UConn Turns to Executive Search Firm to Find Athletic Director

February 5, 2016 – Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search has been retained by the University of Connecticut to lead its search for a new athletic director. Warde Manuel has left the school to take on the athletic director position at the University of Michigan.

The director of athletics at UConn will be responsible for the stewardship, management, coordination and supervision of the school’s competitive intercollegiate athletics program with 24 sports, more than 70 coaches, and 650-plus student athletes.

The incumbent will provide visionary leadership to the department of athletics while overseeing the overall administration of varsity athletics and related facilities.

According to sources, candidates for the position are likely to include Army athletics director Boo Corrigan, Kansas deputy AD and former UConn administrator Sean Lester, Nevada athletics director and UConn graduate Doug Knuth, Northern Illinois AD Sean Frazier, NCAA official Dan Gavitt, Under Armour executive and former Big East official Nick Carparelli, and former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti.

The University of Connecticut is one of the top public research universities in the nation, with more than 30,000 students pursuing higher education degrees. Founded in 1881, the school is comprised of six campuses, the main campus in Storrs, and five regional campuses in Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, Torrington and Waterbury.


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Parker Executive Search has a history of working with UConn. Four years ago the firm placed Mr. Manuel as the school’s athletic director and it also recruited Bob Diaco as UConn’s head football coach.

Parker conducts executive searches for corporations, colleges & universities, and collegiate athletics. Its sports practice represents clients conducting searches for positions ranging from president/CEO, EVP/SVP/general manager, executive director, conference commissioner, athletic director, head coach, and assistant coach, among others.

Recently, the firm filled the athletic director position for University of Central Florida and is currently heading the athletic director position for Indiana State University.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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