College Sports Solutions

Executive Search

Big West Conference
A unique search in the midst of a global pandemic.

In the winter/spring of 2020, CSS performed Executive Search services for the Big West Conference in the search for its next Commissioner.


In the midst of its Conference Commissioner search, the nation shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Even though initial in-person interviews were scheduled in Los Angeles for late March, once the pandemic shut down travel, CSS was able to pivot immediately, conducting three rounds of interviews and completing the search successfully.


Jeff Schemmel, CSS President and search lead said, “We had to be innovative, thorough, and detailed in our approach to all interviews. We knew we were blazing a new trail in Division I athletics while facing the circumstances brought about by COVID-19.”

Dan Butterly was hired and became the conference’s fifth commissioner in June of 2020. It was the very first all-virtual search completed for an NCAA Division I commissioner.

  • The all-virtual search resulted in significant cost savings for the conference and its member institutions.
  • Members of the search committee and the CSS team participated in a follow-up education opportunity, sharing the virtual search experience with NACDA membership.
  • The Big West has retained CSS to complete a search for the position of Senior Associate Commissioner – Governance and Legal Affairs.

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