Highlands grad Alan Crise aims to help local student-athletes navigate recruiting path

Monday, August 8, 2022 | 9:30 AM

Alan Crise went through the college recruiting process during his senior year at Highlands in 2011-12, and the football, basketball and track and field participant remembers having a lot of questions throughout the journey that ultimately led to a track and field scholarship at Division II West Virginia Wesleyan.

After a four-year collegiate track and field career, which included all-conference honors in the decathlon, 400-meter hurdles and javelin, he entered the coaching world with the Bobcats track program, first as an assistant for one year and then as the head coach for four seasons before stepping down last December.

Now, Crise, one of four siblings from an athletic Highlands family — Victoria, Class of 2011; Logan, Class of 2018; and Johnny, Class of 2020 — is hoping to give back and help some of the area’s top student-athletes and their families navigate the recruiting process into college athletics.

“I hope to continue to use my experience and the knowledge I have as both a coach and athlete to help put these athletes and families in favorable positions to secure roster spots, scholarships, admission, compliance, marketing, exposures and the many other difficulties that come with the (recruiting) process,” said Crise, who, as CEO, is looking to build Lane 4 Recruiting and gain a stronger foothold in the region.

“Helping athletes from the A-K Valley is important to me because I was in their shoes once.”

In the early going — the new venture has been up and running for about a month — Crise is the director of track and field and works with those athletes on everything from the general dos and don’ts of recruiting to those other things more geared to finding the best track and field program that meshes with everything else desired for the ultimate college experience.

“Also, through my years of coaching, I have connections who have also coached and now want to continue being involved in sports,” Crise said. “We’re looking to continue to grow. Right now, we also have things set up for both soccer and baseball. I am looking for others who fit the narrative of wanting to help athletes find the best situations and who are also very much in tune with any specific things related to recruiting in their sport.

“We are working to set up things for football and basketball. I hope to branch out until we have almost all of the sports covered.”

Crise, who earned Mountain East Conference Track and Field Coach of the Year honors for 2021, said the athlete of today has so much to think about when making their decisions.

“When you are a high school athlete, 14 to 18 years old and also balancing school, work and other activities, you might find yourself living for the next season or the next semester, and things just kind of fly by,” he said. Unless you can get a grasp on all there is out there, there are things that can be missed.

“For me, I played the three sports, but track and field, I knew, was going to be the one where I would most likely continue. I always thought that the recruiting process would take care of itself. You run fast or perform well, coaches will contact you, and financial aid happens, and that’s about it. But that can’t be further from the truth. I didn’t sign my letter of intent until the week before my high school graduation. I got behind a little bit, and I saw so many others in the same boat.”

Crise said he understands how much of a toll recruiting can take on student-athletes as they juggle everything in the present while preparing for their future. He also feels for the parents who are trying to help their son or daughter and who might be going through all of this for the first time.

“They might have never seen a financial aid package before, and they don’t know what is all on there,” he said.

“I have seen the process from the side of the college coach, and I have talked to these parents. Whether it worked out with my program and with West Virginia Wesleyan or another track and field program at another school, I always hoped they had all the instructions, facts and resources available to them.”

Crise said he’s excited to continue developing what he is able to do for athletes in the A-K Valley, and that includes the ability to produce edited highlight videos to give college coaches the best visual examples of what an athlete can do in the field of competition.

“Whenever I got into coaching, the best part of what I did was recruiting, using my connections, meeting people, meeting the student-athletes and finding out their stories. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue being involved with the process and being able to do it close to home.”

For more information, visit lane4recruiting.com or @Lane4Recruiting on both Twitter and Instagram.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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