I spend a lot of time discussing social media and its impacts on college recruiting. Social media is redefining the way colleges recruit. Unfortunately, it seems like 99 percent of social media and recruiting stories focus on the negative effects. I wanted to change things up and highlight a coach and a program that I think are doing an excellent job of using social media (in this case blogs) to make the recruiting process better for coaches and athletes.
Coach Matt Thurmond has been the head golf coach at the University of Washington since 2001 and has led the Huskies to eight NCAA championships in the last eleven years; they were only one stroke from making it last year. While one might not think of the Pacific Northwest as a hot spot for golf, Coach Thurmond and his program consistently pull some of the top junior golf talent in the country up north.
Coach Thurmond’s (not so) Secret Weapon
In my opinion, one of the Huskies’ secret weapons is the very public and excellent blog maintained by the team and the personal blog run by Coach Thurmond. Before Facebook and Twitter, there was blogging, and there is no single better way to let people get to know you online than by blogging.
The golf team’s blog oozes with personality, and any potential recruit who spends time reading the articles will get a sense right away if UW would be the right fit for them. These aren’t your stale updates about how the team finished in their tournaments or how former players are doing on tour. These are fun posts with a personality that would make any fun-loving junior golfer immediately want to play for the Huskies. It’s not the only college team blog out there, but it’s surely one of the best.
Ask a College Coach Anything on Coach Thurmond’s Blog
Coach Thurmond also runs a personal blog where he says, “Ask me anything.” He gives timely and straightforward answers to recruits, parents, and interested college golf fans alike. If you are a recruit interested in UW, this is a great opportunity to get your question answered by the coach. For Coach Thurmond, he gets to have his answers out there for other recruits who might be too shy to ask on their own.
Overall, this is one of the best uses of social media and blogging I’ve seen by a college program. Of course blogging and recruiting is not the only part to running a successful NCAA Division I golf team, but letting recruits know what to expect when coming to UW most certainly helps with getting new recruits comfortable right away. Great job, UW men’s golf team and Coach Thurmond, and good luck this spring!
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