Details emerge around the cost of the search firm Tennessee used to hire Josh Heupel
The invoice is due for what Tennessee owes Parker Executive Search for its assistance to help the Vols hire Josh Heupel to replace Jeremy Pruitt as football coach.
Tennessee will pay Parker $120,000 for its work helping Vols Athletics Director Danny White hire Heupel, who had worked for White the past three years at Central Florida, Knox News reported via a public records request.
Tennessee also used Parker in the AD search that produced White. That also carried a $120,000 fee to the search firm. The search firm also will bill the university for expenses for each search.
That’s far from the only bill for those hires. Tennessee owes UCF a total of $6 million in buyout fees for hiring White and Heupel while they were under contract.
Parker was reportedly hired to help Tennessee identify, research and contact candidates, schedule candidate interviews, prepare the university for those interviews and conduct background and reference checks of candidates.
White, in a news conference announcing Heupel’s hire, described the coaching search as an “exhaustive nationwide search,” which he admitted “sounds crazy because I’m hiring the guy that I’ve worked with for the last three years.”
White previously said he interviewed coordinators and head coaches, young and old, for Tennessee’s vacancy. He didn’t turn to Heupel until toward the conclusion of the search.
Among the names mentioned in connection with the job were SMU coach Sonny Dykes, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and Penn State coach James Franklin.