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February 11, 2009

Dan Parker to Run UGA's Basketball Search

The AJC reports that Georgia will use Parker Executive Search to manage the placement of a new basketball coach in Athens. Parker Executive Search specializes in collegiate athletics and other higher education searches. They placed Tubby at Minnesota, Gillespie at Kentucky and Pelphrey at Arkansas among many, many other recent searches.

About a year ago talked to Parker about their search process and why companies...especially universities...need a search firm. It's a good read. It boils down to a question of expertise, relationships and speed.

Look at the badly mangled searches of the past two years. Michigan's torturous search for a football coach was highlighted by the inability to land Les Miles because their AD was too busy yachting. Arkansas was humiliated publicly when Dana Altman rejected them at the altar (which is why ARK turned to Parker). And Auburn barely even had a process for their search that resulted in Chizik being hired. If Dan Parker is running a search, he gets a confirmed YES before things go public. And you don't change your mind and embarrass Parker, or you're not going to be involved in any more of his searches.

Relationships and Speed
Parker has managed dozens of searches over the past few years. His firm's relationships with agents and prior converations means that he knows who is really willing to relocate and to what parts of the country. Who is restless. What the "going rate" really is for coaches at different levels.

If you don't have that preexisting knowledge, you're starting from scratch on your search. And you might miss a quality candidate or limit your pool to only coaches that you know from prior connections.

Best of All
Dan Parker, president of the firm, is a Dawg. He has two degrees from Georgia, and his Atlanta-based firm is loaded with UGA grads. Our people are running our search.

I suspected about a year ago that Parker would be used for this process. We've used his firm in the past. If we hadn't announced a relationship with a search firm....Parker in particular....I would be very nervous. This is a good thing.

See Also:
-- Early deficits are the reason for the 10 game losing streak - AJC
-- Hermmann on Leslie and Price's benching last game - ABH
-- No Mass Exodus Expected by Players - AJC



Anonymous said...

excited about this. . .hoping this hire will really put us in the basketball business. it's very depressing when you cant get excited about your team. the tourney is as good as it gets, we should be there more often than not.

Anonymous said...

Go get us Jay Wright or Sean Miller.

Anonymous said...

this is the same guy as yesterday, i'll give my initials and start going by them, great write up pwd, enjoyed this.

Anonymous said...

This is the best news yet. I would have been very nervous if we started to hear about interview pools coming together without an outside agency. This is a great thing. This helps put the search out of the AD's hands for now. I like Damon, but everyone knows that the department can be heavily influenced by donor money. At least now we know that UGA was smart enough to pass and ignore silly petitions on hiring a 60 old some year old dinosaur with a temper. Having trouble getting this to post, so apologies if it shows about 3 or 4 times.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you mention Auburn's hiring of Chizik as an example of what can happen without an outside agency, and Parker has getting Chizik to Iowa State on his list of recent jobs. I do agree, however, that this is a good thing and should help us in getting the best guy possible. Just thought that was kind of odd.

Anonymous said...

Chizik to Iowa State made sense. A bottom dweller grabed a sucessful coordinator from Aub/Texas.

A losing coach from a bottom dweller to Auburn doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

Ubiquitous is right -- Iowa State was arguably overachieving at the time they hired Chizik. (Note where Muschamp's next job will be.) Not the case with Auburn. Should've hired Parker!

PWD -- Thanks for explaining the reasons for going this route. All make sense, and I wouldn't have thought of them myself, as obvious as they seem from reading them on here!

Anonymous said...

His recent track record according to the AJC. Do any of these have the impact we hope to have with this hire?

Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson: good so far

Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian: questionable

Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie: looking shaky

Minnesota basketball coach Tubby Smith: big step up for Minn

Georgia State basketball coach Rod Barnes: interesting

Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey: fair

Anonymous said...

I wasn't saying Chizik to Iowa St wasn't a good move. I was just saying it is funny that the hire at Iowa St is considered a good move, but the hire at Auburn is a screw up. I don't think it was that bad of a hire personally, but isn't the point here. The point is I found that odd or funny or whatever...not complaining or disagreeing.

Anonymous said...

It is by understanding that Parker simply identifies candidates and does the legwork; they don't actually recommend someone for the job. Thus, a successful search is one where there is minimal public disclosure and a successful "pool" of candidates is found. It is still up to the AD and school to pick the right guy.

Anonymous said...

I still can't believe AU traded Tubs for's just baffling.

Anonymous said...

maybe AU couldnt afford Parker with the tumbling price of Colonial Bank stock. Another couple of weeks, and Lowder wont be able to afford long distance calls to potential new coaches.

Here's why Chizik to Iowa St would be considered a good move (for Iowa St), but Chizik to AU would be considered a questionable move.

Say you're a junior in the chess club in high school. You want a date for homecoming, and you manage to attract a hot young sophomore cheerleader from the JV squad to go with you. Nice move by you, right? Then let's say she puts on a few pounds, maybe has some acne flareups, and her junior year, she's not quite the up and comer she seemed as a sophomore. Now the senior QB on the football team has his girlfriend break up with him two weeks before homecoming. You would think lots of the more attractive girls in school would be interested, but he makes a panic choice and invites the former JV hotshot cheerleader. Not such a great move for him.

It's all a matter of perspective. Iowa State overachieved by hiring a hot prospect. Auburn underachieved by desperately reaching for a guy who not only didnt impress in his two years as a head coach, he was awful. When the program he left is more excited about dumping him than the program he lands at is excited about getting him, something is wrong.

it's great for me, though. I hate Auburn. I only wish they had hired Kevin Ramsey, but this is still good from my perspective.

Anonymous said...

off topic

Oklahoma state wide receiver bo bowling suspended indefinitely.

cant be a bad thing.
its on espn homepage

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that they will do far better than Bob Knight, whom seems to think that "Gatorade" is a "performance enhancing substance."

Anonymous said...

Jim -- It looks like this guy hurts the depth at Okie St. He was in the running for a starting job and definitely would have been in the mix in some way. The interesting thing I got out of reading that article is the heavy reliance on Dez Bryant combined with the TE Pettigrew leaving for the NFL, Bowling being suspended for what looks like at least the opener with xanax and weed charges, and another WR Jeremy Broadway getting the boot in December for drugs should have this "high powered" offense looking for answers early on. That can only be good news for the Dawgs, although I like the feel of this team and thought we would win this one already.

C. Paul said...

This is good, if not great news. If for no other reason than our process should stay "our" process and not become the subject of public scrutiny.

A vote for Sean Miller here.

Anonymous said...


When will they fire Andy Landers?

Anonymous said...

Sean Miller would be a GREAT hire, but I don't think we'll be able to pull him away from Xavier. Why would he come to Athens? He makes around a million dollars a year in Cincinnati, has a contract that runs through 2016 (I believe), and consistently fields solid teams.
I suppose we could offer him some big time dollar bills, and he would probably love to recruit in Atlanta, but I just don't see it happening.
Hope Dan Parker and Damon can prove me wrong, though.

Anonymous said...

No one worth a crap is going to take our job after we go 0-16 in the SEC. The players have mailed it in.

Anonymous said...

This search firm is going to be earning its money after last nite's performance. . .

The Watch Dawg said...

By the time we hire somebody, we'll be too sick of losing to find fault with him.

Thanks for the write-up, PWD. Good news for Dawg nation.

Nate said...

This team probably has more talent than any of Felton's previous teams. However, this has to be least fundamental skilled b-ball team I have ever seen. Ever. Mr. Evans, please put us out of our misery.

Unknown said...

If Damon Evans and the University of Georgia Athletic Department wants to be competitive and make a splash then they can hire Tubby Smith, Mike Anderson, Jeff Capel, or Brad Stevens. But if they are truly serious about winning SEC and national championships in men's basketball then they must hire Anthony Grant of VCU. He was Billy Donovan's top assistant for ten years at Florida. He is an oustanding recruiter. In fact he was very instrumental in recruiting the back to back 06 and 07 national title teams. Nobody understands how to win in the SEC like he does. Don't believe me. Here check out his bio
You will thank me later.

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