All-In campaign recognizes contribution of college coaches to TCS event experience

March 1, 2024

As the 2024 schedule unfolds for Triple Crown Sports, we’ll take time to recognize and acknowledge the variety of support we get from the people who make our events happen. Players, coaches, administrators, city partners, field crews, onsite staff – it’s a deep bench that Triple Crown Sports relies upon to create valuable, life-long memories for teams. The dedication to detail from our roster of partners provides the heartbeat of TCS events.

The year-long celebration is called “All In” and we’ll turn to the world of college coaches for our next entry. These individuals bring incalculable value to many TCS events as they watch the action and put in the hard work of scouting and recruiting – we are proud of the relationships we’ve built in the coaching community and look forward to building events together for years to come.

Here's a conversation with Emily Kohan, head volleyball coach at Colorado State University, about the details that have to be solved when it comes to recruiting student-athletes. After her playing career at Iowa (where she was a captain all four seasons), Kohan moved through the ranks and was tabbed to run the show at CSU beginning with the 2023 season after the retirement of Tom Hilbert, who coached the Rams for 26 years. Kohan is married with two young children.

Q: You have the CSU season, a holiday break, and then by the start of the year you probably have to sort out when, where and how your recruiting travels are going to be tackled. Can you describe that process, just figuring out where you’re headed?

When the NCAA quiet period lifts in mid-February, our staff attends the events with the most number of our recruits that first weekend. And for the 11-ish weeks of evaluating, we prioritize our geographical region and then the largest tournaments to make our travel most efficient. We send myself – the head coach – to our top recruits’ tournaments in April before the quiet period starts again in May.

Q: From the first stop to the last, what are the trips you’re taking, the events you’re attending, in the pursuit of recruiting?

-The big President’s Day tournaments (Triple Crown, St. Louis, Las Vegas)

-Most of the USAV Qualifiers

-Most of the BIG JVA/AAU Tournaments (Bluegrass, AAU Nationals, etc.)

-A few regional tournaments (RMR for us, SCVA, Texas)

-A few practices for TOP recruits


Q: How many recruits are you trying to keep an eye on, and how many student-athletes reach out to you and Colorado State in hopes of being seen?

We have over 1,000 2026 recruits tagged in our database from either writing to us or us watching them. In the 2026 class, we try to track closely our top 20 in each position. By June 15, we try to have a clear top 10 that we are really focused on. Technology has been wonderful to provide opportunity for more players and schools to evaluate each other, but it’s also made it almost overwhelming to handle the volume of correspondence for EVERY recruit that reaches out.

Q: Have you sensed any difficulty in being a brand-new head coach for a program that had an iconic name attached to it for more than 25 years?

Since I had been here for seven years prior it was a pretty smooth transition into the head coach role. I had key relationships with clubs in our region and throughout the country as the previous recruiting coordinator. We did not lose many of our players in the transfer portal during the transition so the continuity was strong.

Q: You already had to deal with the travel demands of D-I coaching life while juggling family before becoming a head coach, and since May 2023 you’ve had a baby to weave into this world. How do you make it work?

I now have two daughters; one is 3 and one is 10 months. My husband is a wonderfully supportive partner who does a lot of the workload when I have to travel. My parents and sister also live close by and help with the childcare. We have a basement “apartment” that is frequently occupied by someone helping with our demanding lifestyles. But I also bring my family into many of the work functions and travel. There is work-life integration more than work-life balance: my players see me being a mom and the kids see me being a coach.

Q: Are there moments of community and solidarity out there with other coaches on the recruiting trail? Can you be friendly with the Wyomings and UNLVs and New Mexicos of the world?

There is definitely a community of support and solidarity amongst coaches. It’s one of the hardest jobs because the failures are so public and the time demands are excruciating. Usually, even your biggest foes are willing to have discussions about what they’re working on and how they’ve adapted their programs to help advance the sport and support the humans on the other side of the net.

I have a great group of women coaches who share tips on making our mom-life work in a group chat. I call many of the older coaches and mentors to get feedback and problem solve. Even my biggest opponents in conference share information to help volleyball as a whole.