Thought this might be helpful to some...
2024 had a college visit on MLK Day at a D3 he is interested in both academically and athletically, and it was his first campus visit to any college.
He has communicated with several of the coaches, including the HC, and he and the RC/PC met with him and another 2024 from another state after the “group” academic visit. As it turned out, the two kids played against each other a couple of years ago and hit it off pretty well.
The HC and the RC/PC are in their late 20’s and played together at a D3 in the same conference as the school they are at now, and were both assistants at the same D1 programs (MAC and MVC), so these two are pretty tight. This is their first year at this school.
2024 is interested in smaller schools with strong academics for undergrad, and, being in the Midwest, there is no shortage of schools that fit the bill, with many being D3 and having large rosters. Some of the concerns that I share with others regarding D3 programs are roster bloat and JV were addressed by the coaches.
After the academic portion of the visit, 2024 headed off to visit with the coaches, and we told him we’d meet him later by the main athletics building where we parked. After about 20 minutes, he came out and told us that the coaches wanted to meet with us and the other kid’s parents. OK, figured we’d shake hands and spend a couple of minutes chatting, thank them, and then head out. Nope. We were there for about 45 minutes in a conference room, with the coaches sharing their vision for the program, asking a lot of questions, answering questions, and it was really great!
The energy and enthusiasm they had for baseball, coaching, and the school, was expected, but still very much appreciated. It was how they engaged with the boys that was impressive, relating their respective journeys to college ball (one had zero HS or club coach support), finding their way on the field and the work it took to stay there.
Regarding roster size and JV, the HC stated emphatically:
There is ONE team. They will all practice and train together and have the same coaching staff. Players will move up-and-down between Varsity and JV as needed -- comparing it to the MLB and minors.
The current roster of 60+ will be reduced by at least 25 players in the next 2-3 years via natural attrition and graduation (not going to cut anyone that is putting in the work).
They made it very clear that the school does not have a mandate as to the number of players the ball team must have. The school has a strong balance sheet and strong enrollment (near capacity), having no debt and a solid, growing endowment (learned this earlier in the day).
Program will play a true JV schedule of 25-30 games. Last year they played 26 games vs 16 teams, with 2 being rained out in the Florida trip (JV played 7 games). Schedule is posted on the website.
Head Strength & Conditioning coach at the school had the same role in the minors for a couple of MLB organizations for many years, and, importantly, knows how to work with pitchers. Said that the D1 they came from had a S&C coach who knew nothing about working with pitchers and that they were wary of him.
They did share with the boys that they were ahead of the game in terms of D3 recruiting, and appreciated their getting after it. While they are focused on 2023’s, they stated that they do look at all emails with videos if they are not 2023s, they are simply put into a folder to be revisited, but encouraged them to tweet or email updates or any good videos, just don’t expect a reply anytime soon.
All in all, a really great experience!