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Questions About Junior Colleges

Coach Vallis McLean
Allen County Community College
Iola, Kansas

Coach McLean is now in his 23rd season at ACCC. His teams have compiled a 774-369 win-loss record. His teams have won seven Jayhawk Conference championships, eight Eastern Region VI championships, and have made two appearances in the NJCAA World Series. His programs have produced 6 All-Americans, 47 All Region VI selections, and 63 Draft picks.


Question: Allen County is an NJCAA affiliated school, many of the folks that visit the High School Baseball Web assume that the caliber of baseball played at an NJCAA school is not as good as that played at an NCAA Division 2 or 3 program. How do respond to that?

Answer: Over the last 22 years 60% to 70% of our players have signed with a D-1 school. We have also had 63 players drafted.

Question: Do NJCAA baseball programs have the ability to offer athletic scholarship money?

Answer: Yes -- In our conference we can offer books and tuition

Question: Do NJCAA schools "blend" athletic and academic scholarship monies together to create a package for the good academic athlete?

Answer: Yes -- In our conference a student-athlete can get extra academic money if his grade point average is over 3.5

Question: How important is it for a high school player to attend a college team's summer camp?

Answer: It's very helpful to improve skills and get to be seen.

Question: When should a player write a letter of introduction to a college coach? (i.e. after his 10th grade year, etc.)

Answer: I really don't know if this is that helpful at all -- for us.

Question: Is it better to have the player's high school coach send the first letter? Or does it make any difference?

Answer: Doesn't matter

Question: Do sending copies of a players high school / summer team statistics help? Are they of value to you - when received with an introductory letter?

Answer: Somewhat, but we only scout what we see, not what is in the paper.

Question: Should a player or high school coach send copies of clippings from local newspapers that relate accomplishments of the player?

Answer: No

Question: Are the "online" internet recruiting services taken seriously by college coaches? Would you recommend them to a high school player and his family?

Answer: No

Question: Should a player send a videotape of himself in baseball situations and games? Do junior college coaches review unsolicited tapes?

Answer: Seldom

Question: With the increasing number of high school talent showcases in recent years how important is it for a player to attend this type of event? Do you and/or the coaching staff at St. Catharine's attend any showcases?

Answer: Showcases are good. If they charge kids a lot of money we don't attend

Question: How important is a player's physical appearance? I do not mean is he 6'-1" tall and weighs 205 lbs. What I am referring to is tattoos, body piercings, odd hairstyles, manner of dress etc. Are any or all of these items a "negative" when a college coach sees a prospective player?

Answer: These are all negatives

Question: If a player has a bad day when a college coach is in the stands watching him for the first time. Does that mean that it is "over" as far as that school is concerned?

Answer: No. We look for tools

Question: How important is a player's "attitude appearance" when in a game or at practice?

Answer: Very Important

Question: As the head coach of a smaller college what are the major differences in recruiting when compared to the "major" schools?

Answer: We have to work harder and cover more territory

Question: As the coach of a smaller school do you recruit on a more regional scope than other larger schools?

Answer: Our philosophy is to try to stay within a 5 hour radius

Question: So many high school players have the attitude that if they do not play college baseball at one of the D1 top 40 programs they have failed. What advice can you offer a high school player regarding the "big school" stigma?

Answer: Juco's offer experience, development and exposure. We have players in our program that turn down D-1 offers to refine their skills and increase their options

Question: What other advice would you give to a high school player that hopes to play baseball in college ?

Answer: Do everything to improve:
bullet The physical tools
bullet Attitude
bullet Skills
bulletKnowledge of the game

Coach Vallis McLean
Head Baseball Coach
Allen County Community College


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Revised February 09, 2003 .