Chipola coach talks about players on campus, recruiting during pandemic

MARIANNA, FL (WJHG/WECP) These certainly are strange times for all of us, with our lives, with our jobs, with our professions. Certainly Chipola men's head basketball coach Brendan Foley can certainly relate to all of that.

Coach Foley and his Indians open Panhandle play Saturday at Tallahassee

The coach doing his best to help many of his players get back home after the shutdown a few weeks ago. He did however, have a handful of players remain on campus, including some who hail from overseas. Either too costly or simply too difficult to get them back, so they remain at Chipola.

"They've self-quarantined on campus, in the dorms." coach Foley told me via Skype. "Some of them are unable to get home so they're just over there, doing the same thing we are. Trying to get through it and stay safe. We usually have maybe one in the gym here or there, but it's been pretty slow. And you know, we've shut pretty much everything down."

That's not to say the players are being left on their own. Coach Foley and his staff are doing what they can to make sure the players have everything they need to get through this!

"My assistant coaches are still here so we check on them daily." the coach says. "And get them once a week to get food. And so forth, and stuff like that. Check on their academic progress, make sure that they are communicating with their professors in this time. Obviously that's unchartered waters, stuff we've never been through. It's new to professors, new to these students. So making sure we're bridging a lot of communication with them every day. Just making sure they're being responsible, staying on top of their academics, and their whole well-being."

I also spoke with coach Foley about a different style of recruiting during the pandemic, with no personal contact or campus visits!

"I think everyone's trying to be innovative and trying...I think the key thing is building relationships. Because for them, they're making a tough decision without seeing campus and so forth. But we're also trying to invest a scholarship in them, make sure it's the right fit on our end. So it's definitely unusual times, but we're just trying to make the best of it and work through it." Coach Foley goes on to say "I think everyone's trying to be innovative and trying...I think the key thing is building relationships. Because for them, they're making a tough decision without seeing campus and so forth. But we're also trying to invest a scholarship in them, make sure it's the right fit on our end. So it's definitely unusual times, but we're just trying to make the best of it and work through it."

Coach Foley says he has four players returning from last year's team, and he's filled two scholarships already. So he still needs to sign 6 or 7 players to fill out his roster.