Last week the NFL Players Association hired a firm to aid in their search for their next executive director. Reilly Partners, a Chicago based search firm, will assist the NFLPA in finding Gene Upshaw’s successor. Last year, Reilly Partners played an integral role in the search that resulted in the NHLPA hiring Paul Kelly as their executive director.
Current NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly was the assistant district attorney involved in a grand jury investigation into Alan Eagleson, the NHLPA’s first executive director.
Eagleson was indicted by a Boston grand jury and was fined $700,000. Later that year, he pleaded guilty in a Toronto court to three more counts of fraud and embezzling proceeds from the 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cup tournaments.
Reilly Partners Chairman Bob Reilly and Managing Director Dave Poulin handled the NHLPA’s search and will serve in the same capacity for the NFL Players Association.
Poulin is no stranger to professional sports. He spent 13 seasons in the NHL, competed in three NHL all star games, and three Stanley Cup Finals.
The NFLPA also retained former NFL player Pat Richter to assist in the search. Richter played eight seasons for the Washington Redskins from 1963 to 1970. Richter and NFLPA interim executive director Richard Berthelsen both attended the University of Wisconsin while undergraduates and both also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School.