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Women's History Month: How Jasmine Park played an important role in Colts' coaching search

Park, the Colts' senior director of human resources, was thanked by general manager Chris Ballard for her role in the team's coaching search when Shane Steichen was introduced in February. 

Jasmine Park

The Colts' interview process to hire their next head coach started with four- to five-hour Zoom sessions with 13 candidates. From there, the team's leadership conducted in-person second interviews with several candidates, some of which lasted up to 15 hours.

And among the Colts' staff that was part of that methodical, deliberate search was senior director of human resources Jasmine Park.

"There's a reason why we go through a process that is standardized for everyone," Park said. "While historically we haven't done that for a head coaching position, if you take a step back from it, why wouldn't you?"

That was a question Colts ownership and leadership asked before embarking on their head coaching search. And the answer brought Park to the table to lend her expertise to such an important process for the organization.

"My role kind of on the back end was to assess from a human resources lens that all of the questions that we asked, all the character assessments and the process itself was fair and equitable," Park said, "and that we actually performed the interviews and went through the process as we intended to."

When Ballard and Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay announced Shane Steichen as the team's head coach in mid-February, Ballard specifically thanked Park for her role in the coaching search while noting how the team stuck to its process throughout those lengthy interviews.

"It was a great process – I know one that was a little different than what people think is conventional in this league," Ballard said. "But one of the things through the years I've heard and I've heard coaches talk about this is making sure everybody is getting a fair and equitable chance to interview for the job. So, when we started this, we got a team of people and we talked about this is how we want to do it. We wanted to not only have a thorough, diverse search, but also one where people could grow. So, whoever ended up being the head coach, the other ones we could give really, constructive feedback where they could grow and I think we were able to do that."

Park earned an accounting degree from the University of Indiana, but after a few years in that line of work realized her passion was in solving people problems. Prior to joining the Colts in 2020, Park spent over a decade as an HR professional in the IT and tech world; she's found a home in football by helping the Colts identify potential employees who not only can do the work they're assigned, but who are committed to core values of the organization.

When it came to hiring the next head coach, those same principles were applied in interviewing a strong pool of candidates.

"I just can't stress the importance of this organization's executive leadership and ownership of really taking a very objective, fair approach in ensuring that we cast the net wide and we try to be innovative and challenge each other on who can actually be considered for head coach," Park said. "We had a lot of really talented coaches and I can't say enough about the quality and caliber about each and every one of them."

While the Colts ensured equity and fairness in their coaching search, having Park be a part of the process – along with Colts Vice Chair/Owners Carlie Irsay-Gordon and Kalen Jackson – allowed the team to tap into diverse voices and perspectives before, during and after those lengthy interviews.

"There was no aspect of me being a female that played a role in him being open to the idea of ensuring that, yes, of course it makes ensue for HR to be a part of this process," Park said. "We don't hire a head coach every day, but we hire talented people every day, and why wouldn't we treat this any differently? I love the fact that we treat our intern positions as fairly as we do our head coach position. That makes me have a real sense of the level of integrity and character.

"We talk the talk and walk the walk, and I'm just blessed that we have Chris Ballard leading the way because that kind of leadership and the decisions and actions he makes, I know that's going to cascade across the league."

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