October 21, 2022 – The University of Colorado Boulder (CU) has enlisted Plano, TX-based recruitment firm Eastman & Beaudine to help find its next head football coach. The Pac-12 school fired coach Karl Dorrell earlier this month after the Buffaloes’ went 0-5 to start the season. Mike Sanford, who had been offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, was named interim head coach.
The team won its first game under Mr. Sanford, against Cal, and some sports writers, such as Jack Carlough, in USA Today, have floated the possibility that he may land the job full-time. “Now, it’s only been two weeks and a home win over Cal isn’t exactly monumental, but something in my gut just tells me that Sanford is worth considering for the full-time head job,” said Mr. Carlough.
“To play devil’s advocate against my opinion, his resume doesn’t exactly scream Power Five head coach, and his two years leading Western Kentucky weren’t great,” said the columnist. “I’m also not sure if he’d be able to assemble a much better staff than what’s already in place. A complete overhaul may remain the best option for Colorado with plenty of other great candidates available.”
Reportedly, Rick George, the university’s athletic director, has said that the search would be lengthy, leaving open the possibility that any number of candidates could be in line for the job. USA Today’s Buffaloes Wire, mentioned former University of Florida and Ohio State University coach Urban Meyer, former Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst, former NFL star and Jackson State University coach Deion Sanders, Ohio State line coach Justin Frye, among others, as potential prospects.
Funding the Role
CU retained Eastman & Beaudine for the search that landed Mel Tucker for the head football coach role, in 2018, as well as his successor, Mr. Dorrell.
After Mr. Dorrell was let go, CU chancellor Philip DiStefano issued a statement explaining the decision and its implications. “It’s important we bring on new leadership now so we can get back to having sustained success on the field, which will boost athletics ticket sales revenue that is essential for funding the department,” he said.
“It’s an industry standard for collegiate coaches to have buyout clauses in their contracts,” said Dr. DiStefano. “This means that if a campus decides to dismiss a coach, the university owes the coach some or all of the money remaining on the contract. In Karl’s case, he has roughly $8.7 million over two-plus years still to be paid. If he obtains new employment, which I expect he will soon, CU’s contract payments will be reduced by his new salary amount.”
“I want to assure you that this money will come from athletic department funds. The athletic department budget is an auxiliary fund, meaning that it balances its own revenue (which includes donor money, television revenue and game ticket sales) with its expenses. None of the contract funds will come from tuition money, taxpayer dollars or the campus general fund. This decision will have no impact on our ability to, for example, hire more faculty, support student services or invest in research and academic programs.”
Building Leadership Teams
For over 40 years, Eastman & Beaudine has been a leader in executive searches among sports, entertainment and business clients seeking help in building their senior leadership teams. The firm is led by Bob Beaudine, who has helped shape the leadership teams for the NBA, Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, 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.
Among its recent placements, Eastman & Beaudine recruited Chris Grant, deputy commissioner, Southland Conference; Nicki Collen, women’s basketball coach, Baylor University; Molly Miller, women’s basketball coach, Grand Canyon University; Bryce Drew, men’s basketball coach, Grand Canyon University; Alvin Brooks, men’s basketball coach, Lamar University; and Earl Grant, head basketball coach, Boston College.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media