d3 coach pull

I have been in contact with a cmc coach for a bit, but after months and months of thinking about it and researching it I have decided I no longer want to pursue my sport competitively. I figured I would just tell this coach up front that I don’t want to compete for their team and that I will apply to CMC early anyways. I thought this would mean I’d get no admissions help, however on this one thread a CMC poster said the school is huge on sports and even if you dont want to keep competing the coaches could voice some sort of support for you in admissions? I’m pretty sure this is not true, but just wanted to see if anyone knew anything about this and could confirm/deny. Thanks!

Why would a coach support someone who wasn’t going to play for him? It makes no sense that a coach has, for example, 5 spots to support and he’d waste one on a non-athlete.

@twoinanddone that’s what I figured, I was just a little confused after reading something different in another thread- especially since the coach I’m in contact with has said it’s not as cut and dry at that school and they dont have direct “slots” that guarantee support in admissions.

At a D3 school, the typical “exchange” is that the coach offers a spot on the team and the student agrees to apply ED. That way, the coach knows they can stop recruiting for the role filled by that student, and the student knows they have a spot on the team.

If a student is not filling a role on the team, there is no reason for the coach to support the application. I could imagine a scenario where a coach might, after months of getting to know a prospective recruit and feeling comfortable with the student’s “fit” with the campus, say they’d “put in a word” with Admissions. That might be something like an email or voicemail saying, “hey, great kid, I enjoyed getting to know them during recruiting. They aren’t playing for me, but seems like a nice kid.” And that would count as much as any random adult, such as the family friend who’s an alum offering to contact Admissions – ie. very little.

This is the logical answer to the question asked by @goldentrees100 and almost certainly correct if the student needs a tip from the coach to get in.

But for the sake of argument, let me suggest this – At the DIII level, athletics and admissions work together in building a class. I don’t think it is a stretch to consider coaches to be an extension of the admissions office. If 25%+ of the student body are athletes, the athletic department plays a huge role in shaping the class. So, the coach might still mention an amazing student to the admissions office (i.e., “I can’t support this person because they don’t want to compete, but you may want to check him/her out”). Maybe.

It would probably need to be a very special student at a truly need-blind college. At a need-aware college, the coach might score some points for selling the college to a good student with no financial need, regardless of sports.

@KaiserS That’s what I suggested! The coach could still communicate with Admissions that this is a great candidate, but it’s not like “coach support” for a recruited athlete for admissions.

My D3 recruited athlete developed good relationships with a number of coaches during the process – between camps, visits, tournaments, emails and phone calls. Both sides really get to know what kind of person the other is. If for some reason, he had decided not to compete but still apply to one of those schools, I can imagine those coaches might have sent an email to Admissions talking about him as someone who would contribute to campus even without the sport. How much it means, especially among the very tippy top LACs, none of us parents can really estimate.


I don’t know the answer to your question about CMC. But I’m curious why this decision is coming now. If it has to do with seasons being cancelled and difficulty working up enthusiasm for competing right now, that’s pretty normal. It’s a frustrating time. I know a lot of runners who were so fixated on the state meet, nxn, or whatever, that’s it’s really hard to see the path forward.

But if you’re still running most days (at least before the fires), you’re probably a runner at heart. So I’d encourage you to keep your options open. If you think there’s a chance you’ll get the competitive itch again, or just might enjoy being part of the team, then you could just continue with the recruiting and see how you feel next spring.

Most runners find their tribe on the team so it’d be a shame to give that up right now if you’re not sure. If you’re worried about workload or intensity, most D3 runners from strong HS programs find the intensity drops a bit in college, they’re treated like adults with other interests, and they can make of it what they want.

On the other hand, if you had already decided to drop the sport in HS anyway, pre-Covid, then that’s probably a sign.

@politeperson yeah so COVID has definitely contributed to my decision but in a different way than you’ve described. I’ve just realized that I’ve never found more joy in running than during COVID when there was no pressure of competition/pressure from others to run a certain pace, and I think running for leisure and fun in college will help me retain a life long joy of running which is what I really want. Does that make sense?

As for the workload and intensity thing- i have a past teammate that’s on the CMS team who i’ve talked to a lot so I have gotten a pretty clear idea on what it’s like and I don’t think it’s for me.

@goldentrees100 yep, makes sense. Just wanted to make sure it wasn’t driven by current circumstances. The reason I even ask is that I know a fair number of runners who “quit” competitive running after the senior XC season. Some kept running because they just liked to run, went to D3s, and found that the people they liked running and hanging out with were other runners who were on the XC team. So they ended up on the team and enjoyed it. But it sounds like you’ve explored what it’d be like and have made a considered decision. Lifelong love of running is definitely a worthy goal.

@goldentrees100, I think you may have misunderstood the CMC coach. To me, when a coach says he doesn’t have “direct “slots” that guarantee support in admissions” that merely means that he doesn’t have that much pull with the admissions committee. It means that he has to put in more work to find recruitable athletes, compared with other leagues. A recruit will have to have really good academic stats - i.e. the same as non-athletes - to get admitted. Our experience with the Claremont colleges was just that.

As a result, the coaches tended to over-recruit with very long lists. The support given (other than the top two) is quite diluted and doesn’t help that much with admissions… That doesn’t mean that the coach will provide what precious little support he does have to a non-athlete. In my view, there are two entirely distinct notions: 1) How hard does a coach need to recruit to get a viable team; and 2) whether a coach would ever give support to an athlete who is not going to commit to the team. If anything, the lack of “slots” suggests that that a coach t would have even less of a reason to put in a good word for a non-athlete that in other leagues (though, like the others, I can’t imagine coach support being given to a non-athlete in any league).