Sean Coffey took the reins as head coach ahead of the 2016-17 season. He has led the Pioneers to a 59-45 overall record and a 38-24 mark in the Empire 8. This helped earn the berths into the Empire 8 Conference Tournament in three (2017, 2018, and 2020) of his first four seasons at the helm. Coffey is the first Utica College head basketball coach in over a decade to have winning seasons in each of the last three years.
The 2019-20 regular-season highlights:
LRT Sports: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
Talent, Drive, Lack of moodiness (inefficient and selfish)
LRT Sports: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?
Contact us. Show genuine interest in what we’re doing at Utica College. We can tell when you’ve sent a mass email to several coaches. What events will you be involved in? Perform well. We’re typically interested in those who fit UC and are interested in us.
LRT Sports: When should an athlete contact you? What is the best way? (age, grade, time of year, email, phone, or other)
Mid-junior year to early senior year. Email works well. Phone calls can go a long way too. This means you’re taking the time to contact us at that moment.
LRT Sports: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the court?
We have a wide range of student-athletes from very different academic, athletic and cultural backgrounds (inner-city/rural). We want them to have an inner drive toward constant improvement in all areas. We will mold and direct that drive with technique and coaching as they get deeper into our program. But, they must be ready to provide effort and have a willingness to learn and be coached. Also, everyone thinks they have worked really hard prior to college until they show up to college. It will be a culture shock, and you will be pushed to and through limits that you never fathomed. The better you understand, accept, and attack that, the better you will come out and the less discouraged you may become.
LRT Sports: What are the dos and don’ts of being recruited?
Do stay in contact, provide updates, visit schools early (before senior season begins), keep communication lines open, be honest (especially when you feel the college/program is not a fit for you) Do not Ignore coaches, be dishonest (leading coaches on), burn bridges (it will follow you).
LRT Sports: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?
Keep options open. Unless you’re a sure D1 prospect with several scholarship offers to receive a free education at institutions that offer the area of study you’re looking for, be open to all levels. Look for the best fit academically, athletically, socially, financially. Don’t knock a level (D3 stinks…) when you’ve never seen a game/competition at that level.
LRT Sports: What really jumps out to you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?
Versatility. Score from multiple areas, guard multiple areas, positions, body types. Positive body language and a great teammate.
LRT Sports: What are the main dos and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?
Do not have songs with profanity, have only leak out layups/all transition plays (we need players who can play in the half-court against a set defense), multiple drawn-out free-throws. Do have scoring from your strength areas, defensive ability, rebounding/physicality. Do not paint a picture of the type of player that you are not with highlights.
LRT Sports: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels? Is it best to make their highlight reel during the offseason, in the middle of the season, or after each game?
LRT Sports: What advice do you have for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?
Be accepting and excited to play for the schools that value you.
LRT Sports: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?
Avoid it if possible. We’ve cut communication with prospects over poor use of language and attitude posted on their social media. Learn to live life without it. There was a time when it did not exist.
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.