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The Simpson Promise: A ‘new tool in the toolbox’ for coaches

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(Photo: Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian)

(Photo: Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian)

(Photo: Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian)

by Tanner Krueger, Sports Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — In a press conference last week, Simpson College unveiled a new way for low-income Iowans to enroll in classes, starting next fall. With requirements including an adjusted gross income under $60,000, the Simpson Promise hopes to bring more freshmen students to Simpson. Coaches are already excited and taking advantage of the new tool for recruiting future student athletes to join the Storm.

Coaches and recruiters are excited about the new opportunities for their teams, including head softball coach, Brent Matthias, head men’s basketball coach, Brad Bjorkgren and football recruitment coordinator, James Hoffman.

“I think it is a great avenue to recruit a different clientele,” Matthias said. “I think it is another tool in our toolbox to recruit people who really want to be here.”

Because Division III schools aren’t allowed to provide scholarships for athletics, coaches have to find other ways to convince prospective students of the benefits Simpson offers. With the Simpson Promise, coaches are now able to recruit students who were previously unable to attend Simpson due to the financial obligation.

“Just like any of the other scholarship opportunities, they are all just tools that we have that we can use in the recruiting process,” Bjorkgren said.

Recruiting has been a key to each team’s success in the past, so they look for this to help them with the incoming class of 2018.

“I think the goal of the school was to increase the enrollment,” Hoffman said. “It will not change how we operate for recruiting, it just helps us with who we are able to reach.”

Coaches understand the financial obligations of attending a private school like Simpson. Affordability is one of the most influential factors in the decision-making process of picking a college.

With more students able to attend Simpson after creating the Simpson Promise, coaches are preparing to find new student athletes to join Storm athletics in the coming years.

Although there are more students to recruit because of this initiative, it’s not just about quantity of student athletes. Quality reigns supreme for Storm athletics as coaches are looking for the right athletes to fill spots in their programs.

Allowing Simpson College to diversify and help students who may not get the opportunity otherwise is one goal of the Simpson Promise.

Still looking for the right student athletes, coaches have been trying to promote the Simpson Promise through high school coaches and athletic directors.

Allowing the coaches to recruit in circles they may not otherwise recruit is one of the keys to finding players they didn’t have access to in the past.

The number of recruits for teams may not go up, but an increase in freshman enrollment overall is the goal.

Getting in touch with the athletic public is one of the main focuses of the coaching staff right now.

“How we are promoting it right now is through basketball coaches. We have a lot of connections that we have talked with, and the coaches let us know if they think anyone would fit into that category,” Bjorkgren said.

Losing recruits to community colleges has been one of the biggest issues for coaches in the last few years. Because money plays such a big role in this process, coaches expect Simpson to gain more talent in athletics with this initiative.

With Simpson making this push towards affordability for more Iowans, coaches are hopeful of the impact it’ll have on their athletic programs, starting next fall.

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