseball career at Alabama State impact your life after college?
Alabama State prepared me for life. It gave me the confidence that I could accomplish anything in life that I desire to. Coach Larry Watkins is a great man. He showed us the bigger picture. He always stressed the importance of completing our degrees, no matter if professional baseball was in your future or not, he stressed completing your degree.
Coach Watkins mentored us and gave us opportunities that helped us shape our lives to be the men we are today. I have several teammates who are now also coaches at the high school, college and professional levels. I am forever grateful for Coach Watkins, the teammates that became brothers to me and Alabama State University.
Can you share a creed, quote or philosophy you try to instill into your athletes?
“Be Great!” This is our main creed. I tell kids all the time, the world is full of good or mediocre things and people, so set yourself apart by striving for greatness and being the best at whatever you do.
Bonus Question: Is there anything important that you would like to share directly with high school athletes or baseball athletes in particular as they navigate the recruiting process?
As students embark on the recruiting journey, always remember that someone is watching. You are different, you are special, so conduct yourselves as such. The spotlight is always on you as an athlete.
Be mindful of your social media output, make good grades and take your ACT/SAT serious. And most importantly, have and show great character and sportsmanship. Work hard and make yourself noticeable to college coaches and scouts. Be proactive.
Coach Adrian Holloway is a native of Selma, Alabama and a graduate of Selma High School, where he was a Baseball Factory All-American (2001). After high school he attended Alabama State University on a baseball scholarship and was named Rookie of the Year a 3-year letterman. Coach Holloway remained focused on his academics as well and received a Bachelor’s of Social Work in 2007. In his tenure with the Bulldogs Coach Holloway has been to the Small College World Series, produced 5 HBCU All-Americans, made the national tournament every season, and was named 2017 NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year.
Here is a great podcast done with Adrian Holloway by Black College Nine: Current and Historical HBCU Baseball News. Listen to Podcast.
Next, check out: 4 Tips Toward a Great College Athletic Experience.
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