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June 11, 2014 / FieldLevel

“FieldLevel, the Social Network Re-Defining College Football Recruiting” via SportTechie

Via SportTechie on June 10th, 2014 FieldLevel, the Social Network Re-Defining College Football Recruiting

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On April 22, 2014, Anthony Romualdo accepted a scholarship to play football nearly 2,000 miles away at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Romualdo is a 6’1” offensive lineman from Los Angeles and had never even heard of Waldorf College prior to April 8th. But thanks to FieldLevel, a social network recently launched for football recruiting, he became a scholarship athlete after a mere two weeks.

Since the February launch, nearly 500 college football teams have joined FieldLevel to streamline their recruiting efforts, equating to over 50% of all college football programs in the US. Active teams include all levels of collegiate play, ranging from small junior colleges to powerhouses in conferences like the SEC, BIG10, PAC12, and ACC.

“This is exactly what college football recruiting has needed,” exclaimed Ventura College head football coach Steve Mooshagian, one of the first coaches to join FieldLevel. A veteran college coach, Mooshagian is no stranger to football recruiting and has even coached in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.

FieldLevel is a social network for discovering athletic talent, akin to LinkedIn, but its structure makes it unique. First, it’s private. Profiles are only visible to other active users. Second, not just anyone can join. Coaches are verified before they can gain access, and athletes can join only after they’ve been invited by a verified coach. Once on, college coaches can network with high school coaches across the country. They can also filter for prospective athletes that match their specific needs and review comprehensive profiles which include video highlights and transcripts.

“As Facebook showed in overcoming MySpace, the key to social networks is incorporating the right ‘social rules,’ like who can contact whom and how they can interact with each other. FieldLevel brings the offline recruiting rules online, so it’s authentic while also enabling users to leverage the power of technology,” says FieldLevel’s CEO, Brenton Sullivan, “With the right rules in place, FieldLevel simultaneously helps college coaches, high school coaches, and prospective student-athletes.”

As a company, FieldLevel has been around for several years but only recently expanded into college football. After NCAA sanctions were imposed on USC in 2010, FieldLevel was hired by USC’s Athletics Department as the primary software provider for all recruiting and NCAA compliance. This allowed the  FieldLevel team to see firsthand how technologies like Facebook and Twitter were helpful in recruiting but also how they were severely missing the mark.

The problem was that existing social networks weren’t designed for sports recruiting and were only being used by default. For example, if a college coach searched for “defensive lineman” on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, it didn’t help him identify a potential recruit, and many college coaches who used those networks were bombarded by fans and overzealous parents. College and high school coaches needed their own private social network to connect with each other, better ensuring that worthy prospects were discovered by the right colleges.

With college coaches as its focus, FieldLevel first launched a private social network for baseball in 2011. Within a couple of months, it was recognized as a leading innovation by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Today, over 90% of all college baseball teams and a slew of MLB teams use FieldLevel, allowing teams to overcome time and budgetary constraints while creating playing opportunities for athletes. It has facilitated more than 2 million connections between coaches and even enabled an NCAA DI school in Arkansas to recruit a player from the Netherlands.

The results in football have been even more instantaneous. “Immediately after taking my new position at the University of Northern Colorado, I was able to connect with the junior colleges and high schools in California and learn about their players” said Larry Kerr, a 35-year college coaching veteran with stops at UCLA, Stanford, and Colorado State.

Aided by FieldLevel’s launch in football, Anthony Romualdo is on his way to a new football future and most importantly continuing his education. And each day, FieldLevel is creating similar opportunities for coaches and athletes alike. Romualdo said, “When my coach first invited me to join, I didn’t know what to think of FieldLevel, but then I started hearing from college coaches across the country. I’ve told my teammates to take it very seriously.”

Romualdo

 

June 2, 2014 / FieldLevel

FieldLevel Coach Interview Series: Nicholas Derba (University of Maine)

Coach Nick Derba

 

 

Name: Nick Derba

School: University of Maine

Position: Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

 

 

Where did you grow up and what is your playing background?

I grew up in College Point, a town in Queens, New York. I played at Archbishop Molloy High School (Briarwood, NY), then Manhattan College (Riverdale, NY), and then six seasons with St. Louis Cardinals. I played two and a half seasons in Triple A with the Memphis Redbirds mainly as a catcher. I also played three summers in the Cape Cod Baseball League all with the Chatham Athletics.

What made you want to become a coach?

During my final season with Memphis I found myself working with players rather than competing against them. Even though playing in the Big Leagues was something that I wanted, I didn’t feel that I was meant to do so. Teaching the game of baseball was something I always enjoyed and as my playing career began to end, I became more involved in the teaching side.

After several offers to attend Spring Training, I decided that a career in coaching was where I needed to be. To have the chance to help young men get better at something they love, while helping develop them into contributing members of society is more fulfilling to me than to have reached the Big Leagues as a player. I can remember my high school and college coaches and I only hope to be as good of a mentor and teacher as they were for me.

Who has been your biggest mentor and what is the most important thing you’ve learned?

My parents, Jack Curran and John Schiffner are/were the most important mentors in my life. They were teachers and always instilled some basic ethics such as hard work, perseverance and altruism. They truly cared about the players/students that they had. Their life’s work was dedicated to helping the youth to reach their personal goals and in many cases surpass them. They are legends for this very reason. They are admired by many and loved by most. My wife is a major inspiration for me at this point. She, of all people, has shown me the true meaning of chasing a goal and never looking back.

Who is one of your current or previous players that you’re most proud of helping improve and how did you do it?

Through my limited coaching experience I only have a few players that I can draw from. Connor Joe of the University of San Diego would have to be my #1 at this point. I had the privilege of coaching him during the summer of 2013 where he came in as a raw 3B that was starting to catch. Connor developed throughout the summer and will most likely be among the best catchers in the country this year. I gave Connor the information that he needed and with all of my players I give them my time. I am available for any player at any time. I firmly believe that coaching, like catching, is a selfless job. My desire to learn allows me to teach. I make it known to all of my players that I am willing to work as much as they want to. So to answer the question, I taught.

 
Other players who I like to believe I’ve helped were during my playing days. Trevor Rosenthal, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller and Mikael Cleto are a few notable names that I have been lucky enough to catch and work with. Bryan Anderson, catcher in the Angels organization, is another player that I was lucky enough to play with and help with catching. As for the hitting side, I was always in conversations with Matt Adams and Mark Hamilton and many others. They helped mold my view points on hitting approaches and have allowed me to grow as a coach.

What helps you determine a prospect’s character, work ethic, and competitiveness?

From the second I get to the field I am judging a player’s worth ethic and character. The athletic side is easy to see. It is literally in front of you for the whole world to see. The number one thing I want to see is if the player is having fun. If you like what you do you will go to any end to get better. If you enjoy what you do competing and working hard merely come with the territory.

How long have you been on FieldLevel and why did you join?

I have been on FieldLevel for two years. I joined because it allows me to get a closer look at the players than on any website I have seen. They are great with technical support and are open to suggestions. Their business model puts getting players in the right place first. It is a much easier way for coaches to get in touch with other coaches nationwide.

June 2, 2014 / FieldLevel

Top 20 Trending Travel Baseball Teams

20 Trending Travel Baseball Teams On FieldLevel

Top trending travel programs based on college coach network connections as well as ratings from college coaches regarding roster completeness, player assessment, projection accuracy, etc.

FieldLevel FieldLevel Intelligence
1

Evoshield Canes

Fredericksburg, VA

Coach: Dan Gitzen

Evoshield Canes
2

Houston Banditos

Houston, TX

Coach: Ray Deleon

Houston Banditos
3

Dallas Mustangs

Dallas, TX

Coach: Ralph Ross

Dallas Mustangs
4

Midland Tomahawks

Cincinnati, OH

Coach: Brian Carney

Midland Tomahawks
5

Illinois Indians

Chicago, IL

Coach: Nelson Gord

Illinois-Indians-logo-80px
6

ABD Academy

Southern California

Coach: Keith Harwood

ABD Academy
7

Colorado Baseball Academy

Colorado Springs, CO

Coach: Steve Lockett

Colorado Baseball Academy
8

Houston Hurricanes

Houston, TX

Coach: Aaron Puffer

Houston Hurricances
9

PFA

Upland, CA

Coach: Dave Coggin

Performance Fitness for Athletes
10

Midwest Prospects

Aurora, MI

Coach: Nate Perry

Midwest Prospects
11

Rake Nation Baseball

Colorado Springs, CO

Coach: Buck Thomas

Rake Nation
12

EJ Sports Warriors

San Ramon, CA

Coach: Erik Johnson

EJ Sports Warriors
13

California Baseball Academy

Chino, CA

Coach: Jon Paino

California baseball academy
14

Texas Select Baseball

Dallas, TX

Coach: Clay Smith

Texas Select Baseball
15

New Jersey Gamers

Kenilworth, NJ

Coach: Ryan McGee

New Jersey Gamers
16

Rhino Baseball

Frankfort, IL

Coach: Brian Tehako

Rhino Baseball
17

Michigan Red Sox

Aurora, MI

Coach: Jason Novetsky

Michigan Red Sox
18

Showtime Baseball

Battle Ground, WA

Coach: Billy Hayes

Showtime Baseball
19

North Florida Scout Team

Jacksonville, FL

Coach: Shane Waller

North Florida Scout Team
20

Oakland Reds

Farmington Hills, MI

Coach: Dave Jennings

Oakland Reds Baseball Club
FieldLevel
June 2, 2014 / FieldLevel

Top 25 Most Popular College Baseball Teams

Top 25 “Schools of Interest” On FieldLevel

Most popular college baseball programs according to high school and junior college baseball players.

FieldLevel FieldLevel Intelligence
1

Cal State Fullerton

Fullerton, CA

Cal State Fullerton
2

San Diego State

San Diego, CA

San Diego State
3

Long Beach State

Long Beach, CA

Long Beach State
4

USC

Los Angeles, CA

USC
5

North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC

North Carolina
6

Florida State

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State
7

Texas A&M

College Station, TX

Texas A&M
8

UC Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

UCSB
9

Arizona

Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona
10

South Carolina

Columbia, SC

South Carolina
11

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA

Cal Poly
12

Oregon State

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State
13

Miami

Coral Gables, FL

University of Miami
14

UC Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Cal Berkeley
15

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

University of San Diego
16

UC Irvine

Irvine, CA

UC Irvine
17

Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Virginia
18

Pepperdine

Malibu, CA

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19

Stanford

Palo Alto, CA

Stanford
20

Washington

Seattle, WA

Washington
21

Clemson

Clemson, SC

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22

Oregon

Eugene, OR

Oregon
23

Coastal Carolina

Conway, SC

Coastal Carolina
24

Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

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25

Fresno State

Fresno, CA

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Others Receiving Votes:

Florida Gulf Coast

Oklahoma

Ole Miss

FieldLevel
June 2, 2014 / FieldLevel

Top 20 Trending High School Baseball Teams

20 Trending High School Baseball Teams On FieldLevel

Top trending high school baseball programs based on college coach network connections as well as ratings from college coaches regarding roster completeness, player assessment, projection accuracy, etc.

FieldLevel FieldLevel Intelligence
1

Valor Christian High School

Highlands Ranch, CO

Coach: Keith Wahl

Valor Christian High School
2

Perrysburg High School

Perrysburg, OH

Coach: Dave Hall

Perrysburg High School
3

Oaks Christian High School

Westlake Village, CA

Coach: Tim Penprase

Oaks Christian High School
4

La Verne Lutheran High School

La Verne, CA

Coach: Mike Lange

La Verne Lutheran High School
5

O’Fallon Township High School

O’Fallon, IL

Coach: Jason Portz

O'Fallon Township High School
6

Phoenix Christian High School

Phoenix, AZ

Coach: Mark Band

Phoenix Christian High School
7

DeMatha Catholic High School

Hyattsville, MD

Coach: Sean O’Connor

DeMathea Catholic Logo
8

Maize High School

Maize, KS

Coach: Rocky Helm

Maize High School
9

Moeller High School

Cincinnati, OH

Coach: Tim Held

Moeller High School
10

Linn-Mar High School

Marion, IA

Coach: Chad Lechner

Linn-Mar High School
11

Bellarmine College Prep

San Jose, CA

Coach: Mike Rodriguez

Bellarmine College Prep
12

The Woodlands High School

Spring, TX

Coach: Ron Eastman

The Woodlands High School
13

Serra High School

San Diego, CA

Coach: Wil Aaron

Serra High School
14

Westgate High School

New Iberia, LA

Coach: Jerome Jacob

Westgate High School
15

Dubuque Hempstead High School

Dubuque, IA

Coach: Jeff Rapp

Dubuque Hempstead High School
16

Clackamas High School

Clackamas, OR

Coach: John Arntson

Clackamas High School
17

Monte Vista Christian High School

Santa Cruz County, CA

Coach: Don Keathley

Monte Vista Christian High School
18

West Florida High School

Pensacola, FL

Coach: Mike Wallace

West Florida High School
19

DeLaSalle High School

Minneapolis, MN

Coach: Douge Schildgen

DeLaSalle High School
20

Egg Harbor Township High School

Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Coach: Bryan Carmichael

 Egg Harbor Township High School
FieldLevel
June 2, 2014 / FieldLevel

Top 20 Trending Junior College Baseball Teams

20 Trending Junior College Baseball Teams On FieldLevel

Top trending junior college baseball programs based on college coach network connections as well as ratings from college coaches regarding roster completeness, player assessment, projection accuracy, etc.

FieldLevel FieldLevel Intelligence
1

College of San Mateo

San Mateo, CA

Coach: Bryan Faulds

College of San Mateo
2

Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Chandler, AZ

Coach: Dave Pankenier

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3

Mendocino College

Ukiah, CA

Coach: Aaron Ford

Mendocino College
4

Muscatine Community College

Muscatine, IA

Coach: Stan Hunt

Muscatine Community College
5

Dean College

Franklin, MA

Coach: Matt Harrington

Dean College
6

Corning Community College

Corning, NY

Coach: Lou Condon

Corning Community College
7

Cedar Valley College

Lancaster, TX

Coach: Carlos Ramirez

Cedar Valley College
8

Ventura College

Ventura, CA

Coach: Steven Hardesty

Ventura College
9

Indian Hills Community College

Ottumwa, IA

Coach: Brett Monaghan

Indian Hills Community College
10

Kirkwood Community College

Cedar Rapids, IA

Coach: Jason Belk

Kirkwood Community College
11

Lower Columbia College

Longview, WA

Coach: DJ Lidyard

Lower Columbia College
12

Taft College

Taft, CA

Coach: Vince Maiocco

Taft College
13

College of Southern Nevada

Henderson, NV

Coach: Bryan Maloney

College of Southern Nevada
14

Cabrillo College

Aptos, CA

Coach: Bob Kittle

Cabrillo College
15

Paris Junior College

Paris, TX

Coach: Bric Steed

Paris Junior College
16

Phoenix College

Phoenix, AZ

Coach: Kevin Kimball

Phoenix College
17

South Mountain Community College

Phoenix, AZ

Coach: Tyler Gillum

South Moutain Community College
18

Northeast Mississippi Community College

Booneville, MS

Coach: Kent Farris

Northeast Mississippi Community College
19

Gateway Community College

Phoenix, AZ

Coach: Rob Shabansky

Gateway Community College
20

Garden City Community College

Garden City, KS

Coach: Eric Gilliland

Garden City Community College
FieldLevel
May 29, 2014 / FieldLevel

FieldLevel Coach Interview Series: Rob McCoy (Niagara University)

 

Name: Rob McCoy

School: Niagara University

Position: Head Coach

 

 

Where did you grow up and what is your playing background?

I grew up in Eastern Oregon in a small town called Halfway. I played 2 years of JuCo ball at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, OR and 2 years at Dakota Wesleyan University, a small NAIA school in Mitchell, SD.

What made you want to become a coach?

I loved the game, and I loved sharing my knowledge of the game. The more I got into it, the more I liked the mentoring aspect of coaching. There’s nothing more rewarding for me than to see my players succeed on and off the field as well as in their future.

Who has been your biggest mentor and what is the most important thing you’ve learned?

I have had countless mentors in coaching. Most of them don’t even know it!  I study other coaches very intently and try to learn as much as possible from them. If I had to get specific, I would say my college coach, Coach Adam Neisius at Friends University, and Scott Gines at Texas A&M – Kingsville, my college athletic director. Both of those men got me into coaching and taught me the value of hard work and paying your dues from the bottom, up.

Who is one of your current or previous players that you’re most proud of helping improve and how did you do it?

I’m proud of all my players that improve. To improve at the college level always takes a high level of work ethic and energy, and the player has to really want it. Anyone who is willing to work that hard to better themselves and this program makes me very proud.

What helps you determine a prospect’s character, work ethic, and competitiveness?

We ask questions. The number one question we ask coaches of kids we are recruiting is, “Do they love to play the game of baseball?” That may sound obvious, but some players can play a long time without truly loving the game. We feel that if they REALLY love baseball, then they will work extremely hard to improve and they will compete their tails off. The answer to the character question is easy, they either have it or they don’t.

How long have you been on FieldLevel and why did you join?

3 years. We joined to gain access to more recruits from different areas across the country. It is a tremendous tool for communicating with coaches and players from places we wouldn’t normally recruit. Additionally, it gives us the ability to create a database with which to track and communicate with our recruits.

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