Conversation with 25 year high school coach
Scholarpreps sat down with Bob Chiesa, Bob has coached high school football for more than 25 years with some of the top programs in the metro Detroit area.
What should be considered when selecting the right college
We’ve heard a lot of parents say things like, “if they can’t play at a certain level or at this specific type of college, then they shouldn’t play at all.” Quite often this is because they don’t know what they don’t know. I encourage parents to explore all the options that are out there. Go on a campus visit. Go see a Division 2 game. Talk to other parents in a similar situation. As a parent and a coach, what advice would you give to parents like these? What would you say are the most important things to consider when helping your son or daughter find a school that’s the right fit for them?
Four keys to selecting the right college
Coach: Four key things. Number one, I tell them right off the bat, what is your goal? If your goal is to be a pro, get rid of that idea. I’ve been blessed to coach for over 25 years. I’ve had three guys make it to a training camp, and only two guys actually make it to the professional level. The key thing is this: do you want to go to a school where you’re going to have a chance to play? Or do you want to go to a school where you’ll be part of the team and get a good experience, but you might not ever play?
Does the school offer your field of study?
Coach: Next, I ask them, “how do you feel at the school you’re considering?” Do you get that family feel? Putting the sports aside, do you feel like you’re a part of something, like you belong? And it’s funny. People will come back to me many years later and say, “Coach, I know what you meant. Like I just had that feeling like you belong.”
Point number three I tell everybody is, how does the school measure up in terms of the field of study that your son or daughter actually wants to pursue? If you want to go into veterinary school one day and the school doesn’t offer a program that’s going to help you, why go there? You want to go into engineering and the school doesn’t offer an engineering program, why go there? You’re being offered by Madonna and Lawrence Tech. No disrespect to Madonna, great university, Lawrence Tech’s one of the top engineering schools in the country. Why would you not go there?
Total cost to attend your school
The fourth point I like to make, to consider is the overall costs of the school you’re considering. If you have one school that is out of state offering $20,000/year and an in-state school offering $10,000/yr, you must consider the total cost for attending each. Most schools have in-state vs out of state tuition rate, you must also consider the commute and parents ability to attend your games.
Importance of grades
I know i said four points, but here’s a bonus point; Grades are critically important! I just had this conversation a couple hours ago whereby if you’re being recruited and you have good grades, the recruiting college has the ability to present a better scholarship package. The coach may not be able to offer a full athletic scholarship, but can bundle academic and athletics scholarships that will reduce your overall cost to attend that school. DII and DIII schools love to recruit “student-athletes” not just athletes, they can offer more to someone with a 3.5 GPA and great scores, then someone with 2.0. Those good grades are worth 10s of thousands of dollars….make it happen both on the field and in the classroom!