IU paid search firm $90,000 for help hiring Archie Miller

Indiana paid search firm Parker Executive Search $90,000 for its help in landing new men’s basketball coach Archie Miller, according to an open records request filed by The Herald-Times.

Parker’s scope of work for IU included identifying qualified candidates, facilitating interviews, supplying background information and notifying candidates of the outcome of the search.

Per the contract, IU paid Parker two equal retainers of $45,000. The first invoice was to be filed at the start of the search and the second was to be filed 30 days thereafter or upon the hiring of the new coach, whichever came first.

One of the primary reasons search firms have become popular in modern day coaching searches is that they provide cover for schools and coaches so that communication can be conducted confidentially.

According to the contract, if Miller resigned or was terminated within one full calendar year of his starting date, Parker would conduct a replacement search at no additional fee.

“Maybe it’s occupational hazard as being a lawyer, but I believe in being well advised,” Indiana athletic director Fred Glass told reporters following Miller’s introductory press conference on March 27. “This was the biggest hire that I was going to make, and maybe is made in a decade here at Indiana. I wouldn’t exactly say spare no expense, but if I thought there was value, I wanted to try and harvest that value.

“I think there was value in discreet, distinct areas that I asked them to provide counsel. It wasn’t across the board, but they were valuable in the search.”

In the past, Parker has worked with Vanderbilt, Chicago, Washington, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Notre Dame, Buffalo, Northwestern, North Carolina State and Dartmouth, among others, to help identify candidates for athletics positions.

In March, Missouri reportedly paid Parker $80,000 for the search that ultimately led to the hiring of Cuonzo Martin.


  1. Shaking trees. Money falls off to be collected like your favorite fruit and nuts to make the most delicious fruit cake.

  2. hmmmm……a coach can make or cost a University millions of dollars in ticket sales and televised games. $90k? Seems like money well spent.

  3. First of all, this was not news. It’s been out there since Archie was hired.

    Secondly, $90,000 was a small price to pay for Glass to cover his backside. That’s the only reason this money was spent. As I’ve said, Glass is a competent, risk-averse manager, but he’s not a leader.

    And I noticed his comment, ‚ÄúThis was the biggest hire that I was going to make, and maybe is made in a decade here at Indiana.” Wow, I’m sure that makes Allen and his staff feel appreciated. But Glass is not stupid, and he knows what the big donors’ priorities are, and it certainly ain’t elevating the football program. Tells you all you need to know about why IU football struggles to “break through.” It’s almost as if the football program is an afterthought to Glass and the big donors that have so much influence on him. Maybe IU really is just a basketball school!

    1. I thought the same thing. I guess he more or less admitted that IU Basketball is the cash cow. Makes me feel sorta sad for Tom Allen, but he’s aware I’m sure of the order of importance at the university.

      1. Believe it or not I seem to recall the football team bringing in as much as the basketball team in recent years. I might be mistaken.

        At any university with both sports the potential football revenue should far exceed the potential basketball revenue. That’s why Texas, Texas A&M, and Ohio State usually lead the pack in sports revenue.

        1. Wow. I had no idea. There is no denying that the basketball program was waning in interest over the last couple of years. One day I hope to see basketball and football cranking out money like the programs you mentioned. Until that time, we wait patiently.

  4. This is a quite common method for all major hires. However, understanding that big time leaders have many items on there agenda they are paid well for prestigious jobs. Most people who work at ordinary jobs do not have the same conveniences and resources. Basically, if you screw up to bad in most cases you pay for it or simply lose your job. Maybe hiring committees should pay for such resources out of their own pockets. (So if there were 6 people on the committee in this case each member would chip in $15000)…and it would have to truly be their money not some type of funny money. The common person who many of these elites claim to be do not have the luxury to hire someone to cover you from making poor decisions you might make. I totally understand why this is done.

  5. I like how they did it. Anyone in the mix was flown to their Atlanta office for an interview. It didn’t arouse interest because coaches were all flying through Atlanta.

    Fly a coach to Indy or even Chicago and the rumors would be flying.

    1. Wasn’t an IU journalist staged at an airport concerning the possibility of hiring Billy Donovan or tracking flights? Justin someone…

  6. The I U Varsity Club will get a chunk of the $90,000 back, when Coach Miller speaks at Huber’s, May 31st.

  7. It’s less than 1/40 of Archie’s annual salary.
    1/200 of his total salary if Archie stays for five years.

    Nearly $30 million for Crean over the last 9 years
    Somewhere around $28 million for Archie over the next 7 years.

    $94,000 is basically drops in the bucket…But sort of funny and ironic how it’s spun as money well spent for “occupational hazards,” or to be “well advised,” seeing how we hired two former assistants to Calipari.

    Would we have used the search firm for Brad Stevens? I doubt Fred would have fumbled around with any extra time to pen a contract.
    Makes me wonder if these ‘search firms’ are used as sort of a time buffer…just in case something comes through in the interim of a deal not 100% finalized?

  8. Here’s the mark. Real leaders make well evaluated decisions. When they don’t have in house resources to handle a smooth and confidential process of evaluation they’re smart in finding other resources to help. AD Glass hired Chuck Neinas of Neinas Sports Services to help find Coach Wilson. He needed no help in evaluating Allen. That $90k arranged, provided and covered all correspondence, communication, documentation, scheduling, travel arrangements, travel expenses, food and lodging(if required), all candidate research, + meeting space. This is $ well spent. Leaders do this. Jerry Jones wouldn’t.

    1. Jerry Jones would rely on his own best judgement…which is why Mark Sanchez has three times as many playoff wins as Tony Romo retired with.

      When I was a kid the NFC East was actually good.

  9. Yes Chet, football is supposed to be the overwhelming cash cow for most university athletic departments. But at IU, it seems as if it gets treated like the red-headed step child. That’s one of the consistent mistakes that IU’s administrators (and the big donors that apply pressure) have made for the last 50 years. Their lack of vision (or is it just their fixation on basketball) and their failure to invest the money necessary to make the football program a winner was pretty obvious. Back in the 70’s, as long as Bob Knight’s teams were doing well, no one was going to complain or withheld donations because IU football was not producing winning seasons. These days, we’re now at least competitive in football, but you’d never know it by the number of fans showing up at Memorial Stadium on Saturdays. And I’ll bet Tom Allen’s compensation package is the lowest or second-lowest in the Big Ten. And of course, that football revenue that IU fails to capture every fall puts a lot of financial pressure on IU’s non-revenue-producing sports. Glass, in an interview published not too long ago, said that while IU Men’s basketball can’t really generate any more revenue, the football program has a long, long way to go before it maxes out its revenue. Hence the curiosity of the statement Glass just made.

    If Tom Allen wins seven or eight games this year, they should give him a brand new contract with a big pay increase. Oh wait! That’s right, we don’t have the money because IU just paid Wilson $546,000 in severance, spent $90,000 in fees to a search firm and will still be on the hook to Tom Crean for his $1 million per year severance. More of that great leadership.

    1. If the Hoosiers can put another 10,000 butts in the seats at the Rock those numbers will be a pittance.

      Time will tell.

  10. Hey,
    My son in law is a Hoosier. Just graduated from an IU school today. First in this generation for my family.

  11. Speaking of lawyers, the concussion issues in football may eventually make butts in seats rather meaningless. The unveiling of more and more medical risks associated with permanent brain trauma may, in the not-to-distant future, detour young people away from the sports(as well as parents’ increasing negative feelings/opinions).

    It might not be such a bad thing to keep basketball at the forefront where it belongs in this basketball rich state.

    The ethical dilemma to keep football alive may soon seem like encouraging your kids to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. There might need to be a Surgeon General’s warning on the back of every helmet from youth leagues on up.

    Will universities want to face the potential of lawsuits…? A scholarship hardly seems like it should be an invitation to proven destruction of brain tissue.

    1. Football is as ingrained in American culture as is hockey in Canada (another concussion-friendly sport). Ain’t going anywhere. Speaking of hockey, how about those Senators knocking off the defending champs last night? Our old friend Steve up in Ottawa has got to be pretty happy with the way his team has been battling these playoffs!

      1. Here’s to wishing Ottawa ‘mothers’ a happy Mother’s Day……along with some of you other mothers out there as well.

  12. There is and will be plenty $ available to pay Allen the big bucks, if he earns it. Paying 2 HC’s off at the same time is unquestionable proof there is enough $ in Indiana for AD Glass to do whatever is good for IU. Not proof there isn’t. FB revenue can’t be confused with $ solicited privately. Real leaders have the skills to find $ beyond the budget.

  13. Clarion is correct. Where there is profit to be made, dollars will be found.

    But Podunker is also correct. If there is no motive to be found(to much destruction and genuine faith that IU Football can ever be taken seriously for fans to fully participate/engage), there is no profit to be found…thus no motive.

    If we lose ‘motive’ in hoops, then Indiana is up a real creek without a paddle. Sports, in general, is losing enough interest to a generation preferring to 24/7 staring downward into apps and updates on iPhones. If the trend continues, all may have to wear bumper guards on the top of their heads to minimize brain injuries from sidewalk collisions with poles and other downward staring foot traffic.

    1. Have you guys seen the new “iPins” now being sold in Apple stores…? It’s my understanding that these are sensors to detect oncoming foot traffic when staring downward at your favorite new Apple device.

  14. If a player leads with his helmet(uses the helmet as a weapon), it should be an immediate ejection.

    The problem with football brain trauma is beyond the intermittent “big hits” that can occur; it’s the repeated impacts guys experience in the trenches as well.

    The other obvious contributor is the increasingly powerful and extended G-forces as players become larger and larger….while possessing nearly freakish athletic ability and explosiveness to go along with that size(performance enhancing drugs likely contributing the cocktail of forces outpacing safety to the head).

    In this chart, we show the G-force data from just 10 of the 62 hits this offensive lineman accrued in a single game. The average G-force, 25.8, is roughly equivalent to what we would see if the offensive lineman crashed his car into a wall going about 30 m.p.h.(courtesy: New York Times).

    There could easily be an argument that football players from the 1940’s merely wearing rudimentary padded leather helmets with no face guards were experiencing far less G-forces on hits of all varieties because the smaller time frame/shorter seasons the games was played, the greater variances in sizes of athletes, and the far less saturation of performance drugs turning already behemoth bodies into hulk-like power hitters matched with speed/explosiveness.

  15. Should playing high level football be considered a “preexisting condition” for potential brain tissue damage(in the same manner a genetic component could lead to a similar disease) under a healthcare plan? Should any college or pro football player be guaranteed that any future manifestation of such damages to the brain be covered under such plans(early testing costs, treatment, etc)?

    Will universities and the NFL profiting mightily from football begin to offer those sorts of ‘lifetime’ coverages under the ‘Bill of Rights’ promises given to scholarship athletes…or NFL contracts?

    Will an athlete, or the family of the athlete, ever have any recourse or indemnification for injuries to the brain that often do not manifest/show symptoms of the destruction until long after the playing career is over?

  16. Interesting article, DD. This stuff needs to be introduced in high school or even sooner. Perhaps if a high school program adopts the system and becomes crazy successful it will spread.

    Thanks for the article.

  17. The aim was both noble and ambitious: Save the sport of football.

    With the sort of dollars at stake in a culturally “ingrained” sport as big as American football(college and NFL), I’d be just a little skeptical of magical cures on different daily gypsy wagons that will “save” the sport.

    We have an NFL head coach in New Orleans who basically advocated a bounty on a QB’s head. The name of the game is to make them see stars….(pound the side of said target’s head into the unforgiving artificial turf).

  18. How about other high risk jobs such as those that work on bridges or high cell towers. They make good money, but not like pro athletes (play golf). However, they usually are just killed if they fall rather than injured. Their deaths or injuries are just not on the news like professional athletes. Of course then you have other iron workers, construction workers, policemen and soldiers among many others. At what point do you say we do the best we can in a feasible way whatever that may be and these injuries like other occupational injuries come with the territory. It is the individual’s decision to play or not to play and the potential of risk is well documented going into making that decision.

  19. HC, I’ll bet Glass took the $546,000 Wilson severance payoff out of Allen’s compensation plan for his first year or two as IU’s head coach. I’ll bet Glass will not have spent any more money on football’s head coach’s compensation in the first year or two of Allen’s tenure. And the “if he wins, they will pay” logic is part of the problem with IU Football. It leaves IU vulnerable, its tentative, and does demonstrate or inspire confidence in the program’s leader. It’s hedging the bet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s financially responsible and risk averse, but it’s not the bold shot-in-the-arm move that a real leader would make. A real leader would go out and find a head coach that was a proven winner and ask him, “how much money is it going to take for you to come to IU and turn our football program around?” But IU NEVER does that. How come IU’s big donors don’t fund that strategy? IU always hedges their bet with the “if he wins, we’ll pay him more.” Well “more” to IU’s administrators takes IU’s head coach’s compensation up to about the mid-point of coaches in the Big Ten, and leaves IU vulnerable to schools that prioritize winning at football. The reason IU does not do that is because the Athletic Department does not have the cash reserves to risk, and that’s because they don’t have the football revenue. It’s a vicious circle.

    Now having said that, I really, really want Allen to be successful. I hope he becomes a super-star at IU, and soon. And when he does break through, I’ll expect Glass to amend his contract immediately, and pay him enough so that Allen is amongst the top six highest paid coaches in the Big Ten, making him far less likely to get poached by a football power. That will convince me that Glass is more than just a competent “manager” of a University Athletic Department.

    1. I am missing the commitment to your statement. Is there any series of events in which you could be mistaken? You seem to have staked out every possible position.

      No offense. Seriously. I just don’t see what your position is.

      1. Chet- He comes from journalism roots. He’s admitted to working for the IDS. He’s trained to take every angle possible….until a circle is made. Nothing leaves the circle…Every argument can still touch some part of the circle. Basically a human hula hoop.

  20. Go ahead and bet if you are so inclined but you are observing a leader before your very eyes and don’t recognize it. So I would not bet much.

  21. Catastrophic injuries and deaths are part of the inherent risk in playing any sport. That’s a bit different than a slow brain death…And the information is not well-documented in terms of breadth within all football participants. We may be only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg.
    Only a very small percentage(usually those already suffering extreme symptoms of brain damage) have had families where brain tissue was donated for purposes of further determination of the extent of deterioration.

    We may have already entered into the realm of negligence without thorough education and mounting evidence presented to all participants operating within state sponsored athletics…..You can’t simply hope they’re watching the one Frontline PBS special covering the topic with the seriousness deserved every six months while deluged with all the glorification/dollars on the other side of the equation. The ethical and legal issues will become to overwhelming …Many of these young kids will never see the paychecks of the NFL…yet suffer hidden and irreversible brain trauma potentially cutting their lives very short.

  22. But than you read the Indy Star report on Notre Dame…Charlie Weiss fired in 2009 has received buyout payments of $18,967,960 with the final payment in 2015. Payments continued while he was at Kansas where he was fired. He received $5,4000,000 as buyout from Kansas. While paying Weiss, ND was still paying the $650,000 buyout of Ty Willingham.

    Getting close to talking real money now.

  23. Football is to ND …as the candy stripes have always been to IU. Ron gives a great example of just how important ‘brand recognition’ is to Notre Dame.

    We should have felt the same way about basketball. We allowed people who have no idea of the methods IU can generate to secure finances within the athletic department to use fear in keeping Crean until the closest thing to a minimum buyout possible.

    If we would have valued our brand, we may have had a shot at Brad Stevens. The writing has been on the wall for a very long time(even for the blindest of the blind, the Syracuse game at the Sweet 16 was the wake-up call). Under the stresses of tournament play against unfamiliar quality coaches/opponents, there was nearly always disaster.

    ND does not tolerate the imagery of disaster on big time stages…..In highly watched upper level bowl games, the ‘Fighting Irish’ helmets mirroring the golden dome are obviously far more important to their administrators than how we apologized for candy stripes to be slapped around like a rag doll at Sweet 16’s.

    How on earth did Butler usurp our brand?

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