INSIDE THE STANFORD COACHING SEARCHAs promised, here is the actual transcript of yesterday's conference call related to the Stanford coaching search:
This is your conference bridge operator. We have all parties on the line at this time. Mr. Bowlsby, please proceed.
BB: Thank you. This is Bob - could we do a roll call?
DHR: Good after...I'm sorry, morning. This is DHR International in Chicago.
SM: This is Summer McNamara.
BB: This is who?
SM: Summer McNamara. I'm a volunteer student intern in President Hennessy's office, and he asked me...well he didn't ask me himself but someone in his office asked me to...
JA: This is John Arrillaga, and I'm paying for this freaking call and the chair you're sitting in, Bob, and just about everything else on this camp..."
BB: (pushes mute) John, are you on a cell? You're not coming through.
DHR: Thank you, Mr. Bowlsby. As all of you know DHR has been retained to assist with the search for the new Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football for Leland Stanford....
BB: Thank you, yes, we know.
DHR: Of course. We've prepared a short power-point presentation for our conversation today, if you'll follow along on the webcast while we narrate. First, a word about DHR's qualifications. We are the fifth largest executive search firm in the US, and have recently concluded successful searches for The Gap, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, and the University of Toledo School of Medicine.
BB: Um, any searches related to...sports?
DHR: Oh, yes. In 2005, DHR placed the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at the NCAA headquarters.
DHR: And that was a very exciting process. Moving onto the next slide, you will see a very complicated chart of intersecting bubbles, each containing a popular buzzword such as "integrity" or, well, I guess most of them have to do with integrity. At the center of the bubbles is a slightly larger bubble with a nifty animation thing going on. See that? How it sort of pulsates? Well, that's where we believe Stanford will find its new Bradford M. Freeman...
BB: Inside the glowing bubble?
BB: (pause) Please move on.
DHR: On the next several slides we expand upon this paradigm and detail a SWOT analysis of Stanford's present situation. I trust you are familiar with SWOT analysis ....in the upper left hand box, under Strengths, we have listed weather. Moving on to the upper right hand box, under Weaknesses, we have....well there's a lot of things...academic standards, losing tradition, alumni apathy, etc. Mr. Bowlsby, we're scheduled for 45 minutes on this call, correct?
BB: (impatient) Move on.
DHR: On the next slide we have listed some of the specific criteria for Stanford to consider in hiring its new coach. First, of course, is diversity.
SM: Um, excuse me? I know I'm just an intern, but why is that number one?
DHR: It's always #1, per NCAA guidelines established by its new Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. #2 is a commitment to meeting Stanford's high standards for integrity and academic excellence. #3 is an ability to mix and mingle in University and alumni social circles and a working knowledge of California wines, preferably in the area of old-growth Zinfandel. Moving on, the #4-#10 criteria involve football terms that are frankly a little outside our expertise, but I'm sure they're familiar to you.
JA: (off mute) ...million fucking dollars I spend and for what? An empty stadium and these search-firm monkeys? How about I shove this presentation up...(muted)
BB: Let's get to the candidates, shall we? Where do we stand?
DHR: Well, looking at the criteria, and the bubble thingy on slide 2, and reviewing our initial contacts with candidates, we're down to...well...we haven't many positive responses, I'm afraid.
BB: What about DeWayne Walker?
DHR: He said no. Academic standards.
BB: Mike Leach? Dick Tomey?
DHR: No and no. These academic standards seem to something of an impediment in the eyes of...well, everyone outside of University administration, I'm afraid. We have had several unsolicited contacts from the Ivy League, though, and Jim Harbaugh remains a possibility.
SM: Omigod, I met him when he visited for his, um, interview thingy. He is sooo cute, and he seemed really interested in what I had to say. He wanted to know where my sorority sisters and I were going after...
BB: Thank you, Summer. So you're telling me that Jim Harbaugh is the best we can do?
DHR: Well, after Jim Fassel fell asleep during his interview, yes. There is another candidate, though we're not sure he would be interested. You'll find his picture on slide 14. We at DHR believe he represents the best mix of Stanford qualities - integrity, academic excellence, high moral standards and of course, diversity...and while we're not familiar with his entire resume just yet, we have on excellent advice that his buyout at the University of Washington is quite reasonable.
BB: (long pause; opens desk drawer for bottle) Mary, hold my calls.