Turnkey Search Launches College Division With Cheryl Levick & Gene DeFilippo

On December 1, 2014, Turnkey Search, a subsidiary of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, formally launched a new division and major push into intercollegiate athletics with the hiring of Cheryl Levick as Senior Vice President and promotion of Gene DeFilippo to Senior Executive Director. Levick and DeFilippo have each served in higher education for 30+ years as Athletic Directors and Senior Associate ADs at multiple top-tier institutions, including Boston College, Georgia State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Maryland, Santa Clara University, St. Louis University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and Villanova University.

“Pro sports and college sports used to be separate worlds,” said Len Perna, CEO of Turnkey. “Going forward, we foresee more overlap, where the search for the most talented people will need to span not only pro and college sports, but also entertainment and media. Adding Gene and Cheryl to Turnkey’s two decades of sports & entertainment experience makes us the most comprehensively experienced search firm in this fast evolving industry.” Levick and DeFilippo’s three decades of experience in hiring coaches and administrators will be integrated into Turnkey’s proven executive search process to help schools do a better job hiring.

“Cheryl and Gene have worked with everybody who’s anybody in college sports the past 30+ years and, moreover, they’ve sat in the AD ‘hot seat’ and successfully navigated the difficult decisions,” said John Swofford, Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). “That first-hand AD experience is absolutely critical, and a major advantage for any search firm to correctly match candidates to universities.”

“Georgetown was looking for a search firm to bring a broader perspective combined with a tighter, more rigorous process,” said Dan Porterfield, President at Franklin & Marshall College and former Senior Vice President for Strategic Development at Georgetown University. “Turnkey’s process is the best I’ve ever seen at matching AD candidates to the specific and precise needs and culture of a university.”

As Turnkey’s newest addition, Levick served most recently as AD at Georgia State University (2009 – 2014), where she started the school’s Division 1 football program and then transitioned it from the FCS to the FBS. Prior to her time at Georgia State, Levick held the titles of Chief of Staff/Executive Senior Associate Director of Athletics at the University of Maryland (2007 – 2009); Director of Athletics at both St. Louis University (2004 – 2007) and Santa Clara University (2000 – 2004); and Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Stanford. At Stanford, Levick oversaw 30 National Championship-winning programs and supervised eight Olympic Coaches. Throughout her career, Levick has established herself as an academic and student-athlete focused leader, and has served on multiple NCAA, NACDA, Pac-10 (now Pac-12) and Sun Belt committees.

Most recently, DeFilippo served 15 years as Director of Athletics at Boston College, ultimately leading BC into the ACC. During that period, BC enjoyed 12 straight winning football seasons, amassing 103 total victories between 1999-2010 including and 88 wins in the 2000s, tying Auburn University and the University of Southern California for 11th in the FBS. Additionally, the BC’s men’s ice hockey won its third NCAA Championship in five seasons and fifth overall, and the women’s hockey team advanced to the Frozen Four. Also under DeFilippo’s guidance, BC student-athletes consistently ranked in the top 10 for highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores in intercollegiate athletics, and were awarded the National SAAC Award of Excellence in recognition of their community service. DeFilippo serves on the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation (NFF), and was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame in June 2014.


Turnkey Sports & Entertainment is the holding company that owns and operates Turnkey Search, the industry’s leading executive search firm, and also Turnkey Intelligence, the industry’s leading consumer intelligence firm.   For more information about Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, visit www.TurnkeySE.com.

Turnkey Intelligence is the sports and entertainment industry’s leader in custom consumer research (Surveyor) and lead scoring and data enhancement (Prospector). Over 100 clients utilize Turnkey’s software and services to make better-informed business decisions involving ticketing, sponsorship, marketing and sales. For more information about Turnkey Intelligence, visit www.Intel.TurnkeySE.com.

Turnkey Search helps properties and sponsors identify, recruit and hire the very best management talent. Every year, 65-75 clients utilize Turnkey to execute and fill senior-level searches with qualified, experienced candidates. For more information about Turnkey Search, visit www.Recruiting.TurnkeySE.com.



Leave A Comment