How to Get Recruited Guide
Palm Beach Men's Soccer

Interview With Palm Beach Atlantic Men’s Soccer Coach

Welcome to Interview #6.

I am pleased to share with you the wisdom of NCAA Division 2 Men’s Soccer Coach, Brian McMahon of Palm Beach Atlantic University. Coach McMahon has only been at Palm Beach Atlantic for a year, but he has two decades of coaching at colleges in three different regions of the country. Coach McMahon has proved he can succeed everywhere he has been. In 2012 he was named the NSCAA and the NAIA National Coach of the Year.

I have been getting to know Coach McMahon and his wife Jennifer online over the last couple of months. Jennifer has extensive experience working for colleges in the financial aid department. She also owns her own company, which helps students (not just athletes) navigate the financial aid process and find the right college fit.  In the near future you will see some great information from Jennifer about the financial aspect of your college decision making.

Read on. This interview is full of priceless information!

Where do you most often find players for your team?

The majority of my players that I find are self-referrals and connections through current players. We do have ID camps that are great opportunities as well.

What would a timeline look like for your recruiting of a typical player? What kind of communication do you send out and when?

We have to wait for a NLI (National Letter of Intent) until Feb for signing date but frequent email and video conversation happens. Facebook pages, and twitter are great ways to keep recruits connected.

Palm Beach Atlantic is a Christian school. Will all religious schools be similar? What are differences recruits should think about when choosing a religious school?

PBA was voted the “Most Friendly” university in the south so I think that has a lot to do with our faith aspects. Prayer and a belief of something greater than ourselves is our overriding sense of purpose.

Line Up SouthEastern Game

What can or should high school athletes do from their end to get on your radar screen?

The most important thing to do would be to attend Summer, ID (Identification), and try out dates. Also, a good CV with video is very important.

What is college life like for a D2 athlete? What will day-to-day life look like? Can they be involved in activities outside of sports?

It’s very similar to D1 I would say but just not all the travel away from classes. We lift 3 times a week and train every day. Most of our guys do work jobs as well.

Could you share, in whatever detail you are comfortable, what the athletic scholarship break down looks like on your roster?

D2 is allowed 9 scholarships however at PBA we can “stack” so GPA above a 3.3 is a really big deal to get academic money as well. We are close to the max at PBA.

What is the role of the parent in the recruiting process?

Limited but important in the early parts just for the organizational aspects. Also, financial aid and the FAFSA is very important.

What is the NCCAA and what are the benefits to your program?

National Christian College Athletic Association is a group of schools that are all faith based and we have our own honors and National Tournament. It covers all divisions including D1,2,3 and NAIA grouped together. In Soccer, the level is very high at the national tournament in Florida each year in December.

How do academics and athletics fit together?

You must maintain a 2.5 gpa at PBA and also pass 24 hours each year. Student comes before athlete.

What are the short term and long term benefits of being on a collegiate athletic team?

As Iron Sharpens Iron so one man sharpens another. A brotherhood and your best friends for life.

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?

Very few recruits understand the fitness and speed of play needed to play at our level. Time management is the biggest key to college success.

Bonus Question: Is there anything important that you would like to share directly with high school athletes or soccer players in particular as they navigate the recruiting process?

You’re always 1 injury away from choosing a school you don’t like. Make sure the university is the right fit for you and NOT just the soccer program. South Florida life is easy living.


Brian McMahon was named the new head coach of the Palm Beach AtlanMac_McMahon-webtic men’s soccer program on February 11, 2014.

Coach McMahon has over 20 years of collegiate coaching and playing experience with a resume that includes coaching stints at Belhaven (Miss.) University and Greenville (Ill.) College.

McMahon spent the past two seasons leading Belhaven to back-to-back appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, reaching at least the Elite 8 in both campaigns.

In 2012 he was named the NSCAA and the NAIA National Coach of the Year. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from IWU and master’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in sport behavior and psychology from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. In addition, McMahon also holds a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure at the one level.

Next, take a look at First Contact With a College Coach.


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