UT hires firm to find Mike Hamilton's replacement at a cost of at least $90,000

Search committee names revealed

UT's contract with Parker Executive Search

The constant turnover in Tennessee’s athletic department the past few years has made for a perpetual relationship with its favorite search firm.

On Monday, the university entered its third agreement with Parker Executive Search in less than 18 months, as the high-profile, Atlanta-based firm will assist the Vols in their search for a new athletic director.

According to the contract, which the News Sentinel obtained through a public records request, UT will pay no less than $90,000 and is liable for a maximum of $105,000 to Parker, which is under contract with the university through Aug. 13.

Parker recently assisted the Vols with their decisions to hire Derek Dooley as their new football coach and Cuonzo Martin for men’s basketball. Martin, in fact, is one of six coaches from across the country whose image is currently displayed on Parker’s website under the title “recent engagements.”

The firm will work closely with chancellor Jimmy Cheek’s search committee to find a replacement for Mike Hamilton, who resigned last week. The candidate will take on an entirely new position in UT athletics, which, after years of having separate men’s and women’s departments, is in the process of merging the two into one cohesive unit. The new hire will oversee the entire department.

Cheek’s committee, which was confirmed Thursday to the News Sentinel by vice chancellor for communications Margie Nichols, features five prominent faces who all have various ties to the university:

* Daniel Murphy, UT’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative and Chairman of the University Athletics Board.

* Joan Cronan, UT’s longtime women’s athletic director who is currently serving as the interim vice chancellor for athletics.

* Susan Martin, UT’s Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

* Charles Anderson, UT trustee and CEO of Anderson Media who recently donated $8 million for the football team’s new indoor practice facility.

* John Tickle, UT alumnus and donor; president and owner of Strongwell Corp.

In its contract with the university, Parker lays out a 10-step plan of sorts to assist it throughout the hiring process.

Before the firm even contacts potential candidates, it will have consulted with UT to understand “the purposes and goals” of the athletic department and advised it with drafting up advertising for the position through a variety of venues.

Parker is responsible for making arrangements and scheduling potential candidates for interviews. The firm also will assist members of the committee before the interviews by advising them on appropriate questions and techniques.

According to the contract, Parker encourages schools to use a memorandum of understanding with their final candidates. It will help the university draft those documents and assist in salary negotiations, if necessary.

With the candidates’ permission, Parker will conduct an exhaustive background check that includes researching the potential hire’s criminal history, credit history, background with NCAA sanctions and how they conduct themselves in media settings.

Parker is a multi-faceted firm that also assists clients from academic health sciences and health care, corporate and higher education. In fact, the firm will be looking for at least two qualified candidates to run a high-profile athletic department this summer, as the University of Illinois hired Parker last month to assist with its search to replace its athletic director.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

Megan Boehnke contributed to this report.

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Comments » 51

JSamson7 writes:

Dang! I work for a search firm & I know I could certainly find a great candidate for a fee like that!

NYvolFan writes:

UT throws money away better than the Obama administration...shocking.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

UT throws money away better than the Obama administration...shocking.

May be true but the difference is...at least UT told how much it would be and will at least get some result out of spending the $.

Colliervol writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bad Bartlett! (But funny.)

Seriously, if UT was going to keep it "in the family", why would they waste $90,000 on a search firm? Methinks Fulmer ain't at the top of the list but that's just a guess.

CCLC writes:

I would think the next AD need be an attorney.
" 1. NCAA investigators are coming to South Florida this week to look into the recruiting of several high-school football stars and the methods of several colleges in doing so, according to a source.

Among the schools whose recruits are in question: Ohio State, Louisiana State, Auburn and Tennessee.

Yes, rest easy, Miami, Florida and Florida State fans. This isn’t about you. The schools involved have been successful for years in getting players out of South Florida, and enough red flags have been raised about money changing hands in the recruiting process to merit the investigation, the source said.

High schools officials, street agents, seven-on-seven tournaments – they’re all going to be asked questions by the NCAA."

I just wish it would stop. Don't you?

Colliervol writes:

in response to CCLC:

I would think the next AD need be an attorney.
" 1. NCAA investigators are coming to South Florida this week to look into the recruiting of several high-school football stars and the methods of several colleges in doing so, according to a source.

Among the schools whose recruits are in question: Ohio State, Louisiana State, Auburn and Tennessee.

Yes, rest easy, Miami, Florida and Florida State fans. This isn’t about you. The schools involved have been successful for years in getting players out of South Florida, and enough red flags have been raised about money changing hands in the recruiting process to merit the investigation, the source said.

High schools officials, street agents, seven-on-seven tournaments – they’re all going to be asked questions by the NCAA."

I just wish it would stop. Don't you?

Yes, and I'm sure that "source" has nothing to do with Florida, FSU or Miami either. Funny how that works if you lose a recruit or two to an outside entity. Now I wouldn't doubt what you are saying if Kiffin was still here. That would make sense.

Maybe Mark Richt and his coaches should learn how to operate a cell phone so that they wouldn't be improperly texting recruits' parents. (As was reported today in the AJC.) I know, it was just an innocent mistake. (Wink, wink)

CCLC writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Yes, and I'm sure that "source" has nothing to do with Florida, FSU or Miami either. Funny how that works if you lose a recruit or two to an outside entity. Now I wouldn't doubt what you are saying if Kiffin was still here. That would make sense.

Maybe Mark Richt and his coaches should learn how to operate a cell phone so that they wouldn't be improperly texting recruits' parents. (As was reported today in the AJC.) I know, it was just an innocent mistake. (Wink, wink)

;-)

OwensboroVol writes:

Friends there is something terribly wrong when we have to pay someone $90,000.00 to find an Athletic Director for what I consider one of the best University's in the country. I can't believe that We could not have went out and Hired Coach Martin on our own without paying a terrible cost. We hired Doug Dickey on our own I believe and he was one of the best Coaches and AD's in the country.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

guess that rules out Joan and Fulmer!

therev writes:

just hire Phil. He is true UT and knows how to get the job done.
You can send me my 90k now!

lafollette37766 writes:

At the rate the athletic dept is spending money they may have to go to Washington to ask Obama for a bailout because they are " to big to fail"

PANCHO writes:

My recommendation for AD is Tim Irwin. Just saved UT the money.

dk writes:

in response to therev:

just hire Phil. He is true UT and knows how to get the job done.
You can send me my 90k now!

Phil said that he didn't need a job. Let's keep it that way.

PEYDAY writes:

Another reason why Cheek needs to go. Why are we paying Cheek anyway if he's getting a search firm to do all the work?

Wasn't Charles Anderson the guy who pitched the big temper tantrum on Dooley over the indoor practice facility?

Caspian writes:

So, KNS, what's your point? By putting the amount UT is paying the consulting firm in the headline (versus a footnote), are you implying they are paying too much or too little? It's a given that you're upset about *something* regarding this deal - as you seem to be with nearly all things involving UT. The amount sounds about right to me for the level and importance of the position and the salaries involved. Obviously, you have a different opinion. What is it?

tenuhc writes:

Hire another yo-yo like Hamilton with no Tennessee ties. I want someone that cares about the Vols not someone just wanting the position for money. Fulmer, Holloway, Irwin, Davis, anyone that bleeds Orange. Sick of these people making decisions with no Tennessee pedigree. Give us at least one person who cares.

tovolny writes:

Condredge Holloway should be the man. If Holloway called you personally and asked for a donation you would probably comply. I know I would do what I could. Everybody knows Condredge. Seems to me to be very respected. But there is something going on out there that I don't know about. Why are people so HUSH HUSH when it comes to Condredge? Hey, I bet Bill Battle might send a few bucks to Holloway...I know he has a few extra bucks laying around.

vols2#227315 writes:

It will be another bad hire. Will not hire someone who had experience at UT or loyal to UT. Fulmer or the Lady Athletic director.

DenverVol writes:

I tell ya what...give me half that $90k and I'll let you who to hire..Joan Cronan. How easy was that? How much more proven do you need?

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to therev:

just hire Phil. He is true UT and knows how to get the job done.
You can send me my 90k now!

This really is getting ridiculous.

Could we PLEASE have a discussion that does not include Fulmer? At this point in time, we need a real Athletic Director. It's time to move forward.

Turn the page, folks.

claiborneh writes:

Yet another outsource. Cheek is paid over 400k and he has to hire Parker again. Maybe he should hire a consulting firm to help choose the search firm.

VolAlum03ISBACK (Inactive) writes:

in response to Caspian:

So, KNS, what's your point? By putting the amount UT is paying the consulting firm in the headline (versus a footnote), are you implying they are paying too much or too little? It's a given that you're upset about *something* regarding this deal - as you seem to be with nearly all things involving UT. The amount sounds about right to me for the level and importance of the position and the salaries involved. Obviously, you have a different opinion. What is it?

Welcome to journalism sans Fox News. They aren't supposed to take a position unless its an opinion article. This isn't an opinion article. That's why you are confused...because no one is telling you what to think.

iowavol writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Friends there is something terribly wrong when we have to pay someone $90,000.00 to find an Athletic Director for what I consider one of the best University's in the country. I can't believe that We could not have went out and Hired Coach Martin on our own without paying a terrible cost. We hired Doug Dickey on our own I believe and he was one of the best Coaches and AD's in the country.

If you don't realize that the state of athletics at the university of tennessee is badly tarnished you are either stupid or in deep denial. We will have a hard time getting anything other than a tier 2 candidate. We are the laughing stock of college athletics right now. You can thank Hamilton for the results and Adams for splitting the fan base.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL....Priceless..Sad but true

shipperman#280095 writes:

Every school hires search firms folks, not just UT. Walt's fat buddy was never going to be considered in the first place. As he did with the Louisville and Minnesota jobs when they showed no real interest in him, look for Fulmer to leak to the press that he is not interested in the job. Ego? Surely not Fulmer/ LOL

al2476 writes:

Hire Fulmer and keep the $90,000 and stop all this nonsense. I am sure that there is someone in the Athletic Dept that knows how to use a phone and make calls. Hire Fulmer ! ! !

Outdated writes:

in response to PANCHO:

My recommendation for AD is Tim Irwin. Just saved UT the money.

I don't see any possible way UT could get a more qualified, intelligent AD than TIME IRWIN..
The word intelligent probably disqualifies Tim...
Just when they get Cronan for temp and it looks like some bit of reason may come back..UT does the same type thing they were doing when Hamilton was here...Hiring a search firm is simply saying WE HAVE NO ONE HERE CAPABLE OF DOING THIS...
TOTAL NONSENSE....SAYS IT ALL ABOUT HOW THINGS ARE GOING TO CONTINUE AT UT
OFFER TIM THE JOB OR AT LEAST SAY WHY NOT..

Outdated writes:

in response to tenuhc:

Hire another yo-yo like Hamilton with no Tennessee ties. I want someone that cares about the Vols not someone just wanting the position for money. Fulmer, Holloway, Irwin, Davis, anyone that bleeds Orange. Sick of these people making decisions with no Tennessee pedigree. Give us at least one person who cares.

I think the vast majority of VOL fans share your view..I like the suggestion of including Tim Irvin in this conversation...Is there anyone more qualified?
UT does not need to pay a search firm they just need some common sense...the lack of which has caused this mess....

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

UT throws money away better than the Obama administration...shocking.

JUST ANOTHER TAX FREE REPUBLICAN BLOWING HIS BUGLE OR SHOULD I SAY HORN.

OrangePride writes:

I would be feeling a LOT better if Pat Summitt's name was on this committee list. We have a talent like this and she sits on the sideline? Perhaps Cheek thinks that because Joan C. is on the committee that PS would be redundant or overweighting in one area. Of course, it's entirely possible that this was Pat's decision. If so, then we have to respect that. Frankly, I would have liked it better had Pat Summitt been on the committee and Joan Cronan in the candidate pool. Oh well...just an opinion.

volunteerintexas writes:

It's my inclination that UT should think out of the box regarding the criteria they use in their search for the next AD. I think that there are three criteria that I'd use:

1. Ability to raise capital... Tennessee is hindered because of the lack of talent base from which to recruit. Therefore, Tennessee has to differentiate itself with "shock and awe" facilities to attract the caliber talent it takes to compete at the highest level. If we have the best facilities that attracts the best athletes, the best coaches will want to coach here. If we have the best coaches, the best athletes will be easier to recruit... the cycle will perpetuate itself.
2. Managerial ability... Hamilton failed not because of an inability to raise money or choose coaches. His downfall was attributed to his failure to design and implement an effective rules compliance framework and system. Clear and simple. The successful candidate must have a rigorous and comprehensive compliance system.
3. Business Strategist... It's about the money. The more profitable the program becomes, the more capital is generated to further the UT brand. aka look at the U of Texas TV network and the evolution of the Oregon "brand"... they're both run like companies. Oregon is essentially a R&D Lab for Nike, funded by Phil Knight. We need this level of integration with corporate America.

Summary: Yogi Berra once said "the future ain't what it used to be". Like it or not, college football today is big business. We either innovate at the tip of the spear, or we continue a trajectory of mediocrity. We don't need some guy that's risen up the AD ranks with a sports marketing degree. We need a high powered executive from corporate America. Think out of the box. Think bold.

orangeman1 writes:

All UT fans want the best person for the job. I happen to think Fulmer would do a good job, but its good the Universtity is leaving it in the hands of this search firm. I just hope its not the same one that thought it was a good idea to hire Kiffin.

UTKin1992 writes:

The 90k should be deducted from idiot boy's final payout.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Walt, get over it. They are NOT going to rehire your loser Great Pumpkin. As they say: BOOK IT

Hounddawg writes:

No need for a search firm! David Howell is sitting in Middle Tn. right now waiting for the offer. He is the man for the job why cant Cheeks see that?

BigGVOLInATL writes:

in response to Hounddawg:

No need for a search firm! David Howell is sitting in Middle Tn. right now waiting for the offer. He is the man for the job why cant Cheeks see that?

Houndawg have you lost your mind? Why would we want Howell as our AD?

Hounddawg writes:

in response to volunteerintexas:

It's my inclination that UT should think out of the box regarding the criteria they use in their search for the next AD. I think that there are three criteria that I'd use:

1. Ability to raise capital... Tennessee is hindered because of the lack of talent base from which to recruit. Therefore, Tennessee has to differentiate itself with "shock and awe" facilities to attract the caliber talent it takes to compete at the highest level. If we have the best facilities that attracts the best athletes, the best coaches will want to coach here. If we have the best coaches, the best athletes will be easier to recruit... the cycle will perpetuate itself.
2. Managerial ability... Hamilton failed not because of an inability to raise money or choose coaches. His downfall was attributed to his failure to design and implement an effective rules compliance framework and system. Clear and simple. The successful candidate must have a rigorous and comprehensive compliance system.
3. Business Strategist... It's about the money. The more profitable the program becomes, the more capital is generated to further the UT brand. aka look at the U of Texas TV network and the evolution of the Oregon "brand"... they're both run like companies. Oregon is essentially a R&D Lab for Nike, funded by Phil Knight. We need this level of integration with corporate America.

Summary: Yogi Berra once said "the future ain't what it used to be". Like it or not, college football today is big business. We either innovate at the tip of the spear, or we continue a trajectory of mediocrity. We don't need some guy that's risen up the AD ranks with a sports marketing degree. We need a high powered executive from corporate America. Think out of the box. Think bold.

Exactly why David Howell is the man for the job!

Hounddawg writes:

in response to BigGVOLInATL:

Houndawg have you lost your mind? Why would we want Howell as our AD?

Big G you are clearly an imposter...Maybe that extra G is for the Dawgs! Howell is a decorated business man, life long Tennessean and unlike you all Vol. If he is not the front runner Cheek is the one whose mind is lost!

volzrock54 writes:

in response to cdtnladyvols931#663910:

JUST ANOTHER TAX FREE REPUBLICAN BLOWING HIS BUGLE OR SHOULD I SAY HORN.

Funny how the democraps wanna talk about blowing a buldge with ole Tony Weiner showing his winkie everywhere..

Pompey writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Friends there is something terribly wrong when we have to pay someone $90,000.00 to find an Athletic Director for what I consider one of the best University's in the country. I can't believe that We could not have went out and Hired Coach Martin on our own without paying a terrible cost. We hired Doug Dickey on our own I believe and he was one of the best Coaches and AD's in the country.

.....FYI: a one year search produced Doug Dickey.
UT has finally taken the professional approach to hiring personnel of critical importance to the program.....finally!

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Of course he does, murfreesboroman: nobody else is interested in him. Where else but in Tennessee is someone like Phil going to get attention?

Phil was two football coaches ago. It's time to move onward and upward, not through the truck in reverse.

Let's make this a Fulmer-free discussion - the issue at hand is finding the Athletic Director that will lead us into the future.

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

UT throws money away better than the Obama administration...shocking.

Sign that you are an automaton # 4:
When you are so polarized that you can't even join a discussion about the search for the next UT Athletic Director without interjecting political rhetoric.

Take it somewhere else, please.

MR_VOL writes:

in response to VolinVirginia:

This really is getting ridiculous.

Could we PLEASE have a discussion that does not include Fulmer? At this point in time, we need a real Athletic Director. It's time to move forward.

Turn the page, folks.

VolinVirginia, I totally agree with every word you typed. I will be the first to acknowledge and thank Fulmer for ALL his time and commitment he has given UT. Unfortunately, for all the good he has done and time he has devoted, he simply is not the person needed as the Athletic Director.

PLEASE let Fulmer fade into the night.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Every school hires search firms folks, not just UT. Walt's fat buddy was never going to be considered in the first place. As he did with the Louisville and Minnesota jobs when they showed no real interest in him, look for Fulmer to leak to the press that he is not interested in the job. Ego? Surely not Fulmer/ LOL

And as I predicted: Phil Fulmer does not think he is a candidate, What will poor Walt do now?

Slystone writes:

Charles Davis should be at the top of the list.

PEYDAY writes:

in response to VolinVirginia:

Sign that you are an automaton # 4:
When you are so polarized that you can't even join a discussion about the search for the next UT Athletic Director without interjecting political rhetoric.

Take it somewhere else, please.

Yeah but he was right. What a waste!

PEYDAY writes:

in response to VolinVirginia:

Of course he does, murfreesboroman: nobody else is interested in him. Where else but in Tennessee is someone like Phil going to get attention?

Phil was two football coaches ago. It's time to move onward and upward, not through the truck in reverse.

Let's make this a Fulmer-free discussion - the issue at hand is finding the Athletic Director that will lead us into the future.

Maybe you meant "not THROW the truck in reverse"? You should worry more about grammar than who the next AD is.

coymoore#531076 writes:

in response to NYvolFan:

UT throws money away better than the Obama administration...shocking.

Maybe we need another Bush to show us how an economy needs to be run. Fulmer, Joan, Davis, Irwin would all be great hires! We need someone who has our best interest at heart!

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to PEYDAY:

Maybe you meant "not THROW the truck in reverse"? You should worry more about grammar than who the next AD is.

Indeed Peyday: I can see that you do.......

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to PEYDAY:

Yeah but he was right. What a waste!

That may or may not be the case, but it is a discussion for another forum/venue.

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