Late last night ESPN's Andy Katz sent out this tweet:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bryce Drew, Brad Underwood, Steve Prohm among candidates to replace Hoiberg at Iowa State, interviews this weekend: <a href="http://t.co/l2ZKRlCsjj">http://t.co/l2ZKRlCsjj</a></p>— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNAndyKatz/status/606274052530012161">June 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The interviews will be held in Atlanta this weekend with the Dan Parker search firm, who Pollard hired during his visit to Atlanta a few weeks back. This is the most high profile search of Pollard's career and retaining a search firm that can make contact with numerous coaches in a short amount of time is not a bad thing; but if history has taught us one thing about Pollard and coaching searches...
It's that none of these men are likely to get the job.
Jamie Pollard promised us a national search for the next coach. Steven Leath has challenged Pollard to find a coach that fits the profile of a Top 10 team. T.J. Otzelberger was the clubhouse leader until this challenge was made, but he will be granted an interview with the search firm this weekend. All of these things are known and widely accepted.
In the past, however, Pollard has kept things understandably close to the vest. This may be Pollard's highest profile search since taking over as Director of Athletics in 2005, but don't let that fool you in to thinking he's changed his habits. The man does his best work behind closed doors and this search will be no different.
The amount of leaks coming out of this search is startling, but the amount of attention paid to the job is new too. Iowa State is a consensus Top 10 team heading in to the 2015-2016 season and returns two starters that should be on the Preseason Naismith Award List. Every coach that isn't already at a blue blood would be killing to coaching this team and Pollard knows it. The search firm is just there to make contact through existing connections and help funnel the interested parties down to guys who could do the job. Think of them as Pollard's outsourced HR department.
We've all been there. We see a job we like, we apply for it, and if someone contacts us it's usually HR. They take us through the steps of why we're qualified, what we like about the job, and what we want for salary. Then they take the answers from their pre-screened candidates and give them to the hiring manager. From there the candidates are whittled further and the top three or four meet with the hiring manager and team to determine the best fit. The best one or two may come back for later interviews before a final decision is made.
Now look at the search firm. It's easy to see the four coaches named and think we're down to Pollard's final four, but I see it as quite the opposite. I think the firm has identified these guys through various means and are doing most of the work that Pollard has done in the past. A couple of these guys will make it through their filter (Prohm and Otzelberger would be my guess), and Pollard is still working on others.
If there's one thing that will serve us well in this search it's remembering that Pollard doesn't like to let things out to the public. Keeping that in mind then it's pretty easy to see that there are still a few surprises left as this search goes in to the weekend.
As always, we'll keep you up to date as this develops, and we look to you guys to help with that. Keep posting your thoughts and observations throughout the day as this search beings to heat up.