Needing assistance with the logistics of arranging multiple interviews and hoping to maintain confidentiality, the Missouri athletic department paid a search firm $84,720 while looking for a new football coach three months ago.
Mizzou Athletics worked with former Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg and Atlanta-based College Sports Solution.
“We met with a number of highly-qualified candidates from across the country in a very short period of time and CSS proved to be very helpful in coordinating travel and logistics for all parties in an efficient and discreet manner,” Mizzou Athletics spokesperson Ryan Bradley said in a release. “We are thrilled to have identified Barry Odom as the new leader of Mizzou Football and appreciate CSS for their assistance throughout the process.”
The initial contract for Nov. 15 through Dec. 31 was for $75,000 plus $9,720 in additional expenses, such as travel and lodging, incurred by the search committee members, College Sports Solutions staff and the candidates. Ultimately, Missouri found its coach in Columbia, promoting then-defensive coordinator Odom as former coach Gary Pinkel’s successor.
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Pinkel compiled a 118-73 record in 15 seasons with the Tigers and has won the most games in program history. He announced Nov. 13 that he had follicular lymphoma and would retire after the 2015 season. Odom, a 1999 MU graduate was hired Dec. 3.
Missouri was also believed to have interviewed Temple’s Matt Rhule, Houston’s Tom Herman, California’s Sonny Dykes and former Bowling Green coach Dino Babers, who subsequently was hired by Syracuse.
Last year, MU paid Korn Ferry $75,000 plus expenses for assistance in its search for a new athletic director after Mike Alden retired. Mack Rhoades was hired as Alden’s successor. The Tigers paid $42,500 plus expenses, per contract terms with Collegiate Sports Associates, in the men’s basketball coaching search after Frank Haith left for Tulsa in April 2014. Kim Anderson was hired as Haith’s successor.