Interview with UTSA Athletic Director Lynn Hickey
What was the role of President Dr. Ricardo Romo?
“He gave us the charge to put the committee together to do the filtering to do the research but we knew from the get go that this was his decision. He interviewed the final candidates, he interviewed each of them. We came to him and gave him our thoughts on each candidate.”
What are the terms of Frank Wilson’s contract?
“It’s five years, we’re starting at $650,000 and then every year there’s an additional $25,000 increase.”
What do you like about Coach Wilson?
“I think his energy level. He’s a great recruiter and an unbelievable administrator that can plan and bring the whole program together. And he can coach. If you look back at what he did al the way from the high school level on, he’s just the real package. I talked to Archie Manning, the coach at Ole Miss, to Larry Fedora at North Carolina, to Coach Miles (LSU), Cliff (Kingsbury) out at Texas Tech, the words you kept getting were he’s genuine and he knows what he’s doing as good as anybody in the county.”
The contract is a major contract, what does that represent?
“It’s about commitment. It’s really my work with Dr. Romo and Sam Gonzales, the Vice President of Student Affairs and Kathy Funk-Baxter, Vice President of Business. We sat down and looked at what we have, how do we project out, where we’re at financially and they were able to prove that we would go higher. It’s our responsibility. It’s not something that is being funded by something else. We saw the resources and potential for our program. So we made a commitment to that salary and to the assistant coaches’ pool so that he has an opportunity to really put a staff together.”
How late Thursday night did was the deal worked on?
“4am this morning (Friday). It was me and the agent. We went into the wee hours going back and forth. It really wasn’t money but it was some other issues. It just took a little time. If you think about it, it usually takes two or three days to put things together, we took eight hours.”
Was money an issue for the other candidates?
“The search firm did a really good job of making sure when they brought in candidates, they knew this was our limit, this is what we have. So we knew the gentlemen that we interviewed face to face that they were all committed.”
When was Wilson offered the job?
“We were not able to make an official offer to Frank until Dr. Romo talked to the chancellor yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.”
How many other candidates were there?
“There were two others, three in all. We had over 60 people look into the job .We narrowed it down to 12. We did phone interviews and then we had three come in. There were just outstanding candidates. Todd Turner, who is with Collegiate Sports Associates our search firm, did an outstanding job. Our senior staff worked our tails off. We worked ten-15 hour days. It was just a lot phone calls and research.”
Did all of the candidates come from the search firm?
“It was a combination. They found some, we found some.”
Did the fact that Coach Wilson is African American play a role?
“It’s great that we can give coach an opportunity, but no, we were looking for the best coach. That’s like me being a female athletic director. Hopefully Dr. Romo did not give me the job because I’m a girl. Hopefully I have the job because I’m the best person.”