University of Denver announces Athletic Director search details

The University of Denver announced Monday that Turnkey Sports has been retained as the executive recruiting firm to identify and screen candidates to replace Peg Bradley-Doppes, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation. Turnkey specializes in athletic department staff and coaching hires.

The University also announced its own internal selection committee. The committee includes:

Gregg Kvistad (co-chair), Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
John Miller (co-chair), Trustee
Deborah Armstrong, Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement
KC Gallagher, Trustee
Keith Miller, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Director, Honors Program; Faculty Athletic Representative
Cindi Nagai, Associate Athletic Director for Diversity/SASS/Community Relations/SWA
Jamie Shapiro, Associate Professor, Sport and Performance Psychology Program, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Cappy Shopneck, Trustee
Kara Taczak, Teaching Associate Professor, Writing Program
Bob Willis, Assistant Vice Chancellor, External Affairs, Diversity & Inclusion, Division of Athletics and Recreation

The trustees on the panel have a rich involvement in Denver Athletics. Most recently, John Miller made a major financial contribution for the completion of the new men’s hockey locker room. As usual, the committee includes faculty representatives Keith Miller, Jamie Shapiro, and Kara Taczak. The administration is represented by Deborah Armstrong. On the athletic department side, Bob Willis and Jamie Shapiro sit on the committee. It’s a somewhat surprising twist that no students or coaches sit on the panel. Bradley-Doppes herself is also not on the panel but one would assume that Turnkey will leverage her expertise for a list of possible candidates.

Turnkey shows testimonials and lists some of their clients on their website including Ole Miss, Rutgers, the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), and the Washington Nationals (MLB.

In late August, Peg Bradley-Doppes announced her intention to retire June 30th, 2018.

7 thoughts on “University of Denver announces Athletic Director search details”

  1. Waste of money. Peg and Tierney could call up any ad or league commissioner they want and get top notch recommendations. A big strike against Turnkey is that Rutgers chose them. RU has not made a good athletic decision since playing the first ever college football game against Princeton in 1869.


  2. Running the DU search for Turnkey is Gene DiFillipo, the former athletic director at Villanova and Boston College, both academically-focused mid-size private school peers located in major metro areas, just like DU, so he’ll be able to understand the DU culture and athletic situation very well.

    A few notes:

    Search firms don’t make the final hire — they assemble candidates (and make recommendations) for the school to choose from.

    The committee is usually there to make sure the final candidates pass the academic and ethical sniff test. My guess is that the final decision will rest with Chancellor Chopp, and those she trusts. Those Trustees on the committee are all extremely well versed on DU athletics, and I am sure they will be important in electing the new VC.

    Frankly, I am glad that no coaches or students are on the committee. In my view, coaches are very valuable in terms of their sports and the overall program, but they should not be the ones to pick their boss, as it makes things a little bit too comfortable for those coaches on the committee. Students generally don’t have enough experience in the academic or athletic world to be truly relevant to such a high level search.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The other argument against coaches on the committee is that nearly all of them are ‘in season’ during the school year. However, because this role encompasses ‘recreation’, it would still make sense to have student representation on the panel – or even a recent alum to represent the student’s interests/needs. It is not that unusual to have a student(s) participate on selection panels for university Presidents/Chancellors.


  4. DU should hire Rick Pitino & the Louisville AD that were fired today in a Package Deal. Then use their connections to link DU with Adidas.

    If you want to win in Hoops you have to go deep into the Abyss.

    Liked by 1 person

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