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February 13, 2018

University of West Florida Football Coach Pete Shinnick Offers Recruiting Advice

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University of West Florida Football Head Coach, Pete Shinnick, is the first head football coach in the program’s history in 2016, with a collegiate coaching career of more than 25 years of experience, making an appearance in the championship game this past season.

Before coaching at UWF, Shinnick was a head coach at UNC Pembroke where he started the program. He coached for seven years finishing with a record of 50-24 (a .676 winning percentage) and led the team to be ranked at number 8 in the American Football Coaches Association national poll.

Shinnick was the head coach at Azusa Pacific where he had a record of 53-22 (a .707 winning percentage) and led the team to five total appearances in the NAIA playoffs, including an appearance in the semifinals, setting a total of 77 school records.

Before getting his first head coaching position, Shinnick coached as an assistant coach at Richmond University, the University of Arkansas, Clemson University, Oregon State University, Northern Michigan University, St. Cloud State University, and Humboldt State University.

LRT Sports: When should an athlete contact you, and what is the best way?

Coach Shinnick: Email at anything. Send highlight tape and stats.

LRT Sports: Where do you look for your football recruits? (highlight tapes, showcases, camps or other)

Coach Shinnick: Our camp is our first place. Highlights are second.

LRT Sports: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?

Coach Shinnick: The type of person and student they are.

LRT Sports: What are the do’s and don’ts when being recruited?

Coach Shinnick: #1 don’t is don’t limit your options.

LRT Sports: What advice would you offer a recruit who is looking to play football at the University of Western Florida?

Coach Shinnick: Work as hard in the classroom as you do on the field.

LRT Sports: Given the fact that this was your first year recruiting for the UWF football program, how did you draw in potential athletes?

Coach Shinnick: This is our third recruiting class. This is the first year we played a season. Having played it made it a lot easier to sell our program.

LRT Sports: What really jumps out at you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?

Coach Shinnick: Athletic movement and speed.

LRT Sports: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?

Do: Variety of clips showing your athletic ability.

Don’t:  Repeating the same play over or in slow motion.

LRT Sports: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels? Is it best to make their highlight reel during offseason, in the middle of season, or after each game?

Coach Shinnick: We want to see Junior year film. We want to see a mid-season and postseason highlight video.

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 desire?

Coach Shinnick: There are a lot of schools that play football. Is your dream to play football? Not everyone can play D1 football but there are still a lot of great opportunities out there.

LRT Sports: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?

Coach Shinnick: Social media is a big factor. We stop recruiting guys because their social media is inappropriate. Be smart in what you post.