Coach Art Briles was fired by Baylor in May in the wake of a sexual assault scandal that also cost school president Ken Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw their jobs. Mr. Briles went 65-37 during his eight seasons with Baylor, reversing the program’s decades-long status as a perennial also-ran and moving the Bears into elite company among the nation’s most successful teams.
According to CBS Sports, former LSU coach Les Miles is on a short list of candidates being considered for the next coach at Baylor. Mr. Miles said he has made himself “available to search firms,” and is communicating the best he can in an effort to land another Power 5 job. California coach Sonny Dykes and North Carolina’s Larry Fedora are also in the mix for the Baylor coaching job.
Baylor University, known for rigorous academics and strong Christian values, is one of a small group of institutions in the country to receive an A for the strength of its core curriculum in a survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Undergraduates choose from 142 degree programs, including pre-health care, engineering, and business programs, while graduate students pursue options covering more than 75 master and 41 doctoral programs. Baylor is a founding member of the competitive Big 12 Conference and fields 19 varsity athletic teams.
Baylor recently hired Heidrick & Struggles to begin a national search effort to find the university’s 15th president. Thus far, he school’s presidential search committee has completed more than 80 hours of listening sessions – both on and off campus – with various groups of faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and University administrators, who have provided their input regarding the professional and personal characteristics and experiences important to the university’s next president.
The Search Firm
For over 40 years, Eastman & Beaudine has been a leader in executive searches among sports, entertainment & business clients seeking direction, assessment and counsel to build their senior leadership teams.
The firm is led by Bob Beaudine, who helped shape the leadership teams for the NBA, Major League Baseball, the PGATour, Arena Football, the U.S. Olympics, NASCAR, Professional Bull Riders, Horse Racing, and Ultimate Fighting Championships. He was recently named to the board of directors for the Texas Rangers and he sits on the advisory board of directors for the College Football Assistance Fund and Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.
“Bob Beaudine challenges you to think differently. His unique approach to life and business has helped elevate many careers,” said Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, in a past interview.
Eastman & Beaudine has conducted numerous assignments to find head football or basketball coaches for a number of universities, including the University of Missouri, Arizona State, Clemson, the University of Mississippi, Texas Tech and other top college sports programs. Mr. Beaudine recently helped with the placement of new athletic directors at Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss and the University of Alaska, as well as top executives with the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks.
Sports & Executive Search
Today, executive search firms are being called in by professional sports teams, colleges, and consumer brands to identify a host of leaders, from coaches and athletics directors to heads of marketing, finance, sales, fundraising and corporate partnerships as well as general manger roles. Many C-suite focused recruiting firms are now active in the field and some specialize only in the sports field itself, but all are dedicated to providing sports-related executive search and leadership advisory services. They include in addition to Eastman & Beaudine: Nolan Partners, Turnkey Search; CarrSports Consulting, Korn Ferry, Harvard Group International, Prodigy Sports, Marquee Search, DHR International, Hartmann Mason, College Sports Solutions, Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, Ascension Sports Partners, Russell Reynolds Associates, Diversified Search, Odgers Berndtson, Ventura Partners, Alden Associates, Parker Executive Search, Sports Recruitment International (SRi), Neinas Sports Services, and Collegiate Sports Associates.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media