My name is Robert Thomas; I want to tell you why I created PinFall Recruiting.
Let’s rewind more than a few years to start this off. I wrestled HS in Illinois where I found enough success that the localish D2 school recruited me. Unfortunately, it only lasted for a couple of months before they stopped, despite my expressed desire to attend. Without them in the picture, I had no clue what I was going to do next. I knew nothing about college wrestling and double for anything about recruiting or searching. I also didn’t have anyone around me that knew anything about recruiting either. Eventually, a small NAIA school in Iowa contacted me because my HS coach knew another HS coach, who knew the college coach. (Sound familiar?) A couple of weeks later, I was committed. This was my first experience with recruiting.
Moving on to college life, I found a little bit more success, but still nothing to write home about. After four years and graduation, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do besides staying in the wrestling world in some way. By random luck, I ended becoming a graduate assistant coach at the same school and eventually a full-time head assistant. Recruiting for my program, I was talking to parents, wrestlers, and HS coaches every day. I quickly realized that very few understand the recruiting process, and most were just like me coming out of HS. After almost four years of coaching, I left wrestling.
Fast forward a year, I was back to coaching, this time in the HS ranks out in Maryland. This stint was a little longer, as I spent five years coaching. It gave me the opportunity to work with parents and HS wrestlers more in-depth, and help guide them through the recruiting process. This only reinforced the fact that recruiting is a foreign concept for everyone. Almost everyone was still just like me, all those years ago.
Through helping my wrestlers find colleges that fit them best, I realized that the larger wrestling world needs the tools and resources as well. I want to enable wrestlers not only to be able to wrestle in college but find the right college for them. On the flip side, college coaches aren’t to be forgotten and also need to have the resources and tools necessary to find the right wrestlers for their programs. Thus allowing them to do what they do best, lead and coach our young wrestlers.
I want every wrestler, male or female, to have the opportunity to continue their wrestling career. I want colleges adding programs because there aren’t enough to support the number of wrestlers that want to wrestle in college. I want every wrestler to have the opportunity, no matter their background. I want every level of college wrestling, male and female, represented because they all play a vital part in the wrestling world.
Something else that is very important for me is affordability. Despite the potential worth, I couldn’t afford the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars recruiting companies charged to help “place” kids at colleges or earn scholarships. On top of that, these companies know nothing about wrestling; we’re a different breed. Everything they provide is towards the general student-athlete. That’s why I promise everything I do and offer will be affordable to anyone out there. If you truly can’t afford it, shoot me an email. I’ll make sure it works for you. It’s not about money and never will be. It’s about helping wrestlers chase their dreams. When wrestlers chase and inevitably achieve their dreams, the world is a better place.
I’ve been a part of every portion of the recruiting puzzle at some point in my career. I’ve been that kid using every last dollar I had in HS to go to a wrestling tournament. I’ve had to max out my college loans and still live with literal dollars in my pocket. Not spending all of my meal money from wrestling trips, so that I had a little bit for later. I’ve slept on friend’s couches and even lived in my own office when I was coaching. Shoutout to comfy sac is needed here! I’ve coached myself at both the HS and college levels. I’ve been you. I believe wrestling gave me a chance to do great things in life and want you to have that same opportunity.