Sports Practice

Sports Practice

John O’Connor

Managing Director, Sports

John O' ConnorJohn leads Rice Cohen International’s Sports Practice where he is responsible for business development and candidate development. Coming out of a Division One college coaching career he decided to leverage his extensive college recruiting experience into a successful career in executive search.

John joined Rice Cohen in 2014 and in his first two years he completed over twenty-five senior level assignments in the corporate and executive education space.

Before joining Rice Cohen International, John spent over twenty years as a Division One college basketball coach. In his coaching career, John had the opportunity to win four conference championships, go to eight NCAA tournaments and recruit and coach over ten NBA players.

Today John still stays active in basketball by working with several youth programs and has served as the color commentator for Lafayette College and Christopher Newport Universty.

John graduated from The Pennsylvania State University, with a B.S. in Health and Human Development.

John lives in Warwick, is married to the former Euphemia McColl.


Reasons Why Rice Cohen International and John O’Connor
are the Right Search Partner

  • Coach O’Connor has 20 + years of Division 1 coaching experience as well as 2+ years of Executive Search-and has completed over 25 senior level assignments.
  • Rice Cohen International has over 25 years of experience and has been recognized multiple times for being one of the largest search firms in the world.
  • John and Rice Cohen International use a proven 25 Step Search and Selection “Process,” which guarantees results and has taken over 20 years to perfect.
  • John’s team consists of:
    Gene Rice-Recognized as one of the “100 most influential people in search worldwide.”
    Doug De Almo-Lawyer from Boston College with Fortune 50 HR experience and 5+ years executive search and research.
  • Rice Cohen International has made multiple placements with clients such as UC Berkley, Harvard, CorpU, Babson College, Jones University, Axics, Reebok and Disney Institute.
  • Our research team and our ability to tap into our national database will assure you of the best resources in the industry which allows us to identify candidates faster and more effectively.
  • Rice Cohen International’s “Reasons Why” philosophy will assure a strong match between your company and the candidate of choice.
  • Our unique 4-step approach to consulting around the counter offer will assure the candidate of choice will be on board, come the start date.
  • Our staff is trained and certified in behavior based interviewing, which allows for more efficient screening of candidates.
  • We incorporate a team approach to every search by assembling a project team that is managed by a director of John O’Connor Sports and includes a researcher and a project coordinator.

“John O’Connor, who leads the Rice Cohen International (RCI) Sports Practice, has a very unique skill-set for conducting sports-related searches. I know first-hand. I have worked closely with John and have stayed in touch with him throughout his career. John has an extraordinary portfolio of first-hand experiences as a coach, a former player, and in coaches and AD-related searches. Within NCAA Division I, for example, John coached in eight NCAAs, and on conference championship teams. This experience has provided him with an extraordinary understanding of the complex and unique culture of the athletic search process. He has been there, and has implicit knowledge and insight into the multifaceted landscape of college athletic coaching and administration. As an individual he is 100% reliable, personable, competent, and of the utmost integrity. In addition, John is backed by Rice Cohen International executive search firm, a proven leader in the search process of talent, with over 25 years of experience and an ever-expanding footprint. In sports, like in the game of life, you want to have the right individual with the ball in the hand when the game is on the line. In the area of sports search firms that person is John O’Connor.”

    – Dr. Eric A. Zillmer, Director of Athletics, Drexel University

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