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October 28, 2013
Recruiting: The Foundation on which to Build a Program
This week, we'll be shifting gears a bit in terms of what we talk about. We've gone over the philosophical approach of our program and learned what Coach Chris Casey is looking for in his players. In this issue, we're focusing on recruiting -- what goes into it, where we're looking for players, and who is responsible for heading up these efforts.
As you might guess, the majority of our prospective players come from the Northwest. In fact, of the 73 student-athletes we have out so far, 52 are from Oregon. We have another 12 from Washington and seven from California. The majority of our guys are from up and down the I-5 corridor, but there are exceptions. For instance, we have one player from Alaska and another from Georgia.
The coach responsible for coordinating our recruiting efforts is John Bates. John is also our defensive coordinator, but these days he's often on the road watching Friday night high school games. He and the rest of the staff will be even more busy doing so in the next few weeks as the playoffs begin.
We have been bringing prospective student athletes on campus all summer and fall. Once the high school season is over, John and the rest of the staff will be out to visit with the top Oregon and Washington players, while visiting and gathering information from their high school coaches.
Basically, John's job is to do all the administrative duties in regards to football recruiting and also recruit a geographical area. He collects prospective recruits' names from high school coaches, recruiting services, George Fox alumni, faculty and staff, and directs these students to the proper coach. He also helps gather and distribute information to and from admissions, sets up all campus visits for each football recruit, and works closely with our marketing and communications department to come up with new and innovative ways to get football information out to prospective recruits.
What is John looking for? Outstanding football players who are going to make an impact in our program and will want to be at George Fox for four years. "Developing and cultivating relationships with the young men we recruit is paramount for our success as a football program both on and off the field," he says. "We want our incoming players to understand that it will be a tremendous experience, but it will take a huge commitment to be a really good football player in the Northwest Conference, to excel in the classroom, and to be involved in the Fox community."
Picture: Coach John Bates at a practice this fall.
Get to Know the Coach: John Bates
We're starting a new feature this week: "Get to Know the Coach." Enjoy.
John Bates was the second full-time hire for the program (after coach Casey). He was Chris' defensive coordinator at Aloha since 2011, and before that he was the defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Nebraska Wesleyan University from 2004 to 2010. What you may not know is that, during his tenure, NWU was consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally in multiple defensive statistical categories, peaking at No. 2 in scoring defense in 2008 (11.2 points per game).
Following is John's take on defense ...
"We are looking for young men who will play in a team concept, fly to the football, and be very physical. We feel the single most important aspect to successful defensive football is tackling. We will be an excellent tackling football team and fundamentally sound with scheme and technique. Our fans will be very proud of the way our defense will play. We'll play with high passion and desire and concentrate on putting our guys in position to take away what the opponent does best."
John also has some international coaching experience. In the early 2000s, he coached at Western Oregon University in the fall and in Austria with the Chrysler Vienna Vikings in the spring. He was the defensive line coach at WOU and served as defensive coordinator in Vienna.
John graduated from Whitworth University in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. He was an assistant on the 2001 Whitworth team that won the Northwest Conference and made the NCAA Division III playoffs -- the Pirates' first postseason appearance in 25 years. He completed a master of education degree in secondary education from Whitworth in 2006.
John is married to Dana, a health and human performance professor at George Fox who serves as the director of the athletic training program. They live in Carlton, Ore., and have two children: Ryan (8) and Alexandra (4).
Here is the latest report regarding construction of Stoffer Family Stadium and the Duke Athletic Center: Crews placed the press boxes today, so the stadium can now be completed. Roofing continues on the upper roof, and we are now dry on both roofs on the Duke Athletic Center. We still have some walk mats to install.
The interior mechanical, electrical and plumbing work continues. We will start rocking walls in early November and start pouring sidewalks at the site at the end of next month. Window frames will start going in tomorrow and will be complete by Friday, with glass about a week behind that.
The good news is, we've successfully raised about 80 percent of what we need to complete the project. We still have some work to do, though, so please consider donating to Stoffer Family Stadium, even if it's a small amount. Thanks for your part in making the return of football to George Fox possible!
Picture: The first of three press boxes (center) was put in place Monday afternoon.