Each semester Bruins team coaches go through a process of acquiring new recruits to help build and support the team with fresh energy and skill.
With players leaving at the end of each season because of graduation or school responsibilities, coaches are always on the lookout for possible new recruits for their teams.
Whether during regular season or off-season, coaches are constantly contacting possible recruits.
According to many of the Bob Jones University Bruins coaches, recruiting never stops although they are finishing up their recruit class for the fall of 2018.
First and foremost, coaches look for Christian athletes who love God and love their sport. Technical ability, experience, competitiveness and hard work are a few of the other qualities coaches look for.
Sometimes coaches recruit with specific positions or skill sets in mind, but most of the time coaches look for overall technical skill and coachability.
Oftentimes, a coach will ask a player to play a position he or she is not accustomed to playing.
Men’s soccer coach Jesse McCormick said, “My primary goal is to find the best players I can that will excel on and off the field at BJU.”
The new recruits number anywhere from three to 10, but the number varies from team to team. Individual sports tend to recruit lower numbers than team sports.
Coaches find recruits in many ways. Some players contact the BJU coach first and ask to try out with the team. Other players are discovered at summer camps or ID (identification) camps.
Women’s soccer coach Chris Carmichael said, “The easy one is when they show up at your door and get evaluated and do an exceptional job.”
However, sometimes coaches leave campus and scout at high school games or club tournaments.
Incoming freshmen account for many of the recruits, but some recruits come from the existing student body.
For instance, according to golf coach Dennis Scott, some current students have expressed interest in trying out in the fall.
Similarly, both soccer and volleyball have what is called a “spring squad.”
Some coaches use the off-season as an extended try out for currently enrolled students before the player officially joins the regular season roster.
The basketball teams have a similar program: open gyms.
Most coaches do not make cuts to their existing team. Volleyball coach Vickie Denny said she does not usually cut an upperclassman, but she will tell them how much playing time they will receive.
Women’s basketball coach Mike LeViere said, “We feel once someone has joined our team, they have made a commitment to us, and we have made a commitment to them.”
However, he also does not guarantee playing time.
Returning athletes make up the bulk of the rosters. Most coaches reported they have a strong core of returning athletes to which to add new recruits.
Because the BJU athletic program is trying to join the NCAA DIII program, recruiting will be more regulated.
According to a few BJU coaches, not much will change other than tighter tracking of the correspondence between the coaches and recruits.