While they aren’t likely to make a movie about the student manager thrust into the role of recruiting coordinator, Dave Peloquin’s ascent at Notre Dame has been pretty amazing.
From a junior student manager under coach Bob Davie, to an internship under coach Tyrone Willingham, to a permanent staff position under Charlie Weis, Peloquin’s ascent to recruiting coordinator under Brian Kelly, and integral part of Notre Dame’s transition efforts, is a quick climb for the 28-year-old.
On selling himself all over again, this time to Brian Kelly:
I think it was my experiences here, knowing Notre Dame, the ins and
outs of what Notre Dame is about, and how to get stuff done. Who do you
use, how to sell it, the counterpoints that other people use against us
and how to counter that before it even comes up.
And then just being around it for a while was helpful because I
could at least point Coach Kelly in the right direction, like,
initially, here’s who you need to talk to on campus as well as our
So any time a new head coach comes in, it’s a whirlwind as to who
they’re meeting while trying to put the staff together, which is
priority No. 1, and then trying to keep your recruits. I think the
circumstances helped my cause, but then I think my experiences of being
around Charlie helped. It was a little different with Coach Weis, but
still, you’re trying to keep guys and still trying to sell and still
trying to go after your marquee guys at the same time.
On the duties that come with being a recruiting coordinator:
The main thing is being organized and efficient in the day-to-day
activities. It starts with making sure a transcript is in on a kid,
making sure it’s evaluated properly, and making sure that our coaches
have a tape.
We are such a national recruiter, (the assistant coaches) get spread
thin. Their areas are so big, you have to stay on top of the guys they
go after and make sure that the evaluation is done efficiently and on
time. That’s my No. 1 goal: to make sure the office is prepared and
ready so that when a coach asks about something, we’re prepared. It’s
not just me; it’s a team thing.
On the relationship between the football office and the admissions department:
Before we ever got to the point of offering a scholarship, we knew
exactly where they stood academically, where they needed to be with
admissions…We had a great relationship with admissions, and I think
that will continue on, which is a great situation for both sides. Coach
Kelly has a great feel for what kind of student-athlete he wants to
bring in here.
So the transcripts and all that stuff, as an office, we need to make
sure we’re organized, on time with stuff, and make sure our coaches
know, ‘This kid is a really good prospect, but here’s what we know
about him and here’s what we need to figure out.’ From there, we’ll say
to an assistant, ‘Coach, you need to get in the school, get with the
counselor, and make sure they have a game plan for him if he is indeed
The coaches are the ones who do the legwork on the road, going in
and seeing the kids, the high school coaches and the counselors. But we
need to be there so that any time they need assistance, you’re there
On the potentially interim role of his recruiting coordinator title:
It’s all about the upcoming signing day. Once we get to signing day,
I’m sure we’ll have discussions and talk amongst the staff. I’m sure
it’s a bit of a trial run for me. I don’t know if he really has his
mind made up as far as what he wants to do. I’m sure it’s a little
different here than other places he’s been. But our conversations have
been about getting to signing day and getting the best class we can
It’s hard not to feel good for a guy like Peloquin, a recent graduate who obviously loves his alma mater and the football program, and put in the hours and years necessary to make a difference.
It’s a very interesting interview by Prister, and it’s definitely worth reading the entire thing.