Dr. Raines take note:  This is an opportunity to TopGrade your Athletic Department and Football Program.

Take one important step before hiring your search firm and creating a search committee(both things that need to be done).  It’s the first step in “TopGrading” an organization.  Write a scorecard for the positions of Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.  Not a job description, a scorecard.  When one writes a job description, one lists the duties and responsibilities for the position and hope a great outcome is delivered.  With a scorecard, you define the desired outcome for the position, the results the person will deliver if  you hired the mythical, ideal candidate (an “A” Player).  Then work back to define the attributes and activities and skills needed to deliver the outcomes.  And the support needed by the university to help win.

Then start compiling your list of candidates based on the scorecard, not just personality or ties to the school, or alumni influence.  You hire the best match of candidate with what you can afford to spend.  The scorecard then becomes the plan of action for the department or team.  Both the university and new hires know their part of equation for success and can be held accountable to it.  Forward progress ensues.

So Dr. Raines, if the outcome you want for your department is major conference membership, and a solvent program, define what a new AD has to do to deliver the outcome.  For the football coach, define the acceptable level of winning, and the type of players you need, and the kind of victories you want.  Hire the people who have the experience, and core values to deliver in the reality of the situation right now.

Give the scorecard to the search committee and search firm and ask them to follow it, it’s your TopGrading plan.  Don’t hire anyone that doesn’t have what it takes to deliver the outcome you want, not matter what his background is.  If you don’t, your candidate will end up in the trash heap, just like Tommy West and Larry Porter, and Rip Scherer….And it won’t be his fault. 

You have a chance to turn this around and make a real difference in future of the University of Memphis. 

TopGrading is a strategy that winning organization use on to get the right people on the bus, in the right seats, doing the right things to succeed.  It works.  It’s hard. But it’s worth it.

Call me if you want to make TopGrading a practice that drives your growth and success.