How to Get Recruited Guide
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Interview With University of Illinois Springfield Women’s Soccer Coach

Welcome to Interview #7.

I am pleased to share with you the wisdom of NCAA Division 2 Women’s Soccer Coach, Molly Grisham of The University of Illinois Springfield.

There is more to Coach Grisham than coaching. Molly Grisham is passionate about personal growth, developing positive functional team culture, service learning and leadership development. She is a visionary with a heart for developing cultures and leaders who are value driven, people centric and service oriented.

  • Molly Grisham has moved on since this interview and now has an amazing company assisting teams in the development of their leaders. You can find her at If you are looking for leadership training for your athletes, I highly recommend her.

Where do D2 soccer coaches most often find players for their teams?

I think most coaches rely heavily on showcases where they can see a lot of player in a short amount of time. Most DII schools need to be budget conscious so local and regional events are very important. I also think most programs rely heavily on summer camps to evaluate recruits. Camps give the coaching staff an opportunity to work directly with a recruit to see if they are a good fit for the program.

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

Every program is different but we typically start talking to players during the spring of their junior year. We usually communicate via email and progress to the phone and text as we get more serious about a recruit. If a recruit does not check their email odds are they will miss an opportunity with us.

Why do you think athletes should consider D2? What are the benefits of D2 specifically?

What I love about DII is the balance between academics and athletics. For those who love their sport and want to play year-round, we offer that but with some limits in terms of the hours. It creates space for students to be students first without giving up their love of the game.  Recruits who love the game and are serious about their academics are a great fit for DII.

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

Fill out the recruiting form on our website that enters you in our database, email us with your schedule, RETURN OUR EMAILS, call us, send us film, attend our camp and visit our campus. We talk to hundreds of recruits and you need to work to become more than a name in our database.

At what point is your recruiting class done? When is it too late for a player to be thinking they will be recruited by a D2 program? Are there exceptions?

There are exceptions, most of the time it depends on when a coach was hired. I was hired in the summer a year and half ago and we are still catching up. I would say the really strong program are done with recruiting by the start of their fall season, other programs are still adding players in the spring. If you haven’t heard from any DII programs by fall of your Senior year time is quickly running out. This can be avoided with proactive work by a recruit. At the end of the day much of the recruiting process falls on a recruit’s ability to express an interest.

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

This is different at every school and in every conference. The NCAA will allow a maximum of 9.9 scholarships for women’s soccer but some conferences put a cap on that number. I can say in our conference we have schools with as little as 2.5 scholarship and others that have the full 9.9. it is in the best interest of a recruit to make sure they have good grades so they can qualify for additional academic money.

If a soccer player personally contacts you by phone or email, what will you do next?

We will request additional information and follow up with all the coaches they list as a reference. We will ask their coaches about their skill set, best position, coachablity, academic success, work ethic, family support and decisions off the field. We will not more forward with a recruit if the coach has reservations about their work ethic, ability to be a good teammate or decisions off the field.

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

The parent needs to play a supporting role. Please let your children ask and answer their own questions, please let them write their own emails and reply to our texts. We need to develop a relationship with our recruits so they will know if this is a good fit for them. The role of a parent is to support them on this journey. When meeting with a coach the recruit should be prepared to ask and answer all questions. At the end the parent may have some specific questions but the bulk of the conversation should be with the recruit.

What does the offseason, spring season and summer look like for a D2 soccer player?

In season we get 20 hours a week with them. This includes games, practice, lifting and film. When the season is over we must give them two weeks off and then we basically get 8 hours a week with them, however only 2 of those hours can be with a ball. In the middle of the spring we are able to go back to our 20 hours a week and can play some spring games. I think DII does a really good job of allowing year-round training with a balance during certain times of the year.

How do academics and athletics fit together?

Our team has excelled in this area. We have a higher GPA than the average student and many of our players are in our Honor’s Program. We do team study tables, athletic department study tables, study tables on the road and we are aware of their grades. We understand that soccer is important to our players but we also know they will be making a living doing something else.


Coach Molly Grisham

Just the second coach in program history, Grisham comes to UIS from Wayne State College in Nebraska after leading the Wildcats the previous four years.

  • Molly Grisham has moved on since this interview and now has an amazing company assisting teams in the development of their leaders. You can find her at If you are looking for leadership training for your athletes, I highly recommend her.



Next, take a look at What is NCAA Division 2?


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3 thoughts on “Interview With University of Illinois Springfield Women’s Soccer Coach”

  1. I met Coach Grisham this month for the first time. At a High School Soccer game (Parkway College Showcase Tournament) even though in your estimation College Coaches don’t scout HS games.

    1. I am excited to hear Coach Grisham was at the high school showcase. I appreciate you letting us all know. Coach Grisham is a great coach and works very hard to recruit the right players.

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