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Earlier this week, Texas Tech decided to pull the plug on the Matt Wells era. It isn't even November yet, and we now currently have five FBS head football coach openings, will more likely to open up before the end of the regular season.

There's a lot that goes into hiring a football coach, or a women's soccer coach, or any sort of college coach. Increasingly, that process involves a search firm.

It's easy to lob jokes at search firms, especially for elite college football jobs. How hard could it be to come up with a list of potential candidates for the USC or LSU job, right? Those schools have HR departments, they know how to run background checks and conduct interviews. Why bring in a third party?

Prior to becoming a sportswriter, I even worked in the staffing industry, both as an in-house corporate recruiter, and in third-party search...and based on the work I used to do and was familiar with, I couldn't use a use for a lot of search firms either...or at least, I didn't early in my sportswriting career.

Some of those jokes are still justified, in my humble opinion, but the actual nuts and bolts process of hiring a coach, or an AD, or other senior staffers, is more complicated than Twitter makes it out to be sometimes.

To help better understand what these companies actually do, for our latest episode of Going For Two, we decided to bring in a person who runs a search firm, Kyle Bowlsby, of Bowlsby Sports Advisors.

In this podcast episode, we discuss:

  • How one actually gets into the college search firm world.
  • What sorts of services, beyond candidate lists, a search firm actually provides.
  • How a search firm figures out what candidates to recommend, especially for more niche sports, like college soccer.
  • What role search firms need to play in improving diversity in college athletics coaching and administration.
  • What changes he'd like to see in the hiring process of college coaches.
  • The weirdest things he's seen in contracts.
  • What a search firm does if the school has unrealistic expectations about a search.
  • And much, much more.

Going For Two is the free podcast of Extra Points, which drops every Wednesday. You can find it via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the Varsity Podcast Network, and wherever else you get your podcasts.

If you enjoy the show, liking, subscribing, and sharing with your friends is very much appreciated.


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