Toronto Raptors VP Teresa Resch would bring smarts, toughness to Blackhawks

What she may not know about hockey or the NHL, she can make up for with smarts, toughness, attention to detail and an understanding of how culture matters at the highest levels of professional sports.

Some version of that pitch is likely how those in Teresa Resch’s corner would recommend the Toronto Raptors vice president of basketball operations for the general manager’s role with Chicago Blackhawks.

As reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Raptors executive is on a shortlist of candidates for the job. It is believed Resch was interviewed on Wednesday.

The process has been ongoing for about a week. Resch was recommended to Chicago by an executive search firm, and her participation has come with the support at the highest levels of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, who own the Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs, among other properties.

While from a distance Resch being in the mix for a general manager’s job in an entirely different sport is unusual, those who have worked closely with her over the past decade see it as almost an inevitability that another organization would try to hire her away.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that she would be a candidate and got interviewed, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all — if that’s what she wants to do — if she got offered the job,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who has worked with Resch in Toronto’s collaborative decision-making structure for four seasons has head coach and five more when he was an assistant to former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. “(She is a) super high-level visionary-type thinker, long-term planner. Is right there by our leaders’ sides making all the big decisions on a lot of things. Practice facilities. All-Star weekends. Oversees games and all those things. So she’s got a really good feel for running a big-time organization.”

Her secret?

“You have to speak up, even if your voice shakes,” she told Sportsnet in a 2020 interview about how she managed to rise as a young, female executive in sports, where there have been precious few role models.

Kim Ng became the first woman general manager in the four major men’s professional sports in North America when she was hired by the Miami Marlins in 2020 after decades in the industry. There have been a number of female assistant coaches hired by NBA teams in recent years and there are several high-ranking female business leaders, but few if any on the basketball operations side. The Vancouver Canucks made history by hiring two assistant general managers in Emilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato, although each have extensive hockey backgrounds.

The Blackhawks’ need for a culture makeover has been never more apparent since the fallout from the Kyle Beach sexual-assault scandal became public, and a few other high-profile incidents have otherwise shown that hockey could benefit from more diversity in their leadership ranks.

Resch played high school basketball in Lakefield, Minn., and was a volleyball standout at Augustana College, a division II program in Sioux Falls, S.D., where she graduated in 2003.

She met Ujiri when she worked for the NBA head office with a focus on the league’s Basketball Without Borders program. Resch was the first of 14 women hired by Ujiri who were still working for the organization when the Raptors won the league title in 2019.

The joke around the Raptors organization once Resch’s candidacy was reported was, “who is going to do all the important jobs now?”

“It’s tricky to describe it,” Resch said in a 2019 interview about her role. “I’m a generalist – a person who does … several things for a business and for an organization. My job is to try to ensure that everybody that touches the Toronto Raptors can compete in a championship atmosphere and at a championship level.”

When Ujiri got approval from MLSE to build a standalone, state-of-the-art practice facility for the Raptors, it was Resch who delivered the $65-million dream-works project. Plans had been floating around the Raptors front office since early in Bryan Colangelo’s tenure leading the organization – but once MLSE approved it, Resch made it happen on budget and on time, so that tours were available for visiting NBA decision-makers when they arrived in Toronto for All-Star weekend in 2016.

Resch drew on that experience when it fell to her to outfit a 65,000-square-foot ballroom in a still under-construction hotel in downtown Tampa as a world-class practice facility in the space of one month in late 2020 after it was determined the Raptors would have to temporarily relocate due to the pandemic.

“Everything takes time and we had none of it,” said Resch then. “So, you’re on pins and needles hoping everything happens and most of it did. You have faith in it.”

She nailed it, which is just one reason the Raptors front office has become so dependent on her.

Resch’s gift for logistics and pushing through on seemingly impossible projects is only one of her qualities, however.

She has progressively become more ingrained in the Raptors decision-making processes on the basketball side.

Why? Because her attention to detail is legendary – no issue gets overlooked or unaccounted for on her watch.


“She’s tough,” said one source, citing a confidence to make decisions and stick to them borne from her methodical approach.

When the club began a search to replace Casey when he was fired after the 2018 season, the initial plan was to engage one of the handful of executive search firms that work as intermediaries, putting forth names and managing the interview process.

Instead, it was Resch who pushed for the Raptors executives to run their own search and in turn staged the interviews and came up with the format, the thinking being that it was a learning opportunity for the Raptors front office as well, given it was its first coaching search.

A year later, the Raptors won the NBA title under Nurse – one of the team’s assistants who got the job ahead of several more high-profile names – and in 2019-20 Nurse was named NBA coach of the year. In his fourth season, Nurse has become recognized as one of the league’s most innovative bench bosses.

Resch is at the table during the trade deadline and draft, and her judgement has earned her a voice on player personnel decisions throughout the season.

Making the transition to a new sport wouldn’t be without its challenges, but if there’s one thing she’s learned with the Raptors, it’s the benefit of a transparent and collaborative decision-making model.

Expertise can be identified and acquired, and Resch’s track record suggests she’d figure out what she’s looking for and how to find that talent in in hurry, and then give them the freedom to play to their strengths, with winning as the driving goal.

She’s proof of the formula.

For all the latest Sports News Click Here 

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! TechAI is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.