Before an athlete comes to Lewis & Clark, students usually go through the recruitment process while in high school.
From a coach’s perspective, Michael Machado, an assistant coach for football and recruiter for the Bay Area in California, said “I start first by making contact with the student-athlete via phone or social media,” Machado said. “I, then, will make a trip to see the student-athlete in person either at his high school or at a summer football camp with colleges in attendance.”
Twitter, Machado said, is an athlete’s LinkedIn, where students can put their athletic information and connect with recruiters from all over the country. Oftentimes, athletes will also have a Hudl link, a web platform that allows coaches to review game footage, allowing potential recruiters to watch highlights of their games to get a feel for how they play on the field.
“Through those processes,” Machado said, “I am getting to know the SA (student athlete) and figuring out if he would be a great fit for Lewis & Clark.”
Machado spends a few months starting in the beginning of May touring around the Bay Area, from Monterey to the North Bay. During this time, he will visit around eight high school campuses a day, totaling over 100 every two weeks. Generally, he looks for 30 to 40 football athletes who show strong academic (around a 3.5 GPA or above) and athletic promise, as the school takes pride in being selective with its students. Other sports such as volleyball only recruit a few students, as teams vary in size.
“I express to the SA what we offer and how we provide hopefully what he is looking for in athletics and academics,” Machado said. “Once I determine that, I encourage him to go through the process of applying to our school and getting on campus for a visit.”
Near the beginning of June, LC offers summer day camps on campus for younger students around the Pacific Northwest so they can get a look at local students as well. The camps are designed to teach fundamental skills and get a feel for different sports.
“Once he has applied and visited, it is now a game of checking in weekly and keeping the connection strong until admissions decisions and financial aid packages are released,” Machado said. “Once he receives his admittance and financial aid package, this is where hopefully he has made the decision to come to LC to further his academic and athletic career.”
LC is a member of the Annapolis Group, competing in the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) Division III Northwest Conference. Division III is different from Division I and II, where students are offered full rides to larger institutions where they are expected to place a stronger emphasis on sports. According to the athletic department website, LC mainly competes against the other eight institutions in the Division III Northwest conference. This includes institutions such as George Fox University, University of Puget Sound and Whittier College.
The process is different for each institution, sport and area of the country. This is just a small glance at how things work for football at LC for one coach, but it is a good example of how future ChamPIOns are recruited to LC.