Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Miami, Garfinkel outlined some of the attributes owner Steve Ross is looking for in Jeff Ireland’s successor. He also confirmed that a list of candidates will be released in the coming days and that while he will be involved in the process, the final decision will be Ross’ and Ross’ alone.
“In my conversations with Steve, I think first and foremost (what he’ll be looking for) is someone with a lot of experience evaluating talent, a proven track record of evaluating talent and a football person,” said Garfinkel, who took over as CEO in September. “That’s going to be the first criteria. Someone with a lot of intellect, a collaborative team player and someone who’s creative and open minded.”
Garfinkel added that those candidates without prior experience as a general manager won’t necessarily be excluded, claiming that based on his talks with Ross, “I don’t know that that’s going to be a deal breaker.” The emphasis again is on being able to evaluate talent, work in concert with Head Coach Joe Philbin and the rest of the coaching staff and front office and putting the organization first.
This will be the first change at the top of the football side since January of 2008 when Ireland was hired, and with the team coming off of an 8-8 season but with the playoffs in their grasp, there is no doubt how important this hire will be for the franchise. Garfinkel reiterated that when describing Ross’ intentions and confirming the owner will indeed be the ultimate decision maker, while also sharing Ross’ faith and confidence in Philbin as the head coach.
“I said it in my opening press conference that I’m here to support football operations and all of us in the organization are,” he said. “The first priority is winning football games and sort of honoring the proud tradition of winning by the Miami Dolphins. So certainly the person who’s picking the players that go out on the field is a critical hire.”