DeLaina is a Principal, working in the Sports and Higher Education practices for Parker Executive Search.

DeLaina brings a unique perspective to the Parker Executive Search team having been a former volleyball student-athlete and Student Services professional at the Division I level. In her current role, her main responsibilities are to develop and execute detailed search strategies for full-cycle recruitment of national searches for leadership positions across all levels of higher education and collegiate athletics, to include setting a strategy for the recruitment of qualified individuals, researching and sourcing potential candidates, interviewing and presenting candidates for review, managing the committee and finalist interview processes, and ensuring clients reach closure with the preferred candidate.

DeLaina’s passion, energy, and strong communication skills are key assets to the firm. She enjoys building authentic relationships and facilitating discussions with diverse constituencies to appropriately assess the current management structure and unique needs of the client, develop position specifications, and outline the precise demands in terms of candidate skill set and desired profile.

In addition to her duties at Parker Executive Search, DeLaina has also been a speaker at NACDA Conferences, Women Leaders in College Sports, Rising Coaches, Black Coaches United, the National Association of Basketball Coaches & Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, LEAD1 Fellows, Fiesta Bowl: Path to the Summit, and the NCAA – Emerging Leaders Seminar, Post-Grad Internship Program, and the Leadership Institute.

Prior to joining Parker Executive Search, DeLaina worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Department in the office of Career & Leadership, helping to prepare student-athletes for their personal and professional endeavors post collegiate career.

DeLaina earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Communication from the University of Central Florida with a minor in Mass Communication. She competed as a four-year starter for the UCF Women’s Volleyball team and helped lead the team to its first American Athletic Conference Championship in 2014 and first bid to the NCAA tournament since 2003. During her career at UCF, she earned such accolades as Player of the Year, Female Scholar Athlete of the Year for the AAC, and 3x All-American Honorable Mention. DeLaina is also a 2022 inductee into UCF Volleyball’s Ring of Honor and 2023 inductee into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame.

From UCF, DeLaina attended Michigan State University and became a Graduate Assistant working with the university’s Student-Athlete Support Services. She graduated with a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Student-Athlete Development.

Outside of work, DeLaina enjoys playing volleyball, exploring, and spending her time away from the office with friends and family. DeLaina also enjoys volunteering with organizations that empower and educate future leaders in pursuit of careers within athletics. DeLaina lives in Dacula, GA, with her dog Rona.


DeLaina Sarden

(770) 804-1996 x119
(770) 804-1917