UM: Same Coach Headhunter Who Hired Shannon

Here’s an ASSOCIATED PRESS report on the vacant University of Miami football coaching position:

Randy Shannon Chuck Neinas

The Miami athletic director said he and Chuck Neinas, a consultant the school hired to help conduct the search, have not compiled a list of interviewees yet.

Some names though have been bandied about as possible candidates, including Jim Leavitt, Tommy Tuberville and Mike Leach. Some NFL coaches are also in the mix.

Here’s another ASSOCIATED PRESS report on the vacant University of Miami football coaching position:

The Miami Athletic Director moved swiftly, already enlisting the help of Chuck Neinas — a consultant who specializes in finding the coaches for schools — and giving him an initial list of candidates. The school would not divulge who the initial targets are, and stressed that it will take as much time as it needs to make the right hire.

Speculation has centered on Mike Leach, Tommy Tuberville and former NFL Coach Jon Gruden — each of whom would be a splashy get.

Amazingly similar stories, considering they were written four years apart nearly to the day.

The first story was published Nov, 30, 2006. The second, Nov. 29, 2010.

In 2006, it was the same coach headhunter Neinas who eventually recommended Miami hire Randy Shannon.

On Nov. 30, 2006, the same day as the first story, the SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL reported of the Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee’s coaching search:

Dee said he’s been in contact with agents, and talks to consultant Chuck Neinas — who UM hired to expedite the process — two or three times a day.

Dec. 7, 2006, the Sun-Sentinel broke the news of the Shannon hire with:

Shannon was among a short list of candidates Athletic Director Paul Dee and a selection committee (including consultant Chuck Neinas) interviewed this week at the College Football Hall of Fame ceremonies. 

Four years later, Neinas is once again heading the Miami football coach search. But only after the Univ. of Miami forks over around $50,000 for his services.

Why go back to Neinas? Perhaps this snippet from a SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL profile of current Miami Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt provides a clue:

Hocutt took those lessons with him, learning at the feet of some of the giants in college administration. There was Chuck Neinas at the College Football Association and later Joe Castiglione at Oklahoma.

Neinas hired Hocutt for his first job out of college in 1995.

Hocutt is far from alone though in his questionable call of hiring the same search firm that recommended the coaching candidate the same school most recently fired. (Now that’s a business model.)

Neinas, who is based in Boulder, was working on Colorado’s behalf when he recommended the school hire Gary Barnett, who was later fired. CU went back to Neinas for Barnett’s replacement, who then placed Dan Hawkins in the job.

With Hawkins’ recent, unceremonious ouster, one guess who is leading the search for the next Buffaloes coach?

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that Neinas also placed current Colorado AD Mike Bohn at CU.  (Bohn is, not surprisingly, on the ropes now himself.)

Here’s an abbreviated list of some of Neinas’ greatest hits over the years.

Colorado (1999) - Gary Barnett
Texas A&M (2002) - Dennis Franchione
Baylor Football (2002) - Guy Morriss
Notre Dame (2002) - George O’Leary (whoops!)
Notre Dame (2002) - Tyrone Willingham
Colorado Football (2005) - Dan Hawkins
San Diego State (2005) - Chuck Long
Kansas State (2005) - Ron Prince
Washington (2006)  - Tyrone Willingham
Miami (2006) - Randy Shannon

Okay, Neinas has also made some good hires along the way, like Urban Meyer at Florida.

So maybe this time he’ll get it right at Miami.

And Colorado. And Indiana. And Minnesota. And North Tex… okay I’ll stop.