Citadel AD on minority candidates in coaching search

Citadel A.D. Larry Leckonby

Citadel A.D. Larry Leckonby

by Jeff Hartsell
Posted on January 14, 2014 Postandcourier.com

Citadel athletic director Larry Leckonby discussed the role that minority candidates played in his search for a new football coach, which ended with the hiring of Mike Houston last week:

Q: What role did minority candidates play in the search? Did you interview one or more?
A: “I can say first and foremost, we were looking for the best football coach we could find. There were a lot of talented guys out there, including African-American coaches. In the group I presented to the search committee at our first meeting, before we really got into it, there were two prominent African-Americans in that group.
“One of them in that time period did not want to speak to us due to a bowl game. But we spoke through intermediaries, and in the end that young man withdrew from the search. The other young man was in that first group, all of whom I did phone interviews with. During and after that first meeting, we reduced the group for face-to-face interviews to a shorter list of five, from about 15 to five, and went from there.”

Q: So there were no minority candidates in the final five for face-to-face interviews?
A: “No.”

Q: Do you feel comfortable that all candidates were treated fairly in the process?
A: “Absolutely. Everyone was vetted and discussed at length by the search committee and by me. I’ve been around a long time, I talked to a lot of people around the country. Part of this whole thing was to focus in on option-based philosophies, and that really narrows the field.”

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