Recruiting Insight: Head Coach Dan Sharbaugh of Centre College

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Dan Sharbaugh comes to Centre from Gettysburg where served as the team’s offensive coordinator while handling recruiting, scouting, film breakdown, and overseeing academic programs. Sharbaugh also held coaching positions at York College and Eastern University, where he was also a four-year starter and two-year team captain during his playing career.

What advice do you have for players interested in playing DIII lacrosse?

Just do your research because there are so many schools out there. My first thought after considering the coaching job here at Centre was the location. I couldn’t have predicted I would live and coach in Kentucky. Ultimately, it’s about fit and how you feel when you visit a school. You just have to give each school an honest chance when weighing your options.

What’s a question you wished players asked you more during the recruiting process?

Ask about a coach’s philosophy or his brand of lacrosse. This type of question helps you understand the system and how the program works. Players need to look past the scheduling and not focus so much on records from previous seasons. A midfielder who thrives in transition won’t do as well in a slow, patient offense, for example. When a player understands the X’s and O’s of a program they get a sense for how well they will fit in with the program.

What indications help you determine if a good high school player will be a great college player?

When I meet with recruits I tend to talk a lot about the commitment level. I emphasize our team’s commitment to lifting, running, practice etc. I can generally gauge a recruit’s level of commitment by their body language and how they carry themselves throughout our conversation.

Other indications of a quality recruit such as stick skills are more obvious to assess.

What’s special about being a student-athlete at Centre?

The kind of kids that are attracted to Centre are pretty driven individuals. We have tough admissions standards. In addition to the classroom these guys are committing to play a college sport. These kids are driven in multiple aspects of life. They really don’t plan on going to the MLL and know they need to focus on a career outside of lacrosse as well.

How has the accelerated recruiting process impacted your approach to recruiting?

It’s a challenge right now because I just got to Centre in August. The accelerated process is nice for DIII overall because coaches can recruit the late bloomers who missed out on committing early to DI schools.

Can you tell us about your experience going through the recruiting process? What mishaps or challenges did you face and how did you deal with them?

I looked at a bunch of schools and targeted the ones where I really gelled with the coach. Honesty was big for me. There are the coaches who stroke recruits’ egos and don’t necessarily give the full picture. The transition from high school to college runs smoothly when a coaching staff can be honest with a recruit and set real expectations about life in the classroom and on the field.

Great, thanks Coach Sharbaugh. Any final thoughts?

Make the decision that’s best for you, when it’s best for you. So if a coach tells you they need an answer by the end of the week, but you don’t feel comfortable making the decision until the following week then just take your time. Choose the school you really enjoy. Chances are you have a good shot at walking on to the team if the coach already recruited you.

ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Centre College or Dan Sharbaugh.

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