October 6, 2016 – Sports and entertainment-focused executive recruiter Turnkey Search has placed Todd Stansbury as the new athletic director for Georgia Tech. He replaces Mike Bobinski who left the position to take on the same role at Purdue University. DHR managing partner and global sports practice leader, Glenn Sugiyama, led that assignment.
The search was led by senior executive director Gene DeFilippo, a former athletic director at Boston College, Villanova and University of Kentucky, along with Len Perna, founder, president and chief executive officer of Turnkey Search. They were assisted by recruiting associate Kyle Brown.
The Perfect Fit
Mr. Stansbury has served as Oregon State’s athletic director since 2015 following a nine-year stint as the university’s executive associate athletic director from 2003-2012. During his time at Oregon State, he was part of a senior management team that raised $150 million for a football stadium expansion, in addition to fundraising for the construction of a sports performing center. He also was part of a team that established several career development initiatives for student-athletes.
Mr. Stansbury’s resume includes roles as athletic director at the University of Central Florida (2012-2015) and East Tennessee State University (2000-2003). He was Georgia Tech’s assistant athletic director for academics from 1988-1995 under Homer Rice. Now, he returns to campus to guide a department that features 15 teams in 17 NCAA Division I varsity sports.
“Todd Stansbury is committed to athletes’ success both on and off the field,” said Georgia Tech president G.P. Peterson. “His global perspective and leadership experience in athletics and development, combined with a lifelong passion for Georgia Tech, make him the ideal candidate. I believe this is one of those rare golden moments in life where opportunity meets ambition. We welcome him home.”
“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to return to Georgia Tech, a place that has played such a large role in my life and the place responsible for opening up a world to me that I didn’t even know existed,” Mr. Stansbury said. “I am thankful to President Peterson and the selection committee for providing me this opportunity.”
One of the ACC’s most well-rounded athletic departments, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association supports more than 400 active student-athletes utilizing a $75 million budget. Academically, 165 of Tech’s student-athletes made the 2015-16 ACC Academic Honor Roll, and more than half of the institution’s student-athletes earned a 3.0 or higher GPA that same spring.
Over the past year, Turnkey has completed numerous athletic director searches for clients, including the University of Michigan, Bowling Green State University and Grand Valley State University.
Just recently, Turnkey Search recruited Mark Coyle as director of athletics at the University of Minnesota. The University paid Turnkey Search $150,000 plus expenses to recruit and vet candidates for the position. To find the new candidate, the school used a 16-person search committee comprised of faculty members, current and former athletes, statewide business leaders and a head coach.
Universities Turning to Search Firms to Find ADs
Georgia Tech and the University of Minnesota are just two of an expanding number of schools turning to executive search firms to find athletics directors. Here’s a sampling of recent assignments from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
- DHR International recruited an insider, Jeffrey Schulman, as athletic director at the University of Vermont (UVM). The firm was said to have been paid $75,000 to look for, vet and present candidates to UVM, along with another $9,000 for indirect costs and reimbursements of over $30,000 for advertising placements and traveling. Mr. Schulman is currently in his 12th year as senior associate athletic director at UVM.
- Collegiate Sports Associates (CSA) recruited Jim Sterk as athletic director for University of Missouri. According to sources, Missouri paid the recruiting firm $75,500 plus expenses to handle the assignment. Missouri had previously used Korn Ferry in the search that produced Mack Rhoades, Mr. Sterk’s predecessor. Korn Ferry charged the university $206,000 for the search, which included a $75,000 retainer.
- Brill Neumann Associates placed pro football hall of fame wide receiver and USC alumnus Lynn Swann as athletic director of the University of Southern California (USC). Pat Haden retired from the post, ending his guidance of the Trojans through a tumultuous period in the school’s history.
- Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search recruited David Benedict as athletic director at the University of Connecticut. The firm also placed Mark Jackson as director of athletics at Villanova University. Parker also recently placed Jennifer Cohen as the new AD of the University of Washington (UW). A UW spokesperson said the school paid the search firm $105,000 for its role in generating leading candidates and seeing the search process through to completion.
- Korn Ferry, the nation’s largest search firm, placed Josh Whitman as athletics director for the University of Illinois. The University is said to have paid Korn Ferry $140,000 for its work on the search.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media