Monday, August 24, 2015

My nominee for University of Minnesota athletic director

From: charles turchick
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 7:39 PM
To: maturi@umn.edu
Cc: letters@mndaily.com
Subject: Application for position of Head Coach of the U of M football team

Dear Mr. Maturi:

I hereby apply for the position of University of Minnesota Head Coach of the football team, which I understand has unexpectedly become available. In this email I shall briefly discuss my qualifications, my expectations in terms of salary and benefits, and a few intangibles that might make me a surprisingly good choice.

Qualifications. I am a 64-year-old native Minnesotan who, except for a year in New York City and another year as a Vista Volunteer, has lived his entire life in the state. Given my age, I think you need not worry I will be using this position as a stepping stone for another head coaching position, whether at Notre Dame or at the University of South Dakota. I am an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, with a B.A. in philosophy and a J.D. My full commitment will be to the Gophers. I'd say I bleed Maroon and Gold, but I'm sure you've heard that one before.

While I did not play football at the college level, there are several current or recent Division I coaches in that same category: Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, David Cutcliffe at Duke, George O'Leary at UCF, Bobby Hauck at UNLV, Charlie Weis, Mark Mangino and Mike Leach. I also did not play football in high school, but if you check the football team's record of my high school (Minneapolis North) while I was there, that lack of experience may well count in my favor. I did play football when I think I was in the sixth or seventh grade, both halfback and linebacker. One of my coaches went on to a career in the C.I.A., and if they would be willing to tell you where he is, I am sure he would provide me with a good reference.

I would bring my unblemished record as a football coach -- I have never coached football -- to the University. I did, however, coach the all-star basketball team of the Minneapolis Jewish Community Center. I remember Lou Holtz once said, "We may be small, but we're slow." Our basketball team was small -- the center was only 5'11" -- but we were scrappy. I do believe they played well above their heads, so to speak, and I am sure the members of that team would support me in this application. And I want to state most clearly at the outset that I have no intention of invading Tubby Smith's turf. Although I may be qualified, I will not seek to coach both the football team and the men's basketball team, at least not during the same academic year.

In a sense, however, I have been coaching all my life. As a child I would go to my uncle's house to watch football games on Saturdays, and I learned how to yell at the television about the inept play-calling. For the last 40 years, I have never ceased to yell at the radio or television about the play-calling, the time management, the recruiting, etc. of Gopher football coaches. But, of course, I do realize that included millions of Minnesotans.

Anyhow, as we all know, coaching football ain't rocket science. Of course, you have my solemn word that I will not reveal that little secret either to the public or to the rocket scientists. I will study long and hard to learn the football jargon that makes the game seem intricate and mysterious.

Expectations. Now we get to the heart of the matter -- money. I request that my salary be the same as the current median income in the State of Minnesota. I am single with no dependents, so in 2008-2009, I believe that figure was $42,368. Forget the $2,368; I'll settle for $40,000. Other than the standard health care plan for University of Minnesota staff, I will not require any other income or benefits. I will not need any football camps, any outside contracts or income from endorsements or use of equipment, any under-the-table money from boosters, or any buy-out clause in my contract. I would expect to be able to take University courses at the reduced rate available to current staff, and when I turn 65, I understand I will be able to audit classes for free and take them for credit at $10 per credit.

I do have one request in terms of benefits. I get around on a bicycle, but given the hazards, I rarely use it in the winter. I would request an MTC bus pass each month. If this is a deal-breaker for you, I may be open to negotiate. Don't hold your breath though.

I not only would save you probably a seven-figure number by my reasonable salary expectation, but I would also not need 12 or more assistant coaches. I could see hiring coaches for offensive line, backs and receivers, defensive line, defensive backs (including linebackers), offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and special teams, but we may even be able to double up on some of those categories.

Intangibles. I know coaching the football team means inspiring the whole state. I bring with me my ties in greater Minnesota. I have spent considerable time in western Minnesota, specifically in Redwood Falls. And after being transferred from El Reno Federal Reformatory -- getting a 10-day stay at Leavenworth Penitentiary en route -- I spent about a year and a half in Sandstone, Minnesota, in the Sandstone Federal Correctional Institution. Such are the vicissitudes of life. (Just try getting Lou Holtz to say that word.)

I bring other intangibles too. I had an account at Twin City Federal until I closed it several months ago. That account, while it never had more than $25 in it for the last decade or so, had been open for nearly half a century. I think of myself as an important contributor to TCF Bank Stadium. In addition, to my best knowledge -- or at least I haven't heard to the contrary -- I am a "close personal friend" of Sid Hartman.

Finally, and most importantly, I know a big part of this job involves motivating people. Given my background and my qualifications, if you should hire me, I believe that fact alone would attest to my ability to motivate. After all, I would have motivated you to hire me. Q.E.D.

Since I hate to lose, I would not have submitted this application if I thought you would not treat it seriously. If you need any further information, please let me know. I look forward to the interview process.

Sincerely,

Chuck Turchick

***

Chuck Turchick
Aug 18 (6 days ago)

to kschanfield, jdixon, Eric, Mary, blarney, Amy, maturi

Dear Ms. Schanfield and Mr. Dixon,

I understand that your law firm has been retained to investigate, among other things, whether Parker Executive Search and the University of Minnesota "appropriately checked into [Norwood] Teague's background." (See University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler's posted statement of August 14, 2015.)

I had one interaction with Parker Executive Search that may be relevant to your investigation. Following the firing of Tim Brewster, I was an applicant for the position of University of Minnesota football coach in 2010. Within two hours of my application, I was assured in writing by then-U of M Athletic Director Joel Maturi that my name would be included in the process.

A few weeks later, the media reported on the names of front-runners for the position. That led me to write the following email to Parker:

From: charles turchick 
Sent: Sat 11/13/10 6:54 PM
To: support@parkersearch.com
Cc: maturi@umn.edu
 
Dear Parker Executive Search folks:

I am not sure you are aware of my letter of application to Joel Maturi, the University of Minnesota Athletic Director, for the position of head football coach at that institution. I have reproduced it and Mr. Maturi's response below for your convenience. Please note that he assured me my name would be included in the process.

While I do appreciate your firm's reputation for confidentiality, I did have some concern that I had not seen my name mentioned in any of the speculation about prospects that I have seen in the media. I just wanted to make sure that my application did not get lost in the shuffle.

Since Mr. Maturi responded to my letter less than two hours after I submitted it, I naturally assumed I was a front-runner for this position. Unfortunately, however, because we may be getting up to ten inches of snow here in the Twin Cities today and tonight, I will have to remain firm on the bus pass condition before I would consider accepting any offer.

Finally, I did not realize I would be saving the athletic department as much as $2-4 million, but I think that demonstrates my commitment to the program.

Thank you for your consideration, and I am available to be interviewed at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Chuck Turchick


I never received a response. Maybe Parker hadn't received my name from the University as a person to be vetted. But if that had been the case, I still would have expected an email response from them informing me of that.

While this communication related to the search that led to the hiring of Jerry Kill as football coach -- not Tim Brewster, basketball coach Tubby Smith, or Athletic Director Norwood Teague -- I thought it might possibly be relevant to the practices of Parker Executive Search in general, or even more specifically, to its practices involving University of Minnesota athletic department positions.

If you need any additional information, please feel free to call or write.

Sincerely yours,

Chuck Turchick




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