September 20, 2017 – Athletic directors are playing an increasingly vital role at colleges and universities across the country. With the expansion of athletic departments and, for the larger schools, the infusion of big dollars for sports, more schools have turned to search firms when such positions become open. Too much is at stake, they feel, to go it alone. What’s more, the AD job has come to demand greater business and management skills than the typical academic search.
In announcing the school’s search committee, UTSA president Taylor Eighmy emphasized that the group’s goal should be “to identify an exceptional leader who is committed to the university’s advancement to excellence in academics, research, engagement and athletics.”
“We look forward to the energy and leadership that the new athletic director will bring in taking UTSA Athletics to the next level and building on our great base of support in the community.”
DeLoss Dodds, athletics director at the University of Texas at Austin for 32 years, will serve as an advisor to Mr. Eighmy and the committee. The university expects to complete the recruitment process by the end of this year.
Collegiate Sports Associates assisted UTSA last year in its recruitment and selection of Frank Wilson as its head football coach.
UTSA is San Antonio’s lone NCAA Division I FBS institution. It competes in 16 intercollegiate sports including football, basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track & field, men’s baseball, outdoor track and field, tennis, fencing, women’s soccer, women’s softball and women’s volleyball.
Collegiate Sports Associates helps recruit talent for athletics programs at NCAA Division I universities and conferences across the U.S. The firm’s network of associates includes current and former Division I athletics directors and other senior university and conference officials, including commissioners, presidents, faculty athletics representatives, coaches and associate athletics directors.
Collegiate Sports Associates is led by former longtime athletic director Todd Turner, who has recruited professionals for a number of top university athletics programs. These include: University of Missouri, Kansas State University, Longwood University, University of Missouri, University of New Mexico, Northern Illinois University, University of Oklahoma, Old Dominion University, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest University and Winthrop University.
Athletic director searches are some of the most prolific assignments for recruitment firms in the sports sector. Here’s a sampling of recent AD assignments from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search recently placed Eddie Nuñez as the director of athletics at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Paul Krebs retired at the end of June after 11 years as vice president of athletics. Daniel Parker, Parker’s vice president and managing director, led the assignment.
Turnkey Search recruited John Currie as director of athletics and vice chancellor at the University of Tennessee. He replaced Dave Hart, who announced his retirement last year after six years with the school. Turnkey Search also recently placed Todd Stansbury as athletic director for Georgia Tech.
DHR International just placed Heather Lyke as athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh. Glenn Sugiyama, DHR’s managing partner and global sports practice leader, led the assignment along with partner Pat Richter who spearheads the firm’s specialized sports practice group. DHR also recruited an insider, Jeffrey Schulman, as athletic director at the University of Vermont (UVM).
Eastman & Beaudine placed Jon Gilbert as the new athletic director of the University of Southern Mississippi. Past AD Bill McGillis left the school to take on the executive director of athletics role at the University of San Diego. Eastman & Beaudine has conducted numerous assignments to find head football or basketball coaches for a number of universities.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media