Minnesota Selects Turnkey to Lead AD Search

The University of Minnesota has announced the hiring of Turnkey Search to conduct a national search to fill the University’s Director of Athletics (“AD”) position.

“More than anything, this search must surface the highest quality candidates and the process must reflect the integrity we expect of our next Athletics Director,” said University of Minnesota President Eric W. Kaler. “Turnkey brings significant professionalism and the ability to convince strong candidates who already have outstanding jobs, to consider this opportunity.”

“Turnkey is honored to be working with an institution as great as the University of Minnesota,” said Len Perna, President & CEO of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of Turnkey Search. “We’re focused on facilitating a comprehensive, inclusive and aggressive process that yields an AD that is perfectly suited for Minnesota.”

Turnkey’s efforts will be led by Perna and Gene DeFilippo, Turnkey Search’s Senior Executive Director. DeFilippo, former President of NACDA, has 30 years of hands-on experience in intercollegiate athletics administration, including 16 years as Athletic Director at Boston College and Villanova University. DeFilippo and Perna will be assisted by Recruiting Associate Daina Lecuona.

Turnkey Search recently worked with the University of Michigan to help select their new Director of Athletics, Warde Manuel, and is currently conducting an AD search for Grand Valley State University.

The position description for this role will be posted shortly. For more information on the search, please visit the University of Minnesota’s website.


Turnkey Search has been an industry leader since 1996, with a legacy of more than 1,000 executive search placements. Our success and differentiation is grounded in actual, hands-on operating experience in college sports (Gene DeFilippo) and professional sports and entertainment (Len Perna), supported by an experienced and diverse team of recruiters (led by Carolyne Savini and others) with unmatched subject matter expertise in sports and entertainment.


Emily Huddell
Vice President of Marketing & Communications




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