European Spotlight: Terrance Barbary, working to get DODDS athletes noticed
How did you get started connecting U.S. athletes in Europe with college coaches?
The first year I came in (as a volunteer coach at Division III-North champion AFNORTH high school) I got to talking with the kids. None of them were being recruited. Athletes are at a disadvantage over here because the coaches can’t see them.
You eventually formed High School Recruiting Overseas. How much time do you spend working on finding places for U.S. athletes to play in college?
I stay up until two or three in the morning working on the Internet or making phone calls. I’ll eat with my family (wife and 4-year-old daughter), walk the dogs, and then get online, cultivating contacts with coaches and trying to get the word out.
What motivates you to invest so much of your own time and money in the process?
The reason I’m doing what I’m doing is that I should have been one of these kids. I wish there had been someone there to talk to me when I finished high school and tell me, “You won’t play for the big Division I schools, but here’s a school where you can play and get an education.” I feel strongly about it, and my wife is very supportive.
What’s your football background?
I went to Fayetteville State (N.C.), then joined the Air Force. I was a wide receiver with Dortmund Giants (of the German league) and led the team in receptions in 1996. I also played in Maastricht on a Dutch semipro team.
What services do you offer through High School Recruiting Overseas (Phone from outside Netherlands: 0031-6521-43178. U.S. number is (321) 206-8929. Web-site: www.hsr-o.com)?
Registration into the database, accessible by college coaches throughout the United States, is free. It lets the coaches know you exist. I provide other services for a small fee. I had spent so much of my own money, I had to start charging for some things — $20 to $50.
Once thing I can’t see is charging military families $500 to $1,000 like most commercial firms do.
What does an athlete need to do to get recruited?
I’ve had interest from coaches about so many kids, but it’s up to (the athlete) to do the work. All I can do is pass on the information. The athlete has to keep up his grades and score well on the SATs. Coaches don’t want to bother with someone who’ll be a problem, either with academics or behavior. We also need good game films.
Have you had any success so far?
We placed (2005 All-Europeans) Joel Marbut of Würzburg and Eric Ruzicka of Vilseck. Marbut went to a Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., and Ruzica to Truman State in Missouri. I’ve had calls about basketball players, swimmers, every sport.
Interview by Rusty Bryan.
Title: Tri-Border Military Volunteer of the Year for 2006. Founded his own recruiting service to help match Europe-based athletes with U.S. colleges.
Day job: Technical sergeant with U.S. Air Force communications security, Joint Force Command Headquarters Brunssum
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