Friday, March 10, 2006
UC hires search firm
Eleven days after University of Cincinnati athletic director Mike Thomas wrote a letter to boosters in which he said he had “no plans to utilize the assistance of an external search firm” to help him find UC’s next head basketball coach, the school has hired a search firm.
UC associate athletic director Brian Teter confirmed today that the school has hired the Dallas-based firm of Eastman-Beaudine, the same firm that identified Thomas as the leading candidate for the UC athletic director job last fall.
Thomas, who arrived at UC after serving for five years as the athletic director at Akron, took over the Bearcat athletic program on Dec. 1.
In a letter to UC boosters dated Feb. 27, 2006, Thomas wrote that he has “been in discussions daily with some of the most well-connected, experienced professionals in college basketball today.”
Thomas has said in previous statements and reiterated in the letter that current interim head coach Andy Kennedy is a candidate for the vacancy that was created when Bob Huggins’ contract was terminated last August.
“Whether it is on paper or stored in our heads, most AD’s (sic) have a general idea of the type of coach they would pursue if an opening presented itself in basketball or any other sport,” Thomas wrote. “In this case, I began refinining my list before I officially began at the University of Cincinnati on Dec. 1 and yes, Coach Kennedy is definitely on it.”
Thomas did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
In a statement released by UC, Thomas said:
“We are entering a critical time in our search where background checks, referencing, and ultimately, contract negotiations will become extremely important.”
“Not only will Eastman & Beaudine provide assistance in these key areas, but they will also help us maintain confidentiality and bring the process to a successful conclusion in the quickest manner possible.”