Alex Golesh was one of the first assistants hired by new Illinois football coach Tim Beckman. He feels fortunate to get his family moved to Champaign-Urbana so soon after he joined the staff.
"It's been good. My family is out here, and we just bought a place. They're slowly getting settled in. It's been fast; we were lucky to be able to move over. We were the first ones settled in. We just have an eight month old little girl, so we didn't have to worry about missing school yet.
"It's awesome. We're not getting home early, but when you get home, it's nice to have your family. It's better than an empty hotel room."
Beckman got a late start recruiting the 2012 class. Golesh was a big part of the effort to bring in a strong group of 19 football players. Getting recruiting going while also establishing relationships with players on campus and introducing new systems was a major task for the new staff.
"We're trying to establish everything. I don't know if we're playing catch-up as much as making sure we've got everything covered."
Golesh has to make time both for his coaching responsibilities and his role as recruiting coordinator.
"I'm trying to balance the recruiting stuff with the coaching stuff. Obviously, right now were trying to get the 2012 class done. We felt like we did a good job there. Now we're on to 2013 and trying to make sure we get the state covered. That's been a giant priority for us."
How would he define the job requirements of a recruiting coordinator?
"My job description is to keep it all organized. Make sure we're on top of what we need, where we need it and when we need it. My job is to make sure Coach (John) Hauser (Director Of Player Personnel), Elizabeth (Gehrt, Assistant Recruiting Coordinator) and Chad (Creamer) the graduate assistant constantly know what's going on and constantly know what we need to do. My job essentially is to make sure the coaches have everything they need to be successful in the recruiting realm.
"It's my job to organize it, bring ideas to the table. You have more help to follow through with those ideas. It's Coach Beckman's system, and a lot of his ideas. It's my job to make sure the staff is on the same page."
With nine assistants all assigned to specific areas and recruits, it can be difficult to prioritize recruiting based on how each coach is doing with his prospects and which ones are best suited for the Illinois program.
"We meet on it a lot as a staff. Essentially, it's John Hauser's job to make sure every kid that comes in is evaluated, whether evaluated by him or someone else on the staff. We all have our own areas that we're in charge of. Coach Beck says you're the general manager of your area, and you are also the general manager of your position.
"It's each guy's responsibility to make sure he knows what's going on in his area and his position. It's my job to make sure that everybody on the staff knows what's going on in everybody's areas and everybody's positions."
Golesh has his own players to recruit, adding a few more hours to his daily schedule.
"I have to find time for my own recruiting at the end of the day. I've got the eight counties right around Champaign, and along I-74 into Indianapolis. I've got Indianapolis, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton. I've also got Kentucky, Kansas, and Oklahoma. I have Atlanta as well.
"You have to stay organized. You have to know where the kids are and evaluate them as fast as you can. That's been the biggest priority for me, to evaluate every guy in your area. Get them through the ringer of evaluations, and figure out where they are. Obviously, you have help from the high school coaches and have relationships with those coaches. We also use recruiting services."
Golesh describes the main philosophy for Illini recruiting.
"Those guys that are early-offer guys, understand who they are and recruit them like crazy. Understand who those next guys are, and what makes them the next guys, and then make sure if you need more information on those kids. Go inside-out, 'inside' meaning my area in Illinois, Indianapolis. And then whatever we lack, you go into your secondary areas."
Golesh continues his discussion of football recruiting in part two of this interview. Part 3 is devoted to his work as coach of the tight ends and specialists.