Athletic Recruiting Recruiting for Parents

Why College Coaches Are Evaluating Parents of Recruits — And What You Can Do About It

((Flickr – Ingo Bernhardt)
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(Flickr – Ingo Bernhardt)

Think recruiting evaluations are just between a student-athlete and a coach?

Think again.

It’s absolutely important that a student-athlete be careful when considering whether a school fits their needs academically, athletically and socially — which means both that the student-athlete fits the school, and that the school fits their needs — but there’s something else that gets put into the mix when college coaches are looking at which players they want to join the rosters.

Coaches are evaluating parents of recruits

In a recent Signing Day interview, Coach Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern University shared that a large part of his prospect evaluation is looking at how parents of high school student-athletes act:

“When we talk about our fit, we’re evaluating the parents, too. And if the parents don’t fit, then we might punt on the player and not end up offering him a scholarship. That has changed over a decade. Ten years ago, that wasn’t as big of a role. Now it’s a big part of it,” he told NUSports.com.

Check out the rest of Coach Fitzgerald’s comments on how coaches evaluate parents in the video below:

How parents can contribute to their student-athlete’s recruiting journey

When college coaches look at parents, they’re not just looking for warning signs that would make them drop a player. They’re also looking for ways in which parents are supporting their student-athlete:

  • Are they supporting them in keeping a healthy school and sport balance?
  • Are they helping their son or daughter get all of their paperwork in on time — without doing it for them?
  • Are they setting a great example by respecting other players, families, coaches and refs — no matter how strongly they might disagree with a particular play or call?
  • In recruiting, are they showing that they’ll be there to help their son or daughter in the difficult transition from high school to college?

Want to learn more about what coaches look at? Here’s Sue Enquist talking about ways parents can make a great impression on college coaches at the ballpark and during official visits.


If you have questions about how you can help your son or daughter succeed in the recruiting process, we’re here to help. One of the best ways to help them get started is with a recruiting profile.

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About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.