Welcome to Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt Coaches’ Corner. Since this is our first blog post probably a good way to start is for us to tell you who we are and what we’ll be doing in this blog.
My name is Rick Davis and I lead the sports management practice area at the law firm Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt in Birmingham, Alabama where we represent college and professional coaches and administrators. I’ve been representing coaches and administrators since I began practicing law with the late Robert Fraley in 1983.
Robert and I had been teammates at Alabama (we were freshmen in 1971) and while I was playing in the NFL Robert had gone to and graduated from law school. Robert encouraged me to go to law school when my playing days ended and our plan was that when I graduated we would start our own firm. Well, I followed Robert’s advice. I graduated from law school in December 1982 and moved to Orlando, Florida where Robert and I started our firm. In January 1983 we jumped right into the business of representing coaches.
Coach Bryant retired at Alabama after the 1982 season and Ray Perkins was named the head coach. Robert and I didn’t know Ray but we had friends who did and they were able to set up a meeting for us with Ray. Robert and I thought the fact that he and I were teammates and had played football at Alabama for Coach Bryant would score some points with Coach Perkins since he had also played in Tuscaloosa for Coach Bryant. Well, something worked because despite the fact that Robert and I had never represented coaches before (I don’t remember if that came up in our initial meeting with Ray or not!!) we were successful in convincing Ray we could handle things for him. He gave us that chance and we had our first coach as a client!
There have been tremendous changes in college and professional sports, both on the field as well as from a business standpoint, since Robert and I first began working with Coach Perkins in 1983. What I’ve learned from those experiences, and what I learned as a player at Alabama and in the NFL about what it takes to compete and be successful in college and professional sports, have put us in a unique position to provide counsel and advice to college and professional coaches and administrators. In Coaches’ Corner we’ll review specific situations we’ve been involved in so the people who read our blog can hopefully learn something from those experiences. We’ll also talk about a wide range of topics that we think you’ll be interested in – things like evaluating job opportunities, preparing for interviews, dealing with search firms, and important issues in employment agreements. Those of you who know me know that I like to share motivational and inspirational information and materials I’ve found and been exposed to over the years that might help you at work and at home. Because when it’s all said and done, our primary goal is for Coaches’ Corner to be a resource to help make you a better husband or wife, mom or dad, son or daughter, coach, administrator and teacher.
We’re excited and look forward to sharing our thoughts and experiences with you. If you have a question or comment, you can reach me on my cell (561-662-3251) or my office (205-874-0368) or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Photos courtesy of the Bryant Museum