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Follow the money - - who is influencing UM's coach-hiring decision

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Follow the money if you want to know who is influencing the pick for UM’s next head football coach.

That sentiment from someone who knows intimately about the hiring process.

We are on coach-watch, as the University of Montana could announce any day who will lead the Griz football program.

Rumors have been swirling since UM fired Coach Bob Stitt.

Here’s the hiring process:

  1. The athletic director recommends what he sees as the best fit for the job.
  2. There is no rule requiring a committee process or a committee decision, but it is often done.
  3. The athletic director gives his recommendations to the president of the university.
  4. The two of them recommend the hire to the commissioner of higher education.
  5. The commissioner then approves the hire.
  6. The athletic director offers the candidate the job.

But there are a lot of considerations before this process happen, including who is going to generate revenue.

"The money is a big factor,” says former Griz athletic director Jim O’Day.  “You have to be able to find ways to continue to generate funds."

O’Day, is the athletic director that preceded current AD Kent Haslam.

He says while the AD on paper may have discretion who to nominate for the position, he needs to consider who is going to fill the seats, and who are the big donors to the program.

If the Washington Companies, for instance, have a strong opinion of who should be head coach, its opinion matters.

"I think money is talking because the demand is there,” says O’Day.  “It’s not easy.  You’re always looking for revenue streams.  It’s everywhere."

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