Search firm CEO: Outside-the-box candidates in play for AD job
The president of the search firm hired to help select USF's next athletic director told the school's search committee Tuesday sitting ADs, those from schools in similar markets and "out-of-the-box" candidates will receive consideration.
Bob Beaudine, president of Texas-based Eastman & Beaudine, spent Tuesday on USF's campus touring the athletic facilities and meeting with coaches, administrators, boosters and even student leaders.
He also spent 35 minutes briefing five of the six search committee members, who received a formal job description of slightly more than three pages. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik was the only committee member absent.
No candidate was mentioned by name, and the school confirmed no one formally has applied for the position being vacated by Doug Woolard, who announced his retirement in January.
Applying isn't necessary for those identified as solid candidates to initially be approached by the search firm.
"This is an outstanding job. This isn't just a good one," Beaudine said. "It's an outstanding opportunity in a vibrant market, in a city with great professional teams, and we have a leadership here that's looking to be something excellent."
Dr. William Sutton, the committee chairman, indicated a pool of 30-40 qualified applicants is conceivable, with the search firm narrowing the list to the top three to five candidates. Those finalists would be presented to the search committee.
Beaudine also strongly suggested those from outside the traditional university sector could warrant serious consideration, leaving the door open for predominant local favorite favorite Rob Higgins.
A USF alumnus and executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Higgins has declined to discuss the opening. He was on campus Sunday to help unveil the logo for the 2015 Women's Final Four, which will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
"I think it's always important to bring some people in who are out-of-the box candidates who have a strong marketing and sales involvement in sports and bring the unique perspective to management of this process," Beaudine said.