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Questions About College Baseball Recruiting
Coach Brian Shoop
Birmingham Southern College
Another in our series of interviews with small college coaches. --
An interview with Coach Brian Shoop of Birmingham Southern College, Alabama. Coach Shoop has a reputation for teaching and producing excellent college baseball players and even more so for having outstanding people in his program
The 2001 season marks the 12th year with Brian Shoop at the
helm of the Birmingham-Southern baseball team. From the time he arrived on
campus, one of his main objectives was to return the Panthers to the prominence
they experienced in the late '70s and early '80s. After 11 seasons, Shoop has
certainly accomplished his goal.
Shoop's 11-year record stands at 455-200-1, and in the past decade the Panthers
have captured six regular season conference titles and seven conference
tournament championships. The Panthers have made eight regional appearances and
finished no worse than third with three runner-up finishes and three regional
championships. BSC has been ranked in the final NAIA poll in nine of Shoop's 11
years with seven top 10 rankings and three top five rankings, and 2000 marked
the program's seventh consecutive 40-win season.
Note: Birmingham Southern is currently making the transition to NCAA Division 1. They will make the change beginning next year and will play in the Big South Conference.
Question: Birmingham Southern is an NAIA affiliated school,
many of the folks that visit the High School Baseball Web assume
that the caliber of baseball played at an NAIA school is not as
good as that played at an NCAA Division 2 or 3 program. How do
respond to that?|
Answer: There are different levels of NAIA schools. The good ones,
in my opinion, are at the same level as the good DII schools --
which is the same level as the mid-level DI schools.
Question: BSC is a small school located in Alabama
yet your baseball program has produced many professional
players. How are you so successful in recruiting players to BSC?
Answer: BSC is the #1 liberal arts school in the south.
With the highest student profile in Alabama. We have a lot to
offer. Also players must play to develop into prospects
Question: Do NAIA baseball programs have the ability to
offer athletic scholarship money?|
Answer: Yes actually more than the DI's
DI = 11.7
DII = 10
NAIA = 12
Question: Do NAIA schools "blend" athletic and academic
scholarship monies together to create a package for the good
Answer: Yes - On a weighted scale depending
on ACT (or SAT), GPA and class rank
Question: How important is it for a high school player to
attend a college team's summer camp? |
Answer: A great way to evaluate both a school and a player
Question: When should a player write a letter of
introduction to a college coach? (i.e. after his 10th grade year, etc.)
Answer: 11th grade. Do not send a standard form letter.
Send a personal letter, with correct names and spellings
Question: Is it better to have the player's high school coach
send the first letter? Or does it make any difference?|
Answer: Yes -- High school coach, and not form letters
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: Minimal help
Question: Should a player or high school coach send
copies of clippings from local newspapers that relate
accomplishments of the player?|
Question: Are the "online" internet recruiting services
taken seriously by college coaches? Would you recommend them
to a high school player and his family?|
Question: Should a player send a videotape of himself
in baseball situations and games? Do college coaches review
Answer: We do review them
Question: If a tape is beneficial to you and your staff
what suggestions would you make to the player? Such as all
game situations? Some individual fielding and batting
situations? Pitchers in games only, or is throwing to a
catcher good also?|
Answer: Hitting -- batting practice & games /
Pitching -- games only
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 BSC attend any showcases?|
Answer: We attend selected showcases, but
there are so many that there is no way to attend
them all. It is not a big part of recruiting
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: It differs with each coach. It is very important to me
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 -- I like to see how a young man handles failure
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
Answer: Again every school is unique. At BSC we want:
Gifted academically (avg. 27 ACT)
Seeking a Christian college environment
A Division 1 player
Question: As the coach of a smaller school do you recruit
on a more regional scope than other larger schools?
Answer: We are primarily a southeast based team
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: I went to Malone College -- hardly a "Top 40"
program in the world's mind. There, I met my wife, committed my
life to Christ, played for an incredible coach who deeply impacted
my life (Bob Starcher), and made contact with Ron Polk. I wouldn't
trade my college experience for anything
Question: What other advice would you give to a high school
player that hopes to play baseball in college?|
Answer: Outwork, out hustle your competitor
You can contact Coach Shoop at:
Excel in the classroom
Honor God with your actions -- He in turn will honor you
Birmingham Southern College
900 Arkadelphia Road
Birmingham, Alabama 35254
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