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Culture Building With Idaho’s Terry Gawlik

Guest Terry Gawlik, Idaho
19:44 min watch


University of Idaho Director of Athletics Terry Gawlik joins ADU’s Tai M. Brown at the 2023 Women Leaders Convention to discuss building a culture in the context of hiring head coaches and senior level staff members. Gawlik, a longtime coach-turned-administrator who worked under AD Barry Alvarez while at Wisconsin, reflects on the impact her coaching experience had on her leadership style as an administrator as well as on how she evaluates candidates for head coaching positions. Gawlik also discusses the transfer portal and the subsequent difficulty of creating culture in the locker room; working with a search firm on a head coaching search; and creating a stable department culture in seasons of staff turnover.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Tell me about the impact of your coaching experience on your perspective as an administrator as you made the transition from coach to administrator and then progressed to the Big Chair throughout your career.
  • - I imagine Barry helped you as you went off to Idaho to become an Athletics Director and begin creating the culture, developing the brand, hiring coaches - all the things you have to do when getting into the chair that you thought you were ready for.
  • - When a capable coach doesn't have success at an institution, is that on the AD for hiring them even though they might not be ready or on the coach for not realizing that they weren't quite the right fit for that institution?
  • - Below the surface, what are some of the things you've put in place for the timing to be right to hire someone (in this case, a football coach) and have them be successful in the role?
  • - Tell me more about your president's engagement with the search process, including how he evaluates your current staff.
  • - Why did you decide to use a search firm and bring in a third party to help with coaching searches?
  • - How do you evaluate a candidate's perspective on the role of Athletics within the larger mission of the University?
  • - What are you putting in place to continue your department's culture when you're bringing in new coaches and administrators? How are you preparing so the culture is steadfast despite personnel changes?
  • - When you hire someone, are you thinking three steps ahead in their career or are you thinking of them for a specific immediate role or need you have in your department?