In 2014 Parker Executive Search helped bring Shawn Heilbron from Oregon State to Stony Brook University to be the new athletic director. Two years later, when he needed to find a head coach, Heilbron reached back out to Daniel Parker’s firm.
Parker Executive Search has become major player in the college basketball head coaching market. This season in addition to placing Jeff Boals at Stony Brook they also helped UCF (Johnny Dawkins), LaVall Jordan (Milwaukee), and Drexel (Zach Spiker) find head coaches. Last season they played a part in at least seven head coaching searches, including Fordham’s hiring of Jeff Neubauer. In one case Parker helped hire the athletic director at Bradley and then found Brian Wardle to be the head men’s basketball coach just 11 days later.
The work didn’t come cheap. Stony Brook paid Parker Executive Search $64,500 to find its next head coach, according to a contract between the search firm and university that was obtained through a FOIL request. (You can see the full contract below.)
They definitely did work fast. A little less than a week after Steve Pikiell was confirmed as the new head coach at Rutgers, the Parker Executive Search was hired in a contract signed by James Fabian, the assistant vice president for procurement services at Stony Brook University. On April 9, 2016 Jeff Boals was announced as the head coach of Stony Brook University. (Though the contract is dated April 11.) Just 15 days after they were hired.
The search was led by “consultants.” They were redacted, so we don’t know much about them. What we do know is that they didn’t have to travel far, as they accrued less than $180 in additional expenses after the contract was paid for.
Exhibit B of the contract explicitly spelled out how Parker would go about searching for the next head coach of the Seawolves. One of the big ones? Parker Executive Search is to “manage all documents collected throughout the search process.” (That’s also why my FOIL request turned up this contract and not much more.)
The Exhibit also states that Parker Executive Search guarantees the head men’s basketball coach “for a period of one year from the start date of the placement.” And that Parker would look for a replacement free of charge if Boals was to leave during that time period. Another thing that will happen during that year? No recruiting from the university by Parker.
So after a national search, Stony Brook gave Jeff Boals an offer letter for a five-year contract worth $365,000 annually. Boals has incentives for postseason (NCAA tournament or NIT) appearances, player awards, victories over top 25 opponents, and academic success. He was also guaranteed the opportunity to recruit candidates for at least two coaching positions with the possibility for two more.
The base salary is about $50,000 more than the contract Pikiell signed in 2013. Though Pikiell had the ability to earn an extra $50,000 through “external relation resposibilities.” Also, Pikiell’s official contract contained a clause about guarantee games and there is no such mention of those games in Boals’ offer letter.
Now we know he got here. We’ll see how the hire works out.