UAF coaches looking outside for recruits

Ben Deering / Sun Star Reporter
Sep. 1, 2011

Throughout the summer, UAF coaches visit several tournaments, canvassing all of Alaska and the West Coast looking for the best potential athletes. Philip Shoemaker, UAF’s women’s volleyball coach said said that to gather our new women’s volleyball recruits he had to go through “thousands of potential players.”  The coaches also gather recruits through contacts they have, other coaches and friends who may know athletes that are talented and are interested in attending UAF. Another well-used recruitment strategy is to hold tryouts when the year officially starts.

The UAF swim team subverts the standard by going through the Internet. This is possible because the group United States Swimming posts the scores of all high school competitors on their website. Scott Lemley, UAF’s swimming coach, contacts the prospective new swimmer’s coaches and sends out a questionnaire asking “whether they’re a good student, whether they’ve had any injuries, if they’re a good fit for our program.”

However, this style of recruitment does cause a substantial number of our incoming athletes to not be local.  According to several of UAF’s coaches, 42 percent of our athletes joining this year come from outside Alaska. A few come from out of country, most from out of state. Even the 58 percent that do come from Alaska are largely from outside of Fairbanks proper: a little more than half of that 58 percent are from Fairbanks, North Pole, and Eielson, with the rest coming from other places in the state.

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