Just how will the coaching search work at Arkansas State this time?
There is no published handbook or manual but based on public and private comments last year and this year we can feel pretty sure it will work like this.
Terry Mohajir will be point man but Drs. Hudson and Welch will be engaged with the process. There will be some names that will not make it to the Chancellor or President.
There will be a small list at some point, that list will receive a visit from the Red Wolf Trio for interviews.
What we don't know is whether Mohajir brings a larger list to the table gives his plusses and minuses for each and they jointly agree upon the final list or if Mohajir takes his list to them and it is the group unless the rest of the leadership team chooses to add or delete names.
The Arkansas State Board of Trustees has asked Dr. Hudson and Dr. Welch to not travel on the same flights but they do make an exception for the coach search process because the urgency makes commercial travel impractical.
Dr. Welch says when it gets down to selection, the process gets easier because he, Hudson and Mohajir are on the same page. He stated that last year there was never a time where one really liked a candidate and the other two were in disagreement.
The NCAA recruiting dead period starts Monday. Unless you can name a coach by Sunday it makes little difference how long the search takes. The dead period will be place starting Monday.
It is inevitable that we will see "Coach X is on campus" posts in social media. Those are unlikely to be true. Interviews with serious candidates will almost certainly be done outside of Arkansas. Serious candidates are likely involved with bowl prep and have a job they want to keep. Showing up in Jonesboro is not necessarily great for job security. Head coaches and AD's at those schools will know it is happening but they rarely want it public.
The process will be very quiet. Throughout the process there will be a flurry of names emerge, most will be wrong. Remember coaches and their agents want names out there. It is seen as good for the coach. Those names will emerge from national and regional media having contacts with agents. Those leaks will bear little relationship to the actual list.
Throughout most of the process, no more than four or five people will know who is being considered. The sixth person brought into the loop will be Lucinda McDaniel, University Chief Counsel, who will draft the offer sheet for the person selected. The coach and however much of his family he trusts as well as select people at his current will also know. Leaks are as likely to come from his current school as from AState.
In the past searches Coach Freeze and Coach Malzahn each forwarded names to AState as well as taking time to answer questions from potential candidates wanting more information on AState, they were both helpful to the process last time. I would expect Coach Harsin is fielding calls much like the one he made last year and will pass helpful information to AState as well. It is an elite but growing fraternity.
Arkansas State will have to get passed today's commencement exercises before the Red Wolf Trio can begin making visits, but with a larger list this year, it may take longer to give everyone the proper scrutiny. If AState does pursue one of the sitting head coaches who have inquired the process will be even more delicate.
Most likely sometime next week we have a coach.
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