Live Chat

Coach Campbell: Cornerstone University

Ryan Campbell, Head Coach of Cornerstone University recently received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award, a national honor given to 30 up-and-coming volleyball coaches. He has served as a camp coach for Ohio State University, the University of Hawaii, Penn State University, the University of MIchigan, University of Notre Dame and Bowling Green State University. NCSA was luckly enough to catch up with COach Campbell in this addition

1. How would you describe yourself as a coach?

I would consider myself very friendly and approachable. I love to joke, and make people laugh. On the other end, I am not afraid push players to their limits and when needed, be bold.

2. What’s unique about the experience at your school?

Cornerstone University is located in Grand Rapids, MI. Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan is about 40 minutes away from the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan. Also, Cornerstone is based on Biblical principles that are filtered throughout  both our education and athletic programs.

3. What do recruits need to know about you?
I am highly motivated with set vision and a lot passion!

4. What do you look for in recruits?
In general, I look for solid Christian athletes that can compete at the national level.

Furthermore, I look for taller players (5-10+), that have good grades, play for winning high school or club teams, and who are interested and eager to come to Cornerstone University.

5. What is the one thing every recruit needs to do with the recruiting process?

One thing that I would suggest is to make a sharp-looking high-light video. Include the year you are graduating, your height, the positions you play, your school and club, grades, contact information and of course HIGH-LIGHTS. Most college coaches do not have time to watch an hour long match –just give us the high-lights!

The video only needs to be about two minutes long. Once you make a video, send a PERSONAL email to the coach and attach the highlight video. Make sure you start early! I would make a video every year until you sign a letter of intent!

Check out the 2009 Cornerstone volleyball’s promotional video:

6. What sort of questions do you really like to hear from recruits?

“Is it okay if I only made the 2nd all-state team?”

“What if I can only touch the rim?”

“Am I too tall for your team?”

7. What turns you off when you’re recruiting a student athlete?

The biggest turn-off is receiving mass or generic emails from recruits. These types of emails usually get deleted without even reading them! When writing a letter of interest, promoting yourself to a coach is more about quality than quantity. Coaches get mass emails from recruits all the time. You need to be different. You need to stand out!

So first, use their name when you write an email. For example, “Hi Coach Campbell.” Second, start off by discussing the coaches’ accomplishments or maybe the previous season. Third, post your accomplishments. Last, post your high-light video and make sure the coach cannot miss it! I would also suggest you have a detailed information sheet attached to the email.

If the college coach does not respond, be persistent! Remember, you are not the only girl trying to get a scholarship! On the other hand, if you have sent out ten emails and phone calls with no response, you might want to move on and check out another college.

8. What do you think your program is the most successful at?

Specifically at Cornerstone, we put a large emphasis on getting people to our home games. We try to create a fun atmosphere that is enjoyable for the players, fans, and the entire community. For example, at each of our games we have different theme nights such as: “Hawaiian Night” or “80s Night.” Our fans love to dress up and have a good time.

9. Why should a recruit consider your program?
Our program is not for every volleyball player. Again, Cornerstone University volleyball looks for solid Christian athletes that can compete at the national level.  Some things that Cornerstone offers that other Christian colleges may not are: International team mission trips, California trips, and large crowds at our games. Something I am pushing to do this season is make all our home games a fundraiser for different charities.

10. If a recruit is interested in your program, how should they reach out to you?

If a recruit is interested in the Cornerstone volleyball program, they should email me using the steps that I suggested.

Phone: (708) 819-0490

About the author
Aaron Sorenson