There will surely be dozens of high-profile, high-paying college football coaching positions available in the next month, but how does a school hire the right guy? Some programs are losing legends and some are trying to replace duds. Regardless of who they are replacing, is there a formula that works?
Many schools, including Virginia Tech, will be hiring a search firm to help them find their next football candidates (in my opinion Whit already has his guy) while others will keep the search entirely internal or even a combination of both. My question is: which is the best or is there even a right way?
Search firms can cost anywhere between $10,000 and a million dollars depending on the role (many of these firms help high education institutions search for more than football and basketball coaches), which is a lot of money for many schools in need. However, these firms take a lot of the logistics and paperwork out of the equation, which most certainly makes the process easier.
For Virginia Tech this process might be quick or it might drag out depending on the situation. Whit Babcock has experience making clutch hires that are not only impactful, but successful considering the circumstances. At Cincinnati he was able to work with good coaches, but also hire good coaches (Brian Kelly, Butch Jones, Tommy Tuberville and Mick Cronin). Whit worked his channels to secure Buzz Williams from Marquette and has surely been doing the same to replace Frank Beamer. With a long list of contacts around collegiate athletics and a good reputation, Whit Babcock, in my opinion, might be better off going at this alone. Hiring a coach to succeed a legend is a tall task, but Whit's intuition and ability to build a relationship with Beamer's successor is the most important thing for me as a sports enthusiast and Hokie. Whether the next coach is Rodriguez, Fuente, Herman, Lombardi (haha) or an unknown I want Whit to make the call.