Football Director of Player Personnel Karschnia discusses CMU recruiting process

Central Michigan University Athletics

In August 2017, Albert Karschnia joined the Central Michigan football staff under head coach John Bonamego as the director of player personnel. 

Karschnia is responsible for the recruitment of offensive players, along with directing on-campus visits and helped with the walk-on program at CMU. Prior to coming to work as a Chippewa, Karschnia worked on the University of Michigan football staff for over two years as an assistant recruiting coordinator. 

He received his bachelor of arts in sports management from Michigan in May 2015. 

Central Michigan Life’s Evan Petzold spoke with the Orchard Lake native to get his thoughts on his job.

Evan Petzold (EP): Explain what it means to be the director of player personnel for Central Michigan football? 

Albert Karschina (AK): My main focus and function is to organize and direct all our recruiting efforts, in conjunction with fulfilling coach Bonamego’s vision for the program on a day-to-day level with communication, organization, and coordinating with coaches on the road with schools and prospects they are going to check out. I try to make sure everyone is on the same page with what we are selling (to the recruits as a team). I help figure out what scholarships we need and positions we need to fill (for the future). I really try to never let anything fall in the cracks because recruiting is a 365-day job. We try to make this natural, organic relationships. When the kid comes here, we want him to already feel at home and apart of the family.

EP: What’s your relationship like with head coach Bonamego? 

AK: Before I got up here, I never met (Bonamego). He was at Michigan’s quarterback camp this summer and I got introduced to him there and we talked about this position. We stayed in contact over the next few weeks and did an interview towards July. At the start of training camp, I got started. I jumped right in. I was clearly the new guy at practice with a clipboard trying to learn the team, but (Bonamego) has been awesome. I’ve learned so much from him. I’ve tried to learn a lot from the way he leads as the head coach of the staff, players and program as the figurehead of Central Michigan football. I’m thankful, being this young, to have been able to work for two great coaches in coach (Bonamego) and coach (Jim) Harbaugh.”

EP: Do you have any big recruiting wins since you have been at Central Michigan? 

AK: Of the kids we have signed, we are really excited about this 2018 class. Since (Bonamego) has gotten here, I believe it takes three good consecutive classes to be in championship contention. This is the third really good class in a row that we have signed, so you’ll start to see the results of those classes showing up on the field in the near future. Everybody we brought in, we targeted for a reason. It’s not always about the kid with the most talent, but it’s about how the kid will be in our locker room. Obviously, game days are important, but that’s only 12 days out of 365 days. You have to strongly consider if it’s worth it if the player doesn’t help the team on non-game days. 

EP: What is your favorite thing about your job with Central Michigan? 

AK: Talking to kids through phone call, text, and visits is fun. You get to meet so many good kids and good families, and so many coaches. There’s no better feeling than getting a kid on the phone and we are his first offer. That’s the coolest thing to me because it’s a life changing day for that kid. More than football, it’s an opportunity at a college degree for free. It’s an opportunity to play football at the highest level, which is a goal most have had since they were little. I’m living my dream right now, so it’s good when my dreams and goals can intersect with the dreams and goals of the kids we are recruiting. Those are the things you wake up for in the morning.

EP: When did you know you wanted to be a director of player personnel for a college team? 

AK: I knew pretty early on in life that I was going to work in sports, either football or basketball, in coaching or off of the field. My dad is a football coach, so I grew up following him everywhere. I went to the University of Michigan and did sports management there. When I got the opportunity to start an internship with the football team, I couldn’t do anything else. I had to do this job because there is nothing else that will ever top this.

EP: On the recruiting trail, how do you specifically find recruits?  

AK: They come from high school coaches who send us kids. The kids will hit us up on Twitter and sometimes it’s watching a kid’s film and noticing someone different. We try to leave no stone unturned in that regard and try to bring in a class that will represent the university and win championships.