May 3, 2017

A Well-Planned Walkpath is Critical for Hosting Recruits

It’s 11 a.m. on an official visit Saturday in January. Do you know where your recruits are?

One college head coach does, and he makes sure everyone in his operation does, too.

When the AFCA convention was in Nashville earlier this year, we took the opportunity to talk to head coaches and assistants about their facilities in general terms. We spoke to coaches who had worked for both Advent client and non-client programs.

Earlier, coaches overwhelmingly told us that their locker rooms were the most important piece of their facility.

Almost as important to another coach is the walkpath for recruits, where they’ll be and when they will be there. He’s charted every move for official and unofficial visitors, from the time of day they’ll walk through the student union to when and where they enter the football office to which displays they will see.

“They move through campus at certain times when classes have broken, when it’s lively,” said the coach, a head coach and former SEC assistant. “We migrate on point and on time, and we enter our building from the front, not the rear, we have a foyer that has displays and trophies that we want them to see. Then we migrate to the coach’s office.”

This isn’t any sort of secret, either. The coach says this schedule filters to his assistants, recruit hosts and veteran student-athletes — “everyone who is involved in our recruiting.”

Another coach, who works for an Advent client, emphasized the importance of the walkpath for prospects, but added that an advantage of his recent facility updates is that every entrance is a showpiece, giving him flexibility in organizing tours for prospects and other visitors.

In order to be proactive curators of messages, then, mapping and designing a campus tour and displays becomes a critical piece to a successful recruiting visit.

“The one thing you should always have is a consistent theme and message throughout,” one SEC assistant told us. “However you’re marketing, you want it to be clean and consistent with all of the graphics.”

This is the second in a series of posts featuring feedback on facilities from FBS coaches and assistants at the AFCA convention. Advent worked on walkpaths with a handful of Division I programs, including TCU, Florida State and the University of Southern California.