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Questions From a College Coach

12/20/2011, 2:46pm PST

Coach Murdoch of McGill University chimes in.

College and the single most important question…

with Coach Tim Murdoch of McGill University, “Harvard of the North.”

       We caught up with Coach Murdoch for some Q & A this past week. Below is what he transferred our way.

       Coach Murdoch has been the head coach of the McGill University Redmen Men's Lacrosse team for around 10 years. In addition to being the head coach for the Redmen, he also is the high school recruiting liaison between the US and Canada. With much of his time taken up between these two positions, he still finds time to help youth lacrosse and also give ample advice to high school players seeking the next level of play.

       What makes this even more impressive, and it is hard to believe, Coach Murdoch is 100% volunteer! His small annual coaching stipend from McGill is rolled back into his college program to assist with his recruiting players from the states and Canada. His travels of 5-6 trips per year vary in destination but reach all the way south, to Florida.

       After touching base with Coach Murdoch to gain some background, a number of questions were proposed, which he answered above and beyond to no surprise….

       We asked Coach Murdoch for his thoughts on the single most important question that a high school student-athlete should ask him or herself regarding college and the recruiting process. Coach Murdoch responded with great insight into this question, stating that “prospective student-athletes should ask themselves first, if for some reason they were unable to play college lacrosse due to injury, illness, personal issues, academic issues, etc., is the college which they are choosing still the best choice, even without lacrosse?” He went on to explain if the answer is yes, than it is the right choice. If the answer is no, the player should seriously consider other options on the list.

A few other questions are below;

At which point in a high school career do you feel it imperative the college search begin?

Coach Murdoch:
“Freshman year of high school is a good time to start thinking about college. Involve your parents, high school guidance counselor and lacrosse coaches or other trusted advisors in the process. It’s not too late as a sophomore, but the earlier you start, the better.”

Do you have a few other top rated questions which student-athletes should ask?

Coach Murdoch
“Players need to ask themselves a number of questions. A few good ones are; how can I work as hard as possible so that my high school grades are competitive enough to attend the college of my dreams?” This is important to set them up for success moving forward on their college search and application. Another important question to ask is “when should I make contact with a college coach once I’ve determined I would like to attend a given college?” Which you should send an email to introduce yourself immediately! Even as early as your freshman year, you can be sending intro emails. Make sure however, that you are aware of the NCAA recruiting rules surrounding contact between college coaches and high school athletes.

Can you give a rundown of 5 very important areas in choosing the proper college?

Coach Murdoch:
1 – Academic Reputation. How will this college degree be perceived in the future by potential employers, graduate school admissions’ officers, and in general?

2 – Value. What you will pay for the caliber of education you will receive; also known as return on investment in the business world.

3 – Atmosphere & Surroundings. City school vs. small-town College, distance from home and family, student population large or small in numbers of students, regional colleges vs. international schools.

4 – Social Factors. Do I need to join a fraternity or not? What is the male/female ratio? Can I have fun when I am not studying hard or playing lacrosse? Once I’ve graduated, how connected or powerful is the alumni network?

5 – Lacrosse Team. Can I be a four-year impact player? How much play time can I earn? Will I even make the team? Should I tryout as a walk-on?

Tim Murdoch
Head Coach – Men’s Varsity Lacrosse
McGill University
475 Pine Avenue West
Montreal, Qc., Canada H2W 1S4
Tel: 514-504-1616
E-mail :

Team Site:

League Site: 

We thank Coach Murdoch for his insight and hope to hear from him in future newsletters. Stay tuned for future news surrounding the aforementioned NCAA recruiting violations regarding college coaches and contact with high school athletes and more!

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