Generic Email vs Recruiting Email from a College Coach

Do you know the difference between a generic email and recruiting email from a college coach? It’s okay if you don’t — not many athletes do.

College coaches (or their secretaries) send lots of emails each year, especially around certain recruiting dates. There is so many emails going out, that it’s truly difficult to understand which ones have important recruiting implications. Recruits often think they are getting actively recruited when they receive an email back from a college coach. However, most schools have an automated generic email response that gets sent out when someone emails them.

Sometimes the secretary for that sport is copying and pasting a generic email back to recruits, sometimes it is the automated response, and sometimes it is the college coach that sends the generic email.

So, how do you know if it is a generic email vs recruiting email? Below are a few examples of each.

Generic Emails

Dear Athlete,

Thank you for contacting Sample Athletics!

We were unable to match your email address to a known recruit in our system.

If you are a prospective student athlete, we ask that you please fill out our questionnaire so we can learn more about you and more efficiently respond to your inquiries.

Please note that we can only respond to prospective student athletes on a timetable in accordance with NCAA regulations.

If you are a coach, counselor, or parent, please encourage the prospect to fill out a questionnaire. If you are emailing about another topic, we will return your message as soon as possible.

If you need time-sensitive assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-555-1234

Thank you for your interest in Sample Athletics!

Head Coach John Smith

Dear Athlete,

Thank you for your interest in the Sample University! We can’t wait to help you explore all our possibilities and create your own unforgettable experience at Sample University.

Sample University is a vibrant and growing campus located in a thriving metropolitan community. With big-city opportunities and individual attention to your educational needs, Sample offers a unique learning environment with outstanding faculty, helpful staff, and a diverse student population. At Sample University, we have a variety of student activities and athletic events for you to immerse yourself in.

For an interactive experience where you can request Sample University materials, schedule a campus visit, schedule an open house, and apply for admission, visit US HERE.

Thanks again for your interest in Sample University! We look forward to recruiting you!

Head Coach John Smith

Dear Athlete,

Thank you for contacting the Sample University Men’s Basketball program. We are building a championship program here with people of character and determination. Our coaching staff would like to follow up. We ask that anyone interested in our program please go to the link below and fill out our recruiting questionnaire. Please be sure to include a link to some game film on the questionnaire as this is the only form of film we accept. Once the questionnaire is completed and evaluated by our staff, if there is interest we will be in touch.

Questionnaire – Click Here

We also recommend that anyone interested in our program look into attending our Individual Camp this summer. Information on our camps can be found at the link below. Our Individual Camp is a great opportunity to compete against top talent and to have our coaching staff evaluate you.

Camp Forms – Click Here

Thanks again for your interest!

Head Coach John Smith

Recruiting Email


Thank you for your interest in our program and University. You appear to be a very talented player. Please keep us updated and make sure to let us know your summer plans. We will continue to follow your progress on and off the court.

Please have your guidance counselor send over your transcripts. We can review it as a coaching staff along with your film. Which reminds me, please send 1 or 2 full game tapes to us too.

In addition, I wanted to make you aware of our Elite Camp on June 10th. This is limited to 60 prospects that we are tracking. Please let me know if you are interested in attending this.

All the best,
Head Coach John Smith

Thank you for reaching out to us. I reviewed your highlight tape and like your game. You are very athletic and fundamentally sound. I want to be sure and see you play during the evaluation periods. Can you please send me your schedule when you have it?

We are currently still working on our 2016 class, and depending how things finish with 2016 will determine our needs for 2017. We currently have you on the radar as a player to evaluate this year. Please keep me posted on your schedule, and send any new video that you have for us to review.

Good luck this spring and summer!

Head Coach John Smith

We wanted to bring up this topic for athletes to get a better understanding of the emails that get sent out from college coaches. Our Scouts hear from a lot of athletes or parents that “Sample University is recruiting me because they invited me to their camp.” or “Sample University has been contacting me back, and sent me some info about filling out recruiting questionnaires so they can continue to recruit me.”

A college coach will be serious about recruiting you if they respond with…

  1. The coach leaves his cell phone number in an email response. College coaches don’t give their cell phones out very often, especially in generic email response. Therefore, if you get a coach to leave his/her cell phone, then they are more serious about you.
  2. An invite to their Elite Camp where only a select few prospects are going to attend. Some elite camps are called “elite” but they are no different than a normal individual college camp. Make sure the Elite Camp is exactly that…elite!
  3. The coaches responds requesting more information from you: transcripts, test scores, game film, etc. This doesn’t mean you are top of their recruiting board, but they have to begin the recruiting process somewhere — gathering more data about a recruit is a good sign. A college coach doesn’t have to respond if they aren’t interested.
  4. The coach request your schedule — especially during the evaluation periods. Very rare will a coach offer a recruit from after a 2-minute highlight tape. A coach is making a big financial commitment when extending a scholarship, so you better believe they are going to want to see you play in-person and more than once, most likely.
  5. The response goes mobile. If a coach sees your cell phone number in your email signature and starts to text with you…you are a legit recruiting target. Again, coaches don’t want their cell phone number circulating out there, so if they initiate a text conversation (given it is at a legal time in the recruiting process) then they are interested in you.

The college recruiting process is difficult. There is so much information to try and understand and dissect. Reach out to a RecruitLook Scout near you to learn more about how RecruitLook can guide you through the process.

  • Share