G.P. Gromacki is a three-time National Champion – winning his first in 2011 and going back to back in 2017 and 2018. He has been the head coach at Amherst College for 12 years and won eight NESCAC Championships. In 2017 and 2018 he led the program to two perfect seasons going 33-0. Coach Gromacki is a two-time WBCA National Coach of the year, five-time D3Hoops.com New England Coach of the Year, and six-time NESCAC Coach of the Year.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer to a high school recruit who is looking to play at the next level?
Coach Gromacki: Do your research. Learn about the coach, team, and program, ask the questions: Are you a good fit for their team? Will you get playing time? In the end, find a college with the academic program you are looking for and how the education you receive will help you in the future. Playing basketball is great, but in the end, it is the academic value and what you learn that will benefit you in your career and help you later in life!
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer to college basketball athletes?
Coach Gromacki: Enjoy what you are doing. Remember your college years will go by fast. Learn as much as you can from your coach and peers… and it is more important to learn life skills and not just the fundamentals of basketball.
LRT Sports: What two characteristics do you look for in a recruit? How do you deal with athletes that have a high opinion of themselves?
Coach Gromacki: Players that compete and love the game. You need a high opinion of yourself but have to think of the team first… it is a team game!
LRT Sports: When do you think a good time for a basketball player looking to play at the D3 level should reach out to coaches to get on their radar, and how should they contact you?
Coach Gromacki: At the start of their junior year!
LRT Sports: What questions do you ask a recruit that can make or break your opinion on them, and if you will continue to pursue them?
Coach Gromacki: How honest they are with me in the recruiting process … do not feed me misinformation. Make sure their parents are not too involved.
LRT Sports: Being a coach at an academic high school, academics are very important but are there any other qualities you look for in student-athletes? What GPA/ACT/SAT do you look for when recruiting?
Coach Gromacki: I look for other qualities like hard work and honesty. Just need a good enough GPA to be accepted to a school and if they can handle the workload … it helps to have smart players on the floor!
LRT Sports: Do you have expectations for the first years that are different from the returners?
Coach Gromacki: Depends on the year. But sometimes I am shocked at how little the first-year players know about the game of basketball.
LRT Sports: Receiving so many highlight videos – do you have any advice on the do’s and don’ts?
Coach Gromacki: I prefer highlights and a full game… therefore I can see the outstanding plays a recruit makes as well as watching them play in a team setting and checking out how they defend.
LRT Sports: Is social media a factor in your recruiting process, and if so, what do you look for?
Coach Gromacki: It is becoming a more significant factor, but it doesn’t make or break the recruitment of an athlete at the moment.
LRT Sports: Being a top competitor at the D3 level, how do you approach recruiting top performers?
Coach Gromacki: We are always looking for players who can play at a higher level than D3, and hopefully they choose our school.
LRT Sports: What is one or two things that a recruit should not do on an official visit?
Coach Gromacki: Get in trouble, badmouth the team about individuals playing ability. Lie about who is recruiting them.
LRT Sports: What is the funniest way that a potential player marketed themselves to you?
Coach Gromacki: A player drove up from Maryland unannounced and tried to talk me into taking them and have me guarantee a spot on the team… I refused, and we never recruited her!
LRT Sports: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you on the court?
Coach Gromacki: I was distracted by a men’s basketball player asking me to use the backcourt to shoot, and a player on my team threw a pass without me knowing and it hit me in the head, it really hurt, but I never let anyone know, I think I received a concussion, I should up at practice the next day wearing a football helmet.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that someone offered to you as a coach?
Coach Gromacki: Worry about your current team and not next year’s team or the one’s after until the current season is over.
LRT Sports: Any fun rituals or superstitions you’ve carried along in your coaching career?
Coach Gromacki: No real superstitions, but we try to keep things the same.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.