The University of Michigan didn’t want just anyone to coach its basketball team, and the school was willing to pay to find just the right fit.
Pay UM did, to the tune of $75,000 to find men’s head basketball head coach Juwan Howard.
According to a post on MLive, Michigan enlisted the services of Turnkey Search to identify, recruit and evaluate potential candidates for the job.
The school’s contract with the firm was obtained by MLive through a records request.
The agreement stated that Turnkey would be the sole entity — other than Michigan athletics representatives — to communicate with candidates about the position. Schools view this as a major benefit of a search firm, according to industry sources, as it allows an athletic director to gauge a candidate's interest without it becoming public knowledge.
"The client seeks Turnkey's assistance in identifying, recruiting, interviewing, evaluating and referring a slate of recommended candidates who meet the client's criteria," according to the contract.
Howard came from the NBA’s Miami Heat, where he had been serving for the past six years as an assistant coach. He is a Michigan alum who played for the Wolverines from 1991 to 1994, reaching two Final Fours as a member of the “Fab Five.”
According to MLive, Michigan had to pay Turnkey $50,000 within the first seven days of the start of their agreement and an additional $25,000 within 30 days. If Michigan was still looking for a coach more than 30 days from the start of the agreement and wished to continue its relationship with Turnkey, the school would have owed an additional $25,000 per month.