If there any question how important the current search for a new football search is for Jacksonville State, this should help answer that: For the first time ever, the Jacksonville State athletics department has hired an outside search firm to help fill their head football coaching vacancy.
According to the Anniston Star, the school has retained Gainesville, Fla.-based Carr Sports Consulting LLC to help find the successor to Jack Crowe.
Jacksonville State athletic director Warren Koegel says inquiries have been pouring in over the past week, at one point comparing the inital response to the number of people living in China.
The search firm’s role will apparently be limited to identifying candidates, while Koegel will talk to the candidates.
“We’ve discussed people, talked about a time line, exactly what the criteria is we’re looking for,” Koegel told the paper. “It’s a good thing to bounce it off other people other than just throwing names out there. They give us another engine to work with to discuss who are interested and then when you get to the decision-making time you have a pretty good, thought-out feeling about somebody.”
The firm is led by Bill Carr, the former University of Houston and Florida athletics director. This firm has conducted coaching searches and feasibility studies for Troy, Alabama State and South Alabama among others, and AD openings at Toledo, South Florida and Navy.
As for what Koegel is looking for in a candidate, he says experience is important, but the Gamecocks also are interested in a coach with high character, a strong football background and who cares about student-athletes.
“We are a university and we do play within the rules of the NCAA and the Ohio Valley Conference and those are the people we have to answer to,” Koegel told the paper. “We’re going to find a coach who can come in here and coach the university, but that doesn’t eliminate some people because they haven’t worked at this university or somewhere else. We’re looking for the best fit for Jacksonville State.”