UT hires firm to assist in search for new athletic director [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 11--The University of Texas has hired the services of executive search firm Korn/Ferry International for $200,000, plus expenses, to assist in its nationwide search for a new athletic director.
School president Bill Powers made the announcement Thursday, after the American-Statesman reported the news. The money will be paid out of the athletic budget; Texas' athletic department has the highest budget in the nation with projected revenues of $167 million this school year.
Korn/Ferry, with international offices, including ones in New York and Los Angeles, assisted the Big 12 in its recent hunt for a commissioner. That search, led by Korn/Ferry vice chairman Jed Hughes, led to the hiring of Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby in 2012.
Hughes did not return a phone call from the firm's New York offices.
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, 76, announced last week that he would retire at the end of August after 32 years on the job, but would step down earlier if the school finds his successor.
Powers told the American-Statesman last week that he hoped to hire a new athletic director "this fall," perhaps as soon as next month.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, considered to be a leading candidate for the position, has declined to return repeated messages from the American-Statesman. Bowlsby, as well as athletic directors Joe Castiglione of Oklahoma and Chris Del Conte of TCU, have all declined to show interest.
Bowlsby has been adamant in his insistence that he is not leaving his job as Big 12 commissioner.
"I made a commitment to the conference for at least five years," he texted the American-Statesman on Monday, "and I have no plans to renege on the promise."
Chris Plonsky, Texas' women's athletic director, declined to discuss her level of interest in the men's position.
"I'm very happy with the job I have," Plonsky said. "I'm very lucky to have the job I have. Happy and privileged."
When asked if she thought Powers would seriously consider a woman, she said, "He wants the best candidate."
Staff writer Mark Rosner contributed to this story.
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