Stephen Trinkwald

Equinox Staff


For high school athletes searching for the right school, some students fit in with the school, while others are just fish out of water.

As high school athletes consider prospective schools, an overnight visit can give great insight to daily life at a college. For a coach, sometimes that overnight visit gives you all you need to know about a recruit.

Women’s volleyball coach Bob Weiner said he likes to give recruits a perspective on everyday life while attending Keene State College.

“What the overnight trip is supposed to do is to represent what college is going to really be like,” Weiner said.

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Weiner said he prefers students to come stay the night on Fridays to give students a chance to experience KSC in the classroom and in the gym.

“I like to have the recruit sit in on a class, just to see that it’s not, if they were worried about it, it’s not what they think it is. Friday afternoons in the off-season we play pick-up ball. So it’s an opportunity for the girls to play with the current team,” Weiner said.

Weiner said the visit also gives the recruit a better understanding of KSC socially, and vice versa.

“My kids are going out, they’re going out and doing what college students do, but how do they represent the kids and the college? Are they idiots, or are they actually respectful and student-athletes? But in the same way, if a kid is an idiot, I need to know,” Weiner explained.

Weiner said he uses overnight visits to get a better idea of what kind of person the recruit is outside of the gym.

“Women are specific about saying ‘We don’t like her’ after a visit. My team will come back and go ‘This is not our type of girl; I think she’s not going to fit here.’ And that’s what a good team does. That’s part of what the visit is,” Weiner said.

Weiner said issues during an overnight raise an immediate red flag.

“Kids who have come with the idea that ‘I’m going to get drunk on my college visit,’ that’s a problem, because they’re going to be embarrassed, and someone has to take care of them, which should be no one’s job,” Weiner said.

KSC men’s basketball coach Rob Colbert mirrored these sentiments.

“If it’s a violation of federal, state or city law obviously we would have serious concerns about recruiting that student athlete. I can’t put a blanket on all the potential offenses, but if it were a violent offense I would probably cease recruiting that student,” Colbert said.

While Colbert said an overnight visit can be constructive, he said it can go the other way as well.

“There are some hazards that go along with that, and I don’t think I need to go on with some of the things that can happen on a college campus, on any college campus for that matter. So there are some definite land mines that we try to stay away from, whether it is parties or alcohol. One of the things I tell the kids right before I hand them off to their host is ‘If anything happens that you’re not comfortable with here’s my home number. Call me right away,’” Colbert said.

Weiner said that talent doesn’t put to rest concerns when it comes to a recruit.

“There are kids who are problems waiting to happen. I’ve got enough to do in my day where I can’t. Volleyball is supposed to be a privilege that you get to play if you are a good student and a good person. I can find other ways to win,” Weiner said.

The beginning of overnight visits will vary from month to month, but for Weiner he said he’ll be getting one as soon as this weekend. Though he may get a stray visit or two early on this year, he said the busy season will be later on in the school year.

“We tend to think as November and December as our busy period, the first round. Then there are a couple kids who hold out for the early DI offers. When they realize DI’s aren’t knocking, we get a second group in February and March,” Weiner said.

Colbert said he wants his team to be finely tuned and in mid-season form when he gets his first wave of recruits.

“We try to wait until a week or two into the season, practice has really started so we don’t look really sloppy in practice and the kids get a chance to practice and/or play,” Colbert said.

Colbert and Weiner both agreed they focus heavily recruiting out of state, and Athletic Director John Ratliff said the results have backed that up.

“What’s interesting is about 75 percent of our students are from outside of New Hampshire,” Ratliff said.

Though coaches may try to reach out as far as they can, Ratliff said finding student-athletes at KSC from outside the New England region is somewhat of a rarity.


Stephen Trinkwald can be contacted



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