Will Randolph graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 and was a four-year letter winner for the Tar Heels. The assistant fencing coach at UNC. handles the team’s operations and will focus on the men’s and women’s sabre squads.
Coach Randolph is no stranger to fencing; he began his career the Kansas City Fencing Center at the age of ten. The political science major worked diligently in the classroom and in the piste. He reached the NCAA Championships his freshman year and eventually became a three-time sabre captain at UNC.
He was awarded the Richard A. Baddour Carolina Leadership Academy’s Leader of Distinction Award not once, but twice.
LRT Sports: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
The most important quality in a recruit is their character. We want people who will add to the team’s culture in a positive way.
LRT Sports: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?
The best way for a recruit to get on our radar is to get in touch with us. If they start showing an interest in our program, we’re going to be more interested in them.
LRT Sports: When should an athlete contact you, what is the best way?
An athlete should contact us after the start of their Junior year in high school. Typically email is the easiest.
LRT Sports: What are your expectations for incoming fencers in the classroom, in the weight room and on the strip?
Our fencers need to be top academic performers in the classroom. You can’t stay eligible at Carolina if you’re not ready for the academics. On top of that, we want our athletes to have as many choices as possible when they graduate, so we make sure their academics shine. In practice and in the weight room, we want our students to have a desire to be the hardest workers every single day.
LRT Sports: What are the do’s and don’ts when being recruited?
The best thing you can do as a recruit is contact us yourself and be honest with us.
LRT Sports: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?
You need to find a place that fits you best. If you go somewhere that you aren’t fully invested in every part of that school, it is going to be hard for you.
LRT Sports: What advice do you have for recruits that get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they want?
If you get turned down by your dream school, you still need to find the best fit. Your dream school wasn’t necessarily the best fit and it’s not always going to work out with your top choice. Teams can only carry a certain number of fencers in each weapon so maybe you just got caught by numbers. Find the next best place that can help you be a successful person.
LRT Sports: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?
Social media is not a huge factor for us in recruiting. It’s hard to find extra information on fencers, so we will sometimes look at their pages when we’re trying to get to know who they are. If we see a private page, we have no problems. If we see stupid stuff that makes you look like you’re going to create issues with our team culture, you’re probably not going to get a lot of attention from us.
Edited by Caroline Kurdej
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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.
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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.