Search Firms Partner to Recruit Head Football Coach for University Northern Colorado

December 23, 2019 – Executive search firms College Sports Solutions (CSS) and Buffkin / Baker have collaborated to recruit former Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey as the 16th head football coach for the University Northern Colorado (UNC). The search was led by Jeff Schemmel, founder and president of College Sports Solutions, and Dan Walters, associate partner with Buffkin Baker.

“We are excited to welcome Ed McCaffrey, his wife Lisa and their family to Greeley and the Northern Colorado family,” said Darren Dunn, director of athletics. “There is no doubt that he is going to represent our football program well and lead our team to great success on and off the field. He’s been successful in everything he touches. His competitive spirit and drive are off the charts. He will be great for not only our football program but the university and Greeley and Northern Colorado communities.”

Mr. McCaffrey comes to UNC after being the head coach at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, CO, for the past two years. A 13-year NFL player, Mr. McCaffrey won three Super Bowls, two with the Denver Broncos and one with the San Francisco 49ers. Before being drafted by the New York Giants in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft he was a first-team All-American at Stanford University.

“It is a great day for UNC, and the Bear community,” said Dick Monfort, University of Northern Colorado board of trustees chairman. “Ed McCaffrey checks every box, great football mind, proven leader, fierce competitor and an incredible human being. We look forward to Eddie and his family being a part of our Bear Nation.”

“I am excited to be joining the University of Northern Colorado as the head football coach,” said Mr. McCaffrey. “I want to thank president Andy Feinstein and Darren Dunn for the opportunity to be a part of the Bear Family and lead this football program. The University of Northern Colorado has a great reputation for both academics and athletics that attracts a diverse group of talented student athletes. I look forward to immersing myself into the Bears family and coaching young men to be champions on and off the field.”

Strategic Partners

Earlier this year, College Sports Solutions and Buffkin / Baker formed a partnership with the two firms combining their executive search services to better serve universities and colleges, intercollegiate conferences and collegiate athletic organizations. The two organizations collaborate in all areas of the executive search business at many of the nation’s leading institutions. “The newly formed partnership with College Sports Solutions will further enhance our higher education practice,” said Martin Baker, managing partner and head of the higher education practice at Buffkin / Baker. “Exemplary search relies on the ability to adapt to the changing collegiate landscape and we are thrilled to be collaborating with CSS to ensure continued success in this area.”


DHR International Assists Florida State Land New Football Coach
DHR International has placed Mike Norvell as the new head football coach for Florida State University. Willie Taggart was fired in early November after going 9-12 during his tenure with the team. “It was an honor to be entrusted with the search for the new leader of one of the iconic brands and one for the top college football jobs in the country,” said Mr. Sugiyama.


Buffkin / Baker has completed more than 550 searches for universities and colleges across the country. The firm recently conducted searches for a number of institutions in the Power Five conferences, as well as leading liberal arts colleges, AAU institutions and regional universities. The firm’s office locations include Nashville, New York, Washington, D.C., and Winston-Salem, NC, with affiliate offices in London. Buffkin/ Baker is a member of Panorama Search, an international federation of retained firms with 18 firms and over 30 offices globally.

Related: University of Missouri Turns to Parker Executive Search to Find Head Football Coach

Mr. Walters works in Buffkin / Baker’s higher education and sports practices and is based out of the Winston-Salem office. He was previously associate head men’s golf coach at Wake Forest University, where he managed recruiting, daily operations and team development efforts.

CSS is a leading full-service and integrated provider of collegiate athletic consulting, strategies and solutions to universities, intercollegiate conferences and collegiate organizations. The firm provides executive search services for coach and administrator searches. CSS clients run the gamut of collegiate sports institutions, including Auburn University, Alabama State University, Alabama A & M University, Boise State University, Brigham Young University, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Grand Canyon University, Montana State University, New Mexico State University, Oregon State University, Presbyterian College, Tulane University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Central Missouri, University of Houston, University of Minnesota, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), University of North Carolina (Charlotte), University of Northern Iowa, University of South Dakota, University of South Florida and University of Utah.

With over 25 years of intercollegiate athletics management experience, Mr. Schemmel is a former athletic director who has served in key leadership positions within the NCAA, the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA and at schools in the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences. He was director of athletics at San Diego State University from 2005 to 2009. During his tenure, he negotiated the school’s first comprehensive apparel/equipment contract with Nike and was responsible for hiring and retaining many of the school’s successful coaches and administrators.

Related: Eastman & Beaudine Recruits Head Football Coach for Baylor

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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