November 30, 2020

Southern Miss hires Jeremy McClain as athletics director

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss has hired a familiar face to lead its athletics department.

The school announced Thursday that Jeremy McClain, who previously worked as Southern Miss’ deputy director of athletics from 2012-15, has been hired as its new Director of Athletics.

McClain has been the athletics director at Troy University since September 2015. He will be formally introduced at a press conference in Hattiesburg on Monday, and is expected to begin work in his new job by July 1 pending approval by the state’s IHL board.

“Jeremy McClain is uniquely qualified to lead our Department of Athletics to the successes we all envision,” Southern Miss president Rodney D. Bennett said in a statement. “We know Jeremy. Jeremy knows us. Jeremy McClain is a ‘Southern Miss guy,’ who shares the values and ambitions of The University of Southern Mississippi.”

McClain replaces Jon Gilbert, who left Southern Miss in December to take the AD job at East Carolina.

McClain is a Mississippi native who also served as athletic director at his alma mater Delta State from 2007-12.

In his previous stint at Southern Miss, McClain was the primary fundraiser for the athletics department. He led a staff that set records in 2013 for the annual fund ($2 million) and the overall Southern Miss Athletic Foundation ($8 million).

He was also responsible for securing funding and supervising several major facility projects.

During McClain’s four-year tenure at Troy, he oversaw the renovation of the university’s football stadium, a restructuring of the athletics department, and an expanded digital broadcast partnership with ESPN.

Troy finished third in the 2017-18 Bubas Cup standings, which is the Sun Belt Conference’s all-sports trophy. It was the best finish in Troy’s 13-year history in the league.

Troy also set attendance records in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball and soccer during his tenure.

“My family and I want to thank the Troy community for their amazing support and love over the past four years,” McClain said in a statement. “We are thankful to so many for making our time here so special.”