College football programs are increasingly using outside search firms to help hire their new coaches and they’re shelling out big bucks.
Three SEC schools opened up their wallets this offseason for some guidance, according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Solomon. Missouri, South Carolina and UGA each hired outside consultants to assist in the hiring processes, and each school ended up hiring someone from within the program, or within the SEC.
UGA spent $42,175 on guidance from Carr Sports Consulting during the hiring of former Alabama defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart.. Bill Carr assisted UGA during the search by providing guidance to athletic director Greg McGarity through each step of the process and didn’t talk to anyone connected to Smart, according to Solomon.
Mizzou paid College Sports Solutions nearly $85,000 to replace Gary Pinkel and ultimately ended up hiring from within when they tabbed defensive coordinator Barry Odom as Pinkel’s replacement.
South Carolina wasn’t far behind on the spending list. The Gamecocks shelled out $80,000 to Eastman & Beaudine Inc., to help them hire former Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
A school that may have started the trend of hiring outside firms was Alabama. Solomon reports that Alabama hired Chuck Neinas 10 years ago when the school hired Nick Saban.
Everyone knows how that worked out.
It’s hard to estimate how much coaching firms truly benefit the program. But it will be interesting to see if that extra voice in the process pays off for the three SEC schools introducing new head coaches in 2016.