How to Turn Down a College Coach

You’ve worked hard, put in the time and commitment, and now it’s paid off. You have a group of college coaches wanting you to come play for them. They have all expressed interest in you being part of their team. Congratulations! This is what you have been dreaming of and striving for. While all the interest is surely exciting, you can only commit to one team.

So how do you turn down the offers from the other coaches? Politely.

You are probably feeling a bit awkward rejecting a coach’s offer. Having to reach out to this authority figure can be quite intimidating. But there is really no need to feel that way. College athletics recruiting is a business. Coaches are used to having players tell them they have chosen to attend another school. The important thing is for you to politely communicate with them and to do so in a timely fashion.

These coaches have spent time meeting and connecting with you. They have taken time out to watch you play, either in person or through film. The courteous thing to do is to:

Let them know how much you appreciate their interest
Thank them for their help through the process
Decline the offer by explaining why you are going in another direction
Wish them all the best.

Ideally, you should pick up the phone and call each coach. But, if that isn’t possible, send them each an email.

Don’t Drag Out Declining a Coach’s Offer

As you know, there are only so many open slots on a team roster. There could be other athletes waiting for offers to join those teams. You want to give the coach an opportunity to reach out to those athletes and fill your spot. Turning down a coach in a timely manner allows them to update their recruitment list.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.