Charlie Adams

The Miracle On Ice Happened Because Recruiting Networks Help College Coaches

charlie adams speaking to crowd

This week I delivered my program on the Miracle on Ice, which happened 35 winters ago, and lessons we can learn from it to many of the leaders at NCSA Athletic Recruiting.

Herb Brooks coached the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to the 4-3 win over the Soviet dynasty team, and then to the gold medal. He was the head coach of the University of Minnesota hockey program seven years before Lake Placid. Herb took a down program and led them to three NCAA Division I national titles.

You hear a lot today about how recruiting starts earlier and earlier. Herb was ahead of his time back then. He would identify the top 9th graders in Minnesota and have an assistant watch them regularly. Some of these players would end up starring for him at Minnesota and then be on the Olympic team.

The point is that recruiting networks help college coaches. Coaches need trusted and verified sources to build their recruiting lists and to offer players. Herb had hockey people around the state that knew exactly what he wanted in young men as far as character, academics, family background, hockey skills and skating speed and if they told him “Herb, there is a kid in the far corner of the state that you need to offer” he would offer them a scholarship without going to see the young athlete in person.

You can play your sport in college, even if you don’t live near the school.

Obviously, NCSA or anything like it was not around in the 1970’s, but it is the trusted and verified source many coaches use to build their recruiting lists. You have to be able to market yourself. Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 team,scored the winning goal in the win over the Soviets. He had no DI offers coming out of high school near Boston. He was a remarkable competitor who meant everything to his high school team, but he played for a small school and no one really knew him. He had a DII offer and thankfully for him got discovered accidentally by the new Boston University coach at a summer skating league just before his freshman season.

Jim Craig, who would be the goalie of the Miracle team, had no DI offers out of high school and went to a community college first. He was a tremendous high school goalie but his challenge was height. He was 5’3 up until his senior season and then had a growth spurt to 6’1″. Many of the DI programs missed him. An advantage of him going to a Community College was that he was able to develop more physically. He transferred to Boston University after a year.

NCSA can help you with all of these things, from finding the right fit to helping you connect with the recruiting lists of coaches out there. College coaches trust NCSA and use it as one of their verified sources.

You can talk with a National Recruiting Scout reaching out to NCSA. Click here to set up a one-on-one evaluation.


Former sports anchor Charlie Adams writes weekly on recruiting and motivation for NCSA Motivational speaker Charlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years in markets such as New Orleans and South Bend, where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. His son was a college athlete, his oldest daughter is a freshman college swimmer, and his youngest daughter is very involved in AAU travel team basketball as a 6th grader. Charlie’s new motivational program in 2014 is ‘More Than a Miracle,’ which explains how the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team was able to stun the Soviets and then take the Gold. For more information you can reach him at or go to

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Charlie Adams