Online directory has contact information for every coach in the country
Alex Kirk started collecting the information when he was a college coach, as a tool for his players.
Now, he wants to share that information with every basketball player, as well as every high school, club, and junior college coach.
Kirk, former men’s basketball coach at Clark College and high school coach, has started a website in hopes of offering contact information for college coaches.
For every college coach.
In the country.
Yes, all of them are at www.onlinecoachesdirectory.com
That would be contact information for 5,476 coaches in all divisions of NCAA, NAIA, and junior colleges.
With a press of a button or two, a high school basketball player — and his parents — can have email addresses for every single one of them. Phone numbers, too. Or perhaps a high school coach might be looking for the right fit for one of his players. This makes for a simple process.
Users can make smart searches, too.
Looking for Division III programs just on the West Coast? The site can do that. Or maybe the athlete wants to find a small program far from home. Tell the site to search for Division III programs in a certain region. Or a specific league.
Players who sign with Duke or Kentucky or the big names who go to Pac-12 schools, they do not really need help in the recruiting game. For the other 99.9 percent of basketball players, it can be tough getting a name and highlights to the right people.
Yes, there are recruiting services that claim to help, but Kirk said those can be expensive. His site, he says, in inexpensive, with prices as low as $50 for six months or $75 for a year.
For that, a basketball player can email any coach in the nation with a link to a highlight, a player biography, or academic record.
Plus, and this is a key distinction, Kirk says, the person who subscribes to his site gets to email the coaches directly, from his or her own email account. Often times, recruiting services email the college coaches for a client.
The database idea began when Kirk was coaching at Clark, when he realized how time consuming it was for him and his players to search out all the programs by going one-by-one to each school’s website. Coaches or athletes would have to manually put in each e-mail or write down each phone number.
When Kirk put all of this information on a spreadsheet, he noticed a change.
“All of a sudden, our guys were getting way more scholarship opportunities,” Kirk said.
He recalled one three-year period, Clark College had two-thirds of the players who went Division I from the Northwest Athletic Conference.
“Ultimately, it was the process of getting to people,” Kirk said.
Recruiting, after all, goes both ways for most athletes. Sure, the biggest names are being courted by the big-name coaches. But for others, it is just as important for players to recruit coaches.
Kirk, 33, has experience in recruiting at all levels. He was a high school player who did not get heavily recruited, and he has been a high school coach, a junior college coach, and a college assistant at the Division I level.
He remembered trying to find a college when he played for Prosser High School. Back then, the athlete had to find the contact information and then send highlights on a DVD, hoping the package would be delivered.
Years later, when he was at Clark, it hit him.
“I was shocked that there was no way (to do this), that the game hadn’t changed since I was in high school,” Kirk said. “Somebody should really do this.”
He knows of a few players who had one offer, then used his database and within a year, had dozens of offers. Granted, those players improved their basketball skills, Kirk noted, but they also did a better job of marketing themselves, of letting coaches know of their interest.
Kirk left Clark College in 2016. But the idea remained. Before launching his site, he discussed it with other coaches, with other former college players.
“When you were in high school, would you have used this?” Kirk asked. “The overwhelming response was, ‘This could have changed my life.’”
Paulo Giacomelli was one player who marketed himself the old-fashioned way and found himself a spot at Clark College playing for Kirk. Now living in California, Giacomelli is a web designer. He set up the site that is now the online coaches directory.
Another reason for the site is to help give the athlete and his family more power in the recruiting process rather than spending a lot of money for a recruiting service, Kirk said.
His site gives the basics for $50 or $75 but does offer player evaluation and recruiting tips for $200. That is about the top of the line for costs, though.
“We can build something, and it’s cost effective,” Kirk said. “We’re not breaking the bank on anybody. That was a move-the-needle moment.”
The site launched last month. For now, it is only men’s basketball. In the near future, Kirk wants women’s basketball, plus listing for other sports.
It is just the beginning, but Kirk believes the online coaches directory will make a difference. All college basketball players must show off their skills to get an offer. This directory, Kirk says, should help set up more meetings and opportunities.