CONNECTING STUDENT ATHLETES WITH COLLEGE COACHES
By | Special correspondent
Published: July 08, 2012
Everyone needs a hand from time to time.
Say you're a decent student-athlete, but still aren't getting the attention from colleges that have scholarships to pass out. Well, enter Chris Swezey, the founder of the New Port Richey-based STAR Recruiting Service he started in July 2010.
His company will make an athlete's highlight reel, then help him or her assemble a profile to help market them to specific college coaches or programs. It highlights their attributes as both an athlete and student in the hopes of getting clients playing at the next level.
"Anything that makes the recruit more attractive we'll highlight," Swezey said. "The concept is to get kids that may not be those studs that every college wants, but is a fairly good athlete with a great GPA and get them to the next level. It's a sell that I want to make happen for kids who deserve a chance."
The starter package starts at $700 and other amenities can be added, but usually once Swezey and the athlete can determine the perfect fit for a recruit, he'll enter the info into STAR's database and coaches can search by their criteria.
"We're realistic based on athletes and coaches," Swezey said. "I can't take a kid and put him on a (Division I) roster, but most kids are realistic about what type of athlete they are. There are some that are waiting around for that mysterious DI offer and it's just not going to happen."
Swezey has already had many success stories, including Pasco girls golfer Kellianne May, who is going to Seminole State; Zephyrhills girls tennis player Sarah Vande Berg, who is attending South Carolina Upstate; Ridgewood track and field athlete Karissa Bertling, who just completed her freshman year at East Tennessee State, and Gulf swimmer Hunter Swartsel, who signed with Florida Atlantic.
Swezey also points out that being proactive with your profile is beneficial, as Vande Berg did. She followed up with many coaches who viewed her profile and the persistence paid off.
"I call her my poster child because she realized that just because they see your film they may not be falling all over you," Swezey said. "Many of the non-revenue sports don't have the recruiting budgets as do DII or DIII schools. Ideally, it's about finding a good fit for a student-athlete, but they, sometimes, have to go out and find that scholarship."
STAR passed the $2-million mark in scholarships/awards for recruits since beginning less than two years ago, and Swezey hopes to double that with a large 2013 class. He adds STAR has helped place an athlete at every collegiate level, with average scholarship at about $30,000. He does add that's mostly based on academics over athletics, thus far, but that's the whole point of the help.
"Most want someone with great grades who can play at the next level," Swezey said. "It's up to the coach, but they just have to be marketed the right way. Perhaps it's a kid you never read about, but if we help, then they're getting their degree at the end of the day."
For more information, go to www.starrecruitingservice.com.