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The Bill Moos Saga - A Story of Excellence
Written by EC Rules   
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 22:55

We wrote a piece earlier asking whether the  AD hiring process that WSU was employing was idiocy or genius. Clearly, it was genius. Bill Moos will be announced as our next Athletic Director at a press conference tomorrow. Dr. Elson Floyd conducted the most public job search I have ever seen in my life. The typical timeline for hiring an AD is usually measured in months. Dr. Floyd got it done in a matter of days. Speed is one thing. But if you hire a stooge it really doesn't matter how quickly you do it.


Bill Moos is no stooge. This is like the Pittsburgh Pirates signing Alex Rodriguez. It's like the St. Louis Rams signing Peyton Manning. Make no mistake, we face significant challenges over the next couple of seasons and we just signed the only guy that is likely an upgrade over Jim Sterk that would be willing to take the job.


So, let's put out a report card but let's do it a little different. Let's grade out the process now that it has played out, the candidate that will be filling the job and let's look at his first 90 days in office.

We'll start with the process. How did WSU do in conducting it's job search?


Has anyone ever seen a more unusual hiring process? It's looking like Dr. Floyd was so public with things from hour one because he was bound and determined to do everything required to show Bill Moos that he was badly wanted and needed at his alma mater.


How did it all break down? Hit the read more button to find out:


Day One:

It all began two days before Jim Sterk was officially announced as the new Athletic Director at San Diego State. Dr. Floyd sent out communication alerting the donor and fanbase that he was conducting an immediate search for a new AD. Nothing particularly odd except for the timing on this communication. The protocol is usually to wait for the soon-to-be former AD to hold his presser and then make some sort of generic announcement. Little did we know that this was just the start of doing things in a very non-traditional format.


Day Three:

Monday rolls around and Dr. Floyd uses the Sterk press conference and the expected "Thank You XYZ former AD for your service" press release to acknowledge Bill Moos as a candidate for the new job and then tells everyone that his job interview/recruiting day/press conference #1 is going to be in two days time. Looking back on it….pure genius. He effectively took a potentially negative situation and turned it into one of excitement and hope. Rather than having articles talk about prospective candidates and "mourning" the loss of Sterk….Dr. Floyd focused all the energy on one impeccably qualified candidate and probably the only candidate that would represent a HUGE upgrade over Sterk. The big risk was that Bill Moos would say no and then Dr. Floyd would have some serious egg on his face. He took the risk a week ago and it looks like he's going to cash in his winnings on Wednesday.


Day Five:

Bill Moos Day is officially declared in Pullman. Brilliant choreography that began with meetings across various groups to sell Bill Moos to them. Not that they required much to be sold. The real story here was establishing Bill Moos as a guy worth paying  $400-500K annually. That was the first part of the day. Help internal stakeholders to understand the value of signing a big free agent. The second part of the day was dedicated to selling the alumni. Again, not that they had to be sold. People were excited about the Bill Moos but when they read the quotes and the articles about Moos the fanbase was positively breathless. The second part of the day was about securing approval ratings once they hired Moos that would be through the roof. Clearly, a huge success on both parts. The energy around Bill Moos was at a fever pitch by the end of the day Wednesday. I just hope the alumni/donors that the reason behind trying to jack up his approval ratings coming into office is because one of the first things he's going to do is raise taxes. It's time we all start kicking in to a greater degree. Bill Moos is great but Bill Moos with financial support is nearly unstoppable (just look at Oregon).


Day Seven:

Just before the weekend hits we get another communication from Dr. Floyd. He lets everyone know that Wednesday went great and Bill Moos has been offered the position of Athletic Director. Again, we are alerted to the fact that a guy has been offered the position? I just don't think you make that sort of thing public unless you already know what the answer is going to be. It's another great news cycle to cap the week and it leaves Coug fans with some suspense over the weekend to think about what this potential hire could mean.


Day Eleven:

So, here we are today. Just 11 short days after Sterk has left the building….we have a new Athletic Director. I could do all sorts of research on how long it takes an AD to be replaced on average in BCS conferences but I won't. I can tell you right now that I would be shocked if I find a single example in which an external replacement was hired in shorter time. I would be shocked if I even found two or three internal replacements hired in a shorter time period. Simply impressive.



Efficient, high-stakes, newsworthy, exciting, flawless. These are words you'd want associated with any job search conducted. They all apply to the process of hiring Bill Moos. Dr. Elson Floyd earned every penny of his pay the past two weeks. He recognized this is one of four high-profile positions in Pullman and it needed to be filled by a man of impeccable quality. It was staged and choreographed down to every hour and every press release. It used the press and it's constituents to formulate a message and they owned the message. I must say I've never seen better execution of a public hiring than this one. Congratulations Dr. Floyd, we don't know how successful Bill Moos will be at his job but all a hiring manager can do is put who he hires in a position to succeed and you've done exactly that.


Grade: A+++


We'll be back in a day or two to try and surface some interesting angles on Bill Moos as an AD.

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