Illini hire search firm to find coach

Illinois has hired Parker Executive Search to assist in its men's basketball coaching search, a school spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.

Illinois will pay Parker Executive Search a $90,000 flat fee, according to Illinois spokesperson Kent Brown.

Parker Executive Search is based in Atlanta and has a history of conducting searches for athletic directors, football coaches and men's basketball coaches. It assisted Illinois in finding current athletic director Mike Thomas. It also helped last year in the men's basketball hires of Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin, Wyoming's Larry Shyatt, Bradley's Geno Ford, North Carolina State's Mark Gottfried, Miami's Jim Larranaga and Georgia State's Ron Hunter.

The firm does also have experience in searches for Big Ten men's basketball coaches. It was involved in Iowa's hiring of current coach Fran McCaffery, Minnesota's hiring of current coach Tubby Smith and Indiana's hiring of former coach Kelvin Sampson.

On Parker Executive Search's website, it promotes it conducts most coaching searches within 10-14 days. Its process includes a four-step plan of 1) defining objectives and specifications, 2) identifying and assessing candidates, 3) facilitating the process and interviews and 4) candidate follow-up, which including recruiting the preferred candidate and helping negotiate contracts.

Parker Executive Search senior vice president and managing director Laurie Wilder declined comment when contacted on Wednesday. She wrote in an email that the firm does not discuss searches with the media.