On Dec. 4, the University of Wisconsin's football coach, Bret Bielema, bolted for Arkansas. The school advertised the job opening on its human resources website, allowing an assortment of dreamers to submit their applications online. A bachelor's degree was required; "5 years of successful college football coaching experience" was preferred.
Via public records request, we've obtained the applications from people who did not request anonymity. Among the applications you can find résumés for Utah State coach Gary Andersen, who wound up getting the job, not to mention Mel Tucker, the Wisconsin grad who recently became the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator.
Other applicants were marginally less qualified. Those include a local Walgreen's pharmacist, a recent college graduate who was the captain of his football team, a veteran FedEx driver, an executive recruiter who played one season of Division III baseball, and a lawyer who listed among his "relevant experience" the fact that he has "excelled in various fantasy baseball and football leagues."
Below are a few notable cover letters. All the applications can be found at the bottom of the post. All redactions are by the university unless otherwise noted.
Harrison A. Selwitz
To whom it may concern,
I am applying for the Head Football Coach position at University of Wisconsin - Madison. I recently graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a BSM in Finance. I am currently employed at Epic as a Financial Analyst. I currently reside in Madison. Please also find my attached comprehensive resume.
I have a strong background in athletics that has provided me with the requisite experience for this position. I served as a captain at a successful football program at Miramonte High in Orinda, California playing both wide receiver and defensive back. I also have significant Division I athletics experience, serving as a practice player for Tulane Basketball. Working with the all-time winningest coach in the conference has left me with invaluable insights into coaching a successful team. I also found success in recruiting when I assisted in bringing in a highly ranked prospect for the school.
My business background is a key strength. My in-depth understanding of finance and business operations will allow me to efficiently manage athletics budgets. Related business experiences including public speaking will allow me to easily take command of the outward facing portion of this position.
My abilities and experiences make me an excellent candidate for the Head Football Coach position. I have additional insights and experiences beyond what I could fit into this cover letter so I am therefore requesting the opportunity to interview for this position. Please contact me anytime by phone or email. I am excited about the opportunity to represent the University of Wisconsin and look forward to hearing from you.
Harrison A. Selwitz
Office of Athletics Human Resources:
I am interested in the position of Head Football Coach. I do not fit the mold that you would expect to find from an applicant for Head Football Coach, but please read on and I will outline my qualifications and experiences for this position. I am currently a football season ticket holder and have been attending football games at Camp Randall since I was a student at UW-Madison from 1995-1999. Not only am I a fan of the game of football, but I am also a student of the game. It is my desire to see that this program continues to be the elite program that it has become through the rich traditions and the work of Coach Alvarez to put the Badgers atop the Big Ten Conference.
In my time at UW-Madison I not only learned what it means to be a Badger, I earned a B.S. in Pharmacy. I have been a Pharmacist since 1999 and have been with my current employer, Walgreens, since 1991. I have worked at some of the busiest pharmacies in the country and have spent 7 out of the last 12 years being the Pharmacy Manager. Managing a busy pharmacy involves fulfilling the duties of a pharmacist at the same time that you are managing team of 9 to 11 people to complete multiple different tasks simultaneously within a specified timeframe. This is very similar to the game of football. I work with my team of assistant managers, technicians, and cashiers to schedule, plan strategies, put the right employees in the best positions according to their strengths, and do so within a fast-paced high-pressure environment to come together to achieve a specific goal.
I believe that my skill-set that I have built as a pharmacy manager in combination with my knowledge of college football makes me a viable, although admittedly unconventional, candidate for this position. I am constantly working to coach my employees to help them develop and put them in the position to effectively use their talents. I have to work within a specified budget and spend a majority of my time dealing with the public, providing excellent customer service. This directly relates to both recruiting, public relations, and being able to work cooperatively with diverse groups and administrators, faculty, staff and students. In the pharmacy we may have computer issues, illness, insurance issues, customer problems, etc. Every day I have to work to resolve these issues at the same time I still have my responsibilities to my other customers and staff to complete prescriptions on time.
I know that I do not have the coaching and head coaching experience with Division 1 that would be preferred for this position. I do not consider this lack of coaching experience to be a disadvantage and am not afraid of taking a challenge head on and tackling it. I was accepted into a very competitive and demanding Pharmacy program at UW-Madison while married, had two children, and worked full-time to provide for them all the while I was a full time student.
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to a written response to this application. This application may be made available to the public upon request.
Career job title: "Courier,college coach"
Current salary: "$50,000/yr"
Desired salary: "$60,000/yr"
To whom it may concern:
Please accept this letter as my intent of application for the open position in your organization. I have work for FedEx for the past eighteen years I have worked as a Courier and have experience as an operations manager, International Coordinator, sales manager. Prior to working for FedEx I worked as a terminal manager for Airborne Express for three years and had the same responsibility of a senior manager at the ramp. I also worked coaching baseball and football for the past 27 years at high schools in California, Texas, and in Utah.
During the past eighteen years I have proven to be a motivated and hardworking FedEx employee. I went to school to receive my degrees in business management and master's in education for an opportunity like this.
I have worked in different Latin countries and speak Spanish fluently. I am a people person that communicates well with everyone and feel that this is a great opportunity for me. I am ready for the challenges this position will bring and I am confidant that through hard work and dedication I will be successful and an asset to your organization.
Should you any Questions please contact me at [REDACTED]. I look forward to meeting with you.
Carlo Giovanni Flores
Career job title: "Executive search consultant"
Current salary: "$83,200/yr"
Desired salary: "$100,000/yr"
To who it might concern:
I have extensive Executive level recruiting experience as part of a $1B professional staffing firm and currently with GE Capital's Retail Finance business unit.
I also played one year of NCAA Division III athletics (baseball) and began coaching High School Baseball at the age of 18. I spent 2yrs as the Head JV and Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach for my former High School coaching, teaching and mentoring student athletes on the game of baseball as well as how it relates to life and daily choices. My assistant coach during my first year is currently an Assistant Coach with the Phoenix Suns.
As a life-long Wisconsin resident and University of Wisconsin supporter, also hold a Bachelors degree from the school system, I am expressing my interest in the Head Coaching vacancy for the football program.
I want to see Barry if he is here and available. N.C.A.A. is very good when I am a fan. It is better when I am the fan, since 1969 for around 44 years now. It is best when I know you well at Division I and Big Ten Conference.
My goal is to DISCOVER it, Plan is to DEVELOP Famous Wisconsin Football. Then, I retire with DEDICATE my time to you.
PROPORTION is important for proper arrangement or balance of parts for WISCONSIN FOOTBALL SUCCESS. I believe it can be achieved.
COMPREHENSIVE LEARNING occurs when they beat us, or we beat them. It's good for program and N.C.A.A.
PASSION happens when everybody works hard, yet so winning. It also occurs when they had more success for those events that we did not score more points.
RESPONSIBILITY is to us POINTS PLAY, OUTCOACH THEM AS MUCH AS WE can. SPORTSMANSHIP AND CITIZENSHIP are important element at all times, before events, durning events, and reflections.
Coach Ron Rains
To whom it may Concern:
I read the advertisement you placed on your website and I would like to apply for the vacant position of Head Football Coach. I believe that I have the credentials that you are looking for in a Head Football Coach and that I could successfully represent the University of Wisconsin - Madison in a way that would benefit your institution. I have attached my resume for your perusal.
I have experience that will allow me to perform this job at a high level. I have worked with government institutions and non-profits both as an employee and as a volunteer. I also have experience in my current work environment where many of the other functions, both essential and marginal, where required of me. Those around me are often remarking on my zest for people, my creativity, and my dedication to any task that I sent to accomplish. With these as my strengths, I believe that I can enthusiastically represent the University of Wisconsin - Madison to a variety of people in a range of settings. I know that I can put in the best effort you could expect from a Head Football Coach.
I strongly believe that I am an excellent representative of your institution and I am confident in my abilities to perform as a Head Football Coach. I hope to discuss with you further my qualifications if you would allow me. Please contact me if you need any more information.
Mr. Stephen L. Pettis
Career job title: "Marketing"
Current salary: "$35,000/yr"
Desired salary: "$35,000/yr"
To Whom it May Concern,
I am writing you today regarding the current Head Football Coaching position opening with the University of Wisconsin. At your earliest convenience, I'd very much appreciate the opportunity to discuss the position with you. The description of the position fits many interests of mine, and I feel that with my skills and experience, I am a prime candidate for this position.
Now that I have competed and completed my college career, I have made sports a passion of mine and would like to pursue a career for a sports organization such as you. This is a great opportunity for me to advance my career, and to take myself to goals I want to achieve.
I have been competing in athletic events my entire life. I have also experienced and performed tasks necessary for accomplishing tasks necessary for this position. In my duration at Ripon College, I have participated in football for 4 years, and feel that this gives me a competitive edge that helps me stand-alone.
I have also developed interpersonal and coaching skills through my work with the Ripon College Lacrosse team, and my coaching of lacrosse and football for various high school teams. I believe this has given me a great experience not only in coaching, but also in working with athletes and fans of all ages.
I'd love the opportunity to speak with your more regarding this position, and how I can help fulfill all the needs and responsibilities that this position entails. I can be reached at [REDACTED] or via email at [REDACTED]
Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you soon.
To; Whom it may concern;
I am writing in order for your personal consideration to be part of your staff as NCAA position. I was mentored by Steve Kiner, when he was at University of Tennessee, I believe you might know Steve, He was Linebacker for Oilers. I hope you will interview my services. I believe my experience with Steve was meaningful. I have coached with Tom Parry, friend of Mouse Davis, Mike Dunbar, and Greg Olsen who was @ Tampa Bay for 2 years.
Sincerely, May you have many Blessings this Year(LB)
As UW's head coach I feel I would be able to take Wisconsin to the next level. Being able to carry on and advance the Badgers football tradition would be a great achievement that I will be able to do.
I know I lack the overall experience in coaching, but what I lack in experience I make up for with hard work and unbreakable determination. Please give me a shot I promise you I will not let down the program.
Career job title: "Financial Analyst"
Current salary: "$48,000/yr"
Desired salary: "$50,000/yr"
I have no football coaching experience at any level. It would be a huge mistake to hire me for this position.
Thank you for your consideration.
Career job title: "Senior Advisor"
Looking forward to the interview process
Dearing Hiring Manager:
I am submitting this letter in reference to the Head Football Coach position with your school. Enclosed is my resume for your review. Through my coaching achievements and job experience, I have become an efficient coach in the football arena and I would bring to your organization:
20 years of coaching experience from high school football to Professional football.
I have a personal goal to secure a challenging position that allows me to contribute my extensive professional experience, positive attitude, and leadership abilities as well as build a highly respected football program within the mission of the university and its philosophy of intercollegiate athletics. I have been blessed with the opportunity as an athlete and later a coach to accumulated extensive experience and history. The experience has benefited me both, on and off the field. In addition to strategizing, I plan to utilize tools such as: positive praise, nutrition, education, excellent communication and organizational skills, competent leadership, objectivity, determination, self-discipline and faith in order to collaboratively build a winning team. I have excellent organization skills, with a high attention to details. I am dependable and trustworthy always meeting my deadlines. I consider my time-management skills, great personality and team-player spirit to be some of my greatest attributes. If I am given the opportunity, I believe that I would be a good fit for your organization.
Therefore, please review my resume in consideration for employment as Head Football Coach. Please feel free to contact me to further discuss the possible fit between your organization and myself. I can be reached at: [REDACTED BY DEADSPIN] or [REDACTED BY DEADSPIN].
My interest in the position of Assistant Football Coach has prompted me to forward my resume for consideration.
I am a man of vision who has proven leading teams to achieve winning seasons. I refused to set limitations on what would be a satisfactory season. I like to set goals high. I never want to put a ceiling on what can be accomplish. I am committed to discipline on and off the field. The coaches I have worked with became impressed with my sincerity, openness, family values, and the casual and genuine way I carried myself. I feel I can generate an atmosphere of excitement and unity among the University of Wisconsin people.
Additionally, my background in recruitment and personal connection with local high school coaches give me step up in recruiting players in the area that others may lack. I have worked repeatedly with players who were recruited and signed to play at the collegiate level. I know the caliber of players University of WIsconsin is looking for.
During the past six years, my coaching experience has been concentrated primary on reversing the fortunes program on the field. I have achieved a number of milestones that showed positive progress. Your football program goals will align perfectly with my expertise and vision and I believe I am the candidate you are looking for. I am looking forward to be a part of your staff. One of my greatest strengths is motivating players boosting self-confidence and self-esteem.
Thank you for your time and consideration
Career job title: "Head Freshmen coach"
Current salary: "$47,000/yr"
Desired salary: "$70,000/yr"
My area of employment up to this point has been in education as a teacher. This experience has greatly enhanced my communication, leadership and organizational skills. I am now looking to branch out to expand upon my career. I feel my background, an unmatched determination to succeed and the pursuit of high achievement would suit me well in this position.
My multiple degrees have given me a solid academic background for the rigors of the position. My resume goes into greater detail on my proven qualifications. My experiences as a teacher/coach at the college and public school level have given me the competencies, leadership abilities and confidence I need to make a major contribution to the position I wish to pursue. I feel you would find me a dedicated, loyal, fun and hard working individual who would be an asset to you. I am a strong leader, easy to get along with and attempt to put people at ease to achieve their greatest potential.
I thank you for taking the time to review my qualifications. I can be reached by phone at [REDACTED BY DEADSPIN]. I am eagerly awaiting the interview, set at your convenience, in which we can go into detail on the position and the contributions I can make. Thank you again.
Career job title: "Coach"
Current salary: "$85,000/yr"
Desired salary: "$200,000/yr"
Take this team to the next level
Career job title: "Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Back Coach"
To Whom It May Concern:
I am looking to advance my coaching career with your organization. Attached you will find a copy of my resume that represents my experience as a player of football and a coach of the game.
Coaching affords me the opportunity to be a part of the sport that I excel in. I will have the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and expertise to those athletes that wish to pursue a career as a professional athlete. In addition to my ability to identify with players, I bring an attitude of determination and perseverance.
I left college early to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL, Strong Safety — Indianapolis Colts (2001-2003). Following an injury, I made the choice to follow my second dream of becoming a college graduate. I succeeded in May 2008 by obtaining my Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Arts from Northern Illinois University.
The experience of your coaching staff combined with the opportunity to be a part of your program will be an excellent environment for my football coaching career. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Career job title: "Defensive Line Coach"
Desired salary: "$70,000/yr"
Dear Search Committee,
A Fortune 500 company must have proper leadership to succeed. A true leader must possess enthusiasm, courage, and an attitude that his followers can admire. A leader must create an atmosphere that emphasizes hard work, while embodying a level of success that can only be achieved through fortitude and diligence. A coach's role is to foster his player's abilities while stressing the importance of education and academic achievement.
Having played in the NCAA & professionally in the NFL, interning with the Buffalo Bills, owning and managing an athletic training facility, in addition to coaching at both the high school and collegiate levels has allowed me to develop the skill set and qualities needed to be on your sideline. My drive and intensity both on and off the field are unparalleled; I put my heart and soul into my daily preparation. I believe a strong leader must lead through example in all aspects of life, both on and off the field.
One of my qualities as coach is my ability to forge strong relationships and trust with players and follow coaches. As a Coach I must provide a presence that can be admired and respected. It is important that my players know that they can communicate with me openly and honestly on many levels. My goal is to develop a squadron that supports the University of of Wisconsin-Madison football traditions and gather fan support.
I look forward to the opportunity in exceeding your expectations of what you seek in a coach.
The full set of applications is below. Gary Andersen's résumé is on Pages 1 and 2; Mel Tucker's is on Page 43. There are several applicants identifying themselves as coaches and/or former players: Billy Culver (Page 7); Cory Hall (Page 22); Jermaine Hampton (Page 24), a former defensive back with the Colts; Matthew K. Hensler (Page 25), current head coach at Badger High School; Brian H. Hug (Page 26), defensive coordinator for the Arena Football League's Kansas City Command; Gabriel Northern (Page 34); Frank Richard (Page 39); and Camm Richmond (Page 41).