CSU leadership explains how Jay Norvell hire happened so quickly: “We ran with speed like no other” – The Denver Post
Colorado State needed only four days to replace Steve Addazio with Jay Norvell as the program’s head football coach. How did it happen so quickly?
“We ran with speed like no other,” CSU president Joyce McConnell said at Norvell’s introductory news conference Tuesday inside the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center.
CSU athletic director Joe Parker and Norvell provided a timeline to reporters for how the hiring came together — with a need to solidify the Rams’ 2022 recruiting class before the early signing period (Dec. 15). The process began last Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after Addazio’s dismissal, with Parker presenting a search plan to McConnell. Parker said: “She accepted it immediately.”
The Rams moved fast to identify potential head coaches available within their desired salary range. Parker did not elaborate on the number of candidates interviewed.
CSU established an internal search team composed of deputy director of athletics Steve Cottingham, school vice president for strategy Jenelle Beavers, assistant VP of student affairs Albert Bimper Jr. (a former CSU football player) and Parker. The school also enlisted the help of search firm Collegiate Sports Associates. It appears Norvell was among the school’s top choices to replace Addazio.
“I think we started our first interviews on Saturday and we wrapped up on Sunday. We recognized early on in the process that we wanted to zero in on Jay,” Parker said. “It was clear that this was an opportunity he really wanted.”
Norvell echoed that sentiment when describing the interview process with CSU leadership.
“That was probably one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve ever had with people,” Norvell said. “Just amazing, and especially Joe, and the way he handled that search and his communication.”
Norvell is expected to sign a five-year, $9-million contract at CSU, per a term sheet provided by the university. His assistant coach salary pool is $3 million.
“He’s got a staff that he feels comfortable with but I don’t think he’s finalized all his decisions,” Parker said. “I think he’s going to build the majority of the staff with people that he’s already had direct experience with that understand how to respond with his leadership model.”
Beneath the optimistic tone of Tuesday’s introductory news conference was an uncomfortable truth for the CSU football program. The school has committed nearly $5 million in buyout cash for the early contract terminations of former head coaches Mike Bobo ($1.825 million) and Addazio ($3 million).
Parker addressed the athletic department’s relationship with university leadership moving forward.
“You go through moments like this and it gets stronger,” Parker said. “There’s an agreement of where we want to be as a program. I feel very affirmed by the leadership of the institution. You just deal with the circumstances that are put in front of you. Sometimes, you don’t have any control over it and you just have to manage it. That’s a lot of what we’ve experienced over the last two years. Things that just come up.
“We just hit a moment of time where the road got rough and difficult.”
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