Lewis & Clark College boasts a talented and well-rounded student-athlete population. Coaches play a huge role in recruiting such students during their college search. While coaches look for recruits that boast strong athletic abilities, they also consider how well students will fit at LC.
Eric Jackson, Defensive Coordinator for the football team, weighed in on the recruiting process.
“We’re not just looking for people who are good at football, but also people who are getting good grades and can do both,” Jackson said. “They won’t survive here if they’re not. The school is Princeton-esque in terms of academic rigor, so we want kids who love that piece. We have a lot of talented folks on campus.”
Once coaches locate promising student athletes, they must then tell them why they should come to LC. Emily Hayes, Head Volleyball Coach, explained what draws students to the school.
“Sometimes I’ll go out and see somebody, then I’ll be introducing Lewis & Clark, trying to give them a glimpse and tell them what makes it special,” Hayes said. “It’s an awesome place, it’s in Portland, it’s an easy commute. It’s interesting because we’re selling the school as a whole.”
Talented athletes often have many colleges attempting to recruit them.
“There are no diamonds in the rough that just you know about and nobody else does,” Matt Kosderka, Head Baseball Coach, said. “So you try to find kids who are looking for what you offer, and you try to show them what your program is about, what you can do for them. Being just down the street from Portland is a big advantage. We also talk about the overall experience you can have here. We try to push the study abroad program, because a lot of baseball programs don’t want their kids to go abroad because they miss time, but we encourage it.”
According to the admissions office, 13 percent of admitted students are recruited athletes.
“Our goal is to enroll a class that offers many talents and perspectives to the college experience,” Associate Vice President for Admissions, Erica Johnson, said via email. “Coaches do let us know which students they believe are particularly talented in athletics, but others on and off campus also let us know who they think would make an impact in other activities or in the labs and classrooms. All of these factors are considered when making admissions decisions. Our process is holistic in nature, allowing for many factors to be included in the admissions process.”
Coaches look for students who can better both their teams and their school.
“It’s our job as coaches to help these students find the school that’s the most fitting place for them to spend the next four years in their life,” Hayes said. “If another school is a better fit for them, I want them to go there.”
The recruiting process ultimately helps students find the best fit for themselves, all while benefiting the school. Coaches want talented, smart, well-rounded student-athletes, who contribute to their teams and to LC as a whole.