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Volume 23 No. 17
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Most Influential: College Football, 16-20

No. 16
DeLoss Dodds
Athletic director, University of Texas

Photo by: University of Texas
The scope of an athletic director’s influence is typically limited to one campus, but that’s not the case with Dodds. He is one of a handful of athletic directors who have the power to drive a discussion, whether it’s related to media (Longhorn Network) or conference realignment (Pac-12, Big 12). There’s a lot of juice in the chair of the Texas AD, and Dodds has put it to good use, whether it was to save a conference or to start a school network.

No. 17
The Media Consultants

Chris Bevilacqua, Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures
Chuck Gerber, consultant
Dean Jordan, Wasserman Media Group

Consummate behind-the-scenes guys, media consultants have become more important as the cost of media rights has

Dean Jordan
Photo by: John Sculli / ABImages
Chuck Gerber
Photo by: Shana Wittenwyler
Chris Bevilacqua
Photo by: Shana Wittenwyler
skyrocketed. It’s hard to picture SEC Commissioner Mike Slive without Gerber nearby. When the Pac-12 was cutting its media rights deals, Bevilacqua was always close to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. In fact, the Big East hired Bevilacqua before they hired a commissioner. Jordan has contacts throughout the college sports landscape, and is a key player in the BCS negotiations that are set to heat up this fall.

No. 18
Bob Beaudine
Eastman & Beaudine

Dan Parker
Parker Executive Search

Bob Beaudine
Photo by: Eastman & Beaudine
Dan Parker
Photo by: Parker Executive Search
It’s not uncommon for Parker or Beaudine to lead the search for the president, athletic director and football coach, all at the same school. Whenever a job becomes vacant, chances are the leading candidates have already interviewed with search pros like Parker or Beaudine. The growing search business has become fertile ground for highly influential search agents, including others such as Bill Carr, Jed Hughes, Glenn Sugiyama and Todd Turner. More and more, administrators are turning to them to expedite a search and get the job filled.

No. 19
Jimmy Sexton
Agent, CAA Sports

Sexton represents some of the biggest names in college football coaching. Alabama’s Nick Saban, Florida State’s Jimbo

Photo by: Shana Wittenwyler
Fisher, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Southern California’s Lane Kiffin — they are among the hottest and best-paid coaches in the country. That puts Sexton in the position of setting the market for coaches’ salaries every time one of his guys re-ups, and there aren’t many controversies that generate more debate than coaches’ salaries. That puts one of the sport’s greatest lightning-rod issues in Sexton’s hands.

No. 20
Kevin Plank
Founder, CEO, Under Armour

Photo by: Greg Fuime / UMD Athletics
Love Maryland’s uniforms or hate them, but anyone paying the least bit of attention last season certainly noticed them. How else could a 2-10 team become the talk of the college football world? That’s what Under Armour set out to do with the Terrapins’ funky red, black and yellow — are we missing any colors? — uniforms. The Terps got noticed. Plank has roughly the same approach to building his own company’s brand. Be big, be bad, be bold. Sure, Under Armour was a little late to the uniform dance, after what Nike did at Oregon. But when they arrived, Under Armour couldn’t be missed.