|During your recent interviews of head football coaching candidates, what body language were you looking for from a candidate? Did you stick to a standard list of questions for each coach or did you “go with the flow” and let the conversation develop organically?
The interview process had many layers and body language, tone and content were just some of the factors I looked at. All of us have preconceived notions of others, based on what we read, what we hear and what we see. From the moment a candidate walked in the door, I was judging candidates and thinking to myself: How would he be in front of the team after a win or loss? How would he be at dinner with his wife and a major donor? Would he be comfortable sitting with members of the faculty? Body language is important, and you can often get a sense of a coach’s “presence,” passion and interest by what they say and how they say it, but you can also gain insight by how they listen.
While I went into each interview with certain topics I wanted to cover and though the search committee had a standard set of questions, we “went with the flow.” We spoke to each candidate about their football and recruiting philosophies, their vision for our program, their potential staff, their experience in helping student-athletes and their thoughts on our current program. I also wanted to see just how much they knew about Temple and Philadelphia and about our success the past few years.
We were fortunate that we had a strong pool of candidates who were great in the interviews. Outside of the formal search committee interview, I had the opportunity to meet with the candidates one on one to make sure that he and I connected and understood each other’s’ vision of the program.
After leaving Indiana, did you ever have concerns about getting back to the FBS level during your time at Loyola? Many aspiring administrators in our business seem to worry about leaving an FBS school and never having the opportunity to return. What advice would you have for those of us weighing such decisions?
When I left Indiana for Loyola, I never even thought about the step away from FBS or potential concerns about getting back to that level. Throughout my career, I have made job decisions based on what I felt was best for me and my family at that time. My experience at Loyola was tremendous. I had a wonderful boss in Director of Athletics Grace Calhoun, now the AD at Penn. Grace allowed me to really roll up my sleeves and run the day to day operations of the department. That opportunity was invaluable for me and is a big reason why I sit here today as Director of Athletics at Temple University. I was able to play a key leadership role in running a FULL department, from academics, compliance, development, marketing, sales and so on. I wasn’t just pigeon holed in one area of the department.
My advice to young administrators would be to choose the best opportunity that helps you grow professionally. Do not get caught up in the name on the business card, but really dig in and find out what is the work you will be doing. With that being said, it is very important to try to surround yourself with really good people, to network and connect with others in the industry. I have been very fortunate to have a wonderful network that I can lean on for advice as well as for assistance. I think it’s important to engage in professional development organizations and any networking activities you can. This is truly a people business.