■ Bob Beaudine
Eastman & Beaudine, Plano, Texas
Beaudine’s father was a pioneer in the search business and Bob has followed in his footsteps, conducting searches for the NBA, MLB, Texas Rangers and MSG Sports. Beaudine began moving into college athletics 17 years ago and has become one of the most prevalent search consultants in the space.
■ Bill Carr
Carr Sports Associates, Gainesville, Fla.
The former Florida and Houston athletic director handles mostly AD searches and consulting projects for athletic departments, but he’s been in the college business for 41 years as an assistant football coach, administrator and consultant. He aided UNC’s athletic director search, which resulted in the hiring of Bubba Cunningham from Tulsa.
■ Cedric Dempsey
Consultant, San Diego
Dempsey, the former NCAA president, does more consulting these days than full-fledged searches, but he remains a highly influential figure who always gets his phone calls returned. Arizona AD Greg Byrne reached out to Dempsey when he hired football coach Rich Rodriguez. Dempsey also is consulting for the new college division at San Diego-based JMI Sports.
■ Jed Hughes
Spencer Stuart, San Francisco
Hughes, a former assistant football coach at UCLA, has built Spencer Stuart’s sports consulting practice into one of the most influential, working with the Pac-12, the Green Bay Packers and the USOC. He worked with the Michigan Wolverines to hire football coach Brady Hoke.
■ Chuck Neinas
Neinas Sports Services, Boulder, Colo.
Neinas’ name has not surfaced with any current searches because of his role as interim commissioner of the Big 12, but he was a pioneer in the college search business after a lengthy career in administration. He ran the old College Football Association, which was the precursor to the BCS, and was commissioner of the Big Eight.
■ Dan Parker, Laurie Wilder
Parker Executive Search, Atlanta
The majority of the firm’s revenue comes from job searches in higher education, but the college athletics piece of the business is growing the fastest. Parker, a native Georgian who grew up the son of a farmer, has endeared himself to university presidents and ADs with his Southern charm and deep set of contacts.
■ Glenn Sugiyama, Pat Richter
DHR International, Chicago
This global search firm has moved aggressively into the college space in the last few years under Sugiyama’s guidance, leading searches that produced football coaches Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and Randy Edsall at Maryland, as well as basketball coach Johnny Dawkins at Stanford. DHR handled Rice’s AD search, which led to the hiring of Rick Greenspan.
■ Todd Turner
Collegiate Sports Associates, West End, N.C.
Turner used plenty of search firms when he was an AD at four schools and now he’s on the other side as a consultant. Turner worked with New Mexico on the hiring of football coach Bob Davie, and Oklahoma on the basketball search that produced Lon Kruger. He’s brought in retired basketball coach Dave Odom, formerly at South Carolina and Wake Forest, as an aide on basketball searches.