Below is an article written by ETSU Athletic Director Dr. Richard Sander that was featured on College AD. Dr. Sander talks about whether it is best to hire a search firm during the process of hiring a new coach.
With the basketball coaching domino season just about over, it will be interesting to look back in a couple of years to see who were winners and who were losers. When an Athletic Director is faced with the challenge of getting into that domino game of hiring a head basketball coach, the first decision is one of the biggest: To hire a search firm or not to hire a search firm? That is the question.
Clearly there are pros and cons going both ways and each AD and department has to make that decision based on what provides the most comfort and best result for them. For me, I have never hired a search firm and probably never will. I have four major components to my process that have served me well over the years. I use these four concepts as the cornerstone of hiring head coaches:
I do not use a search firm or search committees. In consultation with the University President, I recommend to him who I want to hire and give him my rationale and justification.
Rationale: When I hire a head coach, I am going to have to work very closely with that individual on a daily basis. I am going to have to have a relationship with the coach based on trust. The coach/AD relationship is very unique and both have to have the same vision and understanding of the realities of the situation. The search firm or search committee has no continuing relationship with the coach. In four or five years if the coach was not successful, the search firm or search committee will not have to fire the coach, I will. The success of my job and my career is tied very closely to those I hire, so I want to make that decision.