I am excited to bring you this interview with NCAA Division 2 Coach Stan Rodrigues, of Adams State University Men’s Soccer!
If you are considering playing soccer in college or competing in the NCAA Division 2 in any sport, you need to read on. Coach Rodrigues has coached at three different colleges and a club. I recently had the opportunity to interview one of Coach Rodrigues’ former players, Christian Anguiano Marin. In this interview Coach Rodrigues describes what different parts of the recruiting process look like, and what you should do to get the attention of coaches.
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? In order to get on my radar, a personable email should be sent. Not a copy/paste blanket email. This email should include some knowledge about my school and my program in order to sound like they have done their research. If contacted by phone or email and “contact rules” appropriate, I will speak with them and discuss if the fit is right for us both.
What do recruits need to know about how and when Division 2 coaches can contact them? Recruits should know that they must be a HS Junior or higher in order to speak to them. Anyone younger can only be passed along future camp info but no talks of recruiting can be discussed with them.
How are high school and travel coaches involved in the recruiting process and communication during the recruiting process? If and when we speak, we are mostly looking for character reference and also position and soccer IQ reference. Coaches have been known to help promote their players to help them be seen or move onto college, which is great!
Could you share, in whatever detail you are comfortable, what the athletic scholarship break down looks like on your roster and what is allowed by the NCAA Division 2? At this level, fully funded schools are allowed to have 9.9 scholarships. At my school we are far from that, but our school is very affordable, and we have many academic aid and housing discounts so we are able to package strong offers to compete with others schools. We do not give out full rides.
How many players are typically on your roster and how does this affect how much each player receives? We carry enough for two teams since we have a developmental program. It does not really affect what each player receives because it’s truly up to their academics and if they are on the Varsity roster or not.
How much scholarship money does the average player on your team receive? $5-8K
What else is important to affording college besides the “athletic scholarship”? Whether or not you can get FASFA and researching other local or regional scholarships that often times go unclaimed because of lack of knowledge/awareness. Academics are #1 in being able to afford college. If your grades are good, there are typically many scholarships available.
When you go out and recruit what kind of events do you go to and why? I attend many ID camps that I’m invited to because they are more personal than big tournaments. I also attend tournaments to see how players do in a competitive environment compared to their peers.
How do you see collegiate soccer impacting an athlete’s life? It teaches them to work in a team environment, which is translated to future careers and even families. They will be ahead of the typical student who does not participate in a student activity. They are also able to be a part of a family atmosphere, which helps with their transition away from home and helps them feel more connected to the campus and school. Typically, my players make friends/family for life because of their teams.
How important are 3rd party recruiting services for you in finding athletes? Are they a benefit to the high school athletes? They can play a role in helping to identify more numbers of potential players at our level. I think in terms of educating them on the recruiting process they are important.
What advice do you have for recruits on how to prepare for their freshmen year in a college soccer program? What are typical things you wish incoming freshmen realized or knew before they arrived on campus? Summer workouts are first and foremost! A player MUST be fit and prepared physically for entering. They will need to properly learn to fuel themselves (nutrition) for athletics and academics in a University environment because it is MUCH different than HS. Be aware of the schools altitude, as my school is 7500 ft elevation, players should be aware and prepare for that, if possible.
I wish they knew before arriving, that University life as a student-athlete is FAST paced and results driven. If a player is great in HS, it doesn’t mean they will be great in D2 RMAC soccer. They must be ready to put work in, have excellent work ethic, develop a relationship with the Coach, teammates, professors, etc. So it’s work off the field as much as on. Players will be expected to help fund-raise, do community service, attend team functions AND be great players with great character. It’s a lot!
Bonus Question: Is there anything important that you would like to share directly with high school athletes as they navigate the recruiting process? Once an offer is made, they must be prepared to make quick decisions because coaches will not wait on them! If I hear that a player is “shopping” it’s a quick way for me to move on. As a D2 coach, I don’t have time to wait on players, nor feel that my program is low priority. That automatically tells me that they are not a committed player and that is not what I am trying to bring.
To see Coach Stan Rodrigues’ full bio, click here.
Next, check out:Are you D1 or D2 caliber?
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