Bamford outlines hiring process to find Kellogg’s successor

  • UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford addresses the media on Friday, one day after firing embattled men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg following a nine-year stint with the Minutemen. Daily Hampshire Gazette photo

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during a recent loss to Richmond at the Mullins Center. DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE PHOTO

  • UMass coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team’s recent loss to Richmond at the Mullins Center. DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE PHOTO

For The Recorder
Published: 3/11/2017 12:49:30 PM

A day after firing Derek Kellogg, UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford laid out the process he plans to follow for finding a new men’s basketball coach, and the type of candidate he hoped to hire.

“We want what every AD in the country wants: somebody who is a talented recruiter, who can build a quality staff that can develop talent; someone who can build a program that’s not only focused on the basketball piece but can bring in student athletes who’ll succeed in the classroom and be good community members,” Bamford said in Friday’s conference call with media. “In a multi-bid league, the X’s and O’s are very important. So many games are won and lost in the last four minutes. We want somebody who can win games based on their coaching.

“I want somebody who has energy to build our men’s basketball community and can be engaged with all of our constituents within the community,” he continued. “I want somebody that has a track record of not only success but overachievement. We’re highly resourced compared to our peers in the A-10. I want someone who can not only work to those resources but outwork those resources.”

This is the third major search in just over a year for Bamford, who said he’d look at candidates with or without head coaching experience. A year ago he replaced the ice hockey and women’s basketball coaches.

Bamford said he expected to offer whomever he hires a five-year contract with a salary of $800,000-$900,000 plus bonuses. To counteract Kellogg’s buyout, he said the contract would be higher on the back end.

“We’ll have some bonus structure in there. I want create something where the next person has the ability to make money on success,” Bamford said. “We can put some retention bonuses in there to get the value of the contract up.”

Unlike in most coaching searches where the athletic director leaves wiggle room for the timetable, Bamford set a goal.

“The process will likely play itself out over the next couple of weeks,” he said. “We hope to have a successful candidate in place by the end of the month at the latest.”

Bamford said current assistant coaches have not been fired and will have the opportunity to interview with the new coach. He said he hoped the current players would stay in the program.

“We’re going to do our best to try to retain all the guys on the team and make sure they feel supported. If they chose to move on from the University of Massachusetts, we’ll help them in any way that we can,” he said. “I’m hopeful that at least our core will stay and help us find success in the future.”

Bamford praised Kellogg’s professionalism and how he represented UMass during his tenure, but said the team’s struggles in Atlantic-10 play began to cement his decision to make a change.

“Over the last month I really began looking at our options. We started out 10-3 in the nonconference then went 4-14 in the conference schedule,” Bamford said. “We were never really able to go on a run. We beat Dayton at home in January and I thought that might propel us to more success. We weren’t able to gain any traction and by the middle of February I really felt like we were going backwards a little bit. I felt like we had the opportunity with where we were talent wise to finish better than four conference wins. Over the last month it really came into focus.”

UMass is using Fogler Consulting, run by former South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler, to coordinate the search. Bamford said the search firm, which isn’t subject to freedom-of-information laws, allows UMass to keep the identity of candidates a secret.

“Eddie can talk to certain guys and share information with me,” Bamford said. “If I talk to them directly I can’t guarantee protection in the process.”

Fogler will be paid $25,000.

“Eddie’s role is to coordinate the process. I have a pretty good idea what the next coach’s profile will look like. Eddie coordinates those candidates for me,” Bamford said. “Eddie is a former coach. He talks to a lot of coaches during the year and goes to a lot of practices.”

Bamford said the success or failure of the hire ultimately falls on himself.

“If the next coach succeeds or fails, that’s ultimately on me, not on Eddie,” Bamford said.

Bamford said Fogler’s fee is coming from unrestricted (can be used at the department’s discretion) donations to the athletic department.

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