Friday, March 8, 2013
Texas hires player personnel director
By Carter Strickland
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas, long perceived to be the leader in recruiting, started to realize it was anything but.
Sure the Longhorns were still getting stellar classes. But the methods on which they relied in gathering information and, subsequently efficiently distributing and disseminating that information were archaic.
"We have been kind of mom-and-popping it here for a long time," Texas coach Mack Brown said.
The times changed with the hiring of Patrick Suddes as Texas’ director of player personnel Thursday. Suddes has been put in charge of modernizing the flow of information from prospective players, high school coaches and Texas’ current coaches as well as building a department to take advantage of social media and other recruiting assets that have become larger players in the game in the past five years.
"They’ve got everything in place here," Suddes said of Texas. "It’s just about creating a system and structure that is a machine. And day in and day out you are doing the same things to be successful and you don’t stay off that path."
The path that Texas has decided to walk in order to once again become a recruiting juggernaut requires that it doesn’t stop with the hiring of Suddes. The university will post more job openings in the coming weeks as it builds the player personnel department under Suddes.
Brown would not reveal just how more people would be hired to work in the recruiting department. Texas is moving judiciously because the NCAA is currently embroiled in some controversy and debate over whether or not to limit the size of recruiting staffs.
It is reasonable to assume Texas will hire at least two more people to work under Suddes, one with a strong background in social media and another with a strong multi-media background.
"You consider everybody," Brown said when asked if high school coaches would be evaluated as potential personnel. "This is really important for us to get back on top of our game in every phase. We are getting close on the field. We are not there off the field."
Because the 30-year-old Suddes has no background in Texas -- he’s an Alabama grad and has worked for the Crimson Tide for six years -- a logical assumption would be that at least one hire would have strong ties to the state. Suddes confirmed a healthy knowledge of the state would be an asset for a candidate.
As for Suddes’ job, he will not be directly involved in player evaluations but instead in understanding what criteria the coaches are looking for in a player and streamlining the effort to get that information into the hands of the coaches.
"Recruiting has changed daily and yearly," he said. "It’s getting more advanced. That is why I’m here, to make the job of the coaches easier so that they can evaluate. My job is not to evaluate but to get the information to them in a timely manner and make sure they have every means possible to be successful."
The highest priority in Suddes’ job is to make those changes happen quickly and seamlessly.
"We’ve got to take control of this state," Suddes said. "And I’m looking forward to help doing that in the best way that I can."