With the position coaches and coordinators all out recruiting, Jason Cvercko (UH’s Director of Recruiting and Operations) revealed bits of his laundry list of duties at today’s Nā Koa Coach’s Lunch at Willows.
Cvercko began as a Recruiting Coordinator when Head Coach Nick Rolovich wooed him over from the University of Nevada Reno but added Operations to his title when Jimmy Morimoto took the assistant athletic director job at Montana.
A host of Graduate Assistants and Interns joined Cverko at the luncheon who stated “We pay them next to nothing; that’s why they are here (having lunch). These are the people who make the team go…they do the film breakdowns and are three weeks ahead of the coaches in game preparations.”
Cvercko explained the three critical numbers for NCAA recruiting: 85 total scholarships; 25 as the initial limit to fill; and 25 is the signing class limit. Gray shirts are players who come in January and are counted on the following year’s scholarship count and Blue shirts are non-recruited walk-ons with no visits and who come in on the first day and get a scholarship counted for the following year.
In the recruiting process you must project your needs based on graduation, attrition, and weaknesses. There are many venues to find players these days through electronic services, YouTube, etc. Hawai’i coaches also see who is following who on Twitter to get ideas. Then there is the tried and true method of talking to high school coaches about their players and others they might know.
During film/video evaluations, Hawai’i’s whole staff is involved so everyone has a say on prospects. Even a prospect’s player host gives an opinion to try and make sure a prospect is a good fit.
This year the Warriors are looking for grad transfers who can play right away. A team can conduct 56 official visits and can carry over some of them. Hawai’i covers a prospect’s airfare, hotel, meals, and one parent’s airfare and hotel. The NCAA allowed coverage of a parent starting last month.
During an unofficial visit nothing can be provided to the prospect and you can show that person around within one mile of the campus; so no looks at Aloha Stadium.
Special attention is given to certain categories: understand the culture in Hawa’ii; good character; tough; competitive; and love football! Even positions have characteristics to note. An offensive lineman’s preferred characteristics are: 6′ 2″; can bend at the knees; good arm length; football intelligence; ability to change direction; and runs well.
Of course, the prospect must be able to enroll in the University of Hawaii. NCAA standards require a 2.8 GPA, 1020 SAT score; have 10 units of Math, English, and Science in seven semesters, etc.
And problems can multiply when it comes to international students with class qualification issues. UH is in the top third of the conference in entrance requirements so they have to be serious about their education.
The Warrior staff visits every Hawa’ii high school on the first allowable day in the Spring and the first day in the Fall. Each high school coach and prospect is invited to all the home games.
And if you thought coordinating recruiting was a big job, the “Operations” part of Cvercko’s job includes team travel. Hawai’i travels with 112 people including 70 players. There are innumerable travel details from housing to food to practices.
The players’ days are full and Cvercko and his team are charged with filling them. The team eats every five hours, goes through football mental checks with coaches, and academic checks with the advisor.
Since coming to Hawai’i with Rolo, Cvercko has gotten married and started a family. Although his initial aspiration of becoming an NFL Scout is on hold, he does serve as Hawai’i’s Pro liaison . . . among a hundred other things.
Written by Gareth Sakakida