A 21-member search committee began work on Monday toward identifying the University of Southern Mississippi’s next athletic director.
The committee is charged with assisting University President Dr. Martha Saunders with the selection of the next athletic director, and is chaired by Spencer Adams, president of the University’s Athletic Foundation, and Chad Driskell, Saunders’ executive assistant for External Affairs.
“The task of the committee is to assist in the selection of our new athletic director,” Saunders said. “We are seeking an individual of executive caliber with a strong vision for our second century of intercollegiate athletics. Most importantly, our new athletic director must have a true heart for Southern Miss—all it has been and all it can be.”
The search committee includes a diverse group of faculty and staff, athletic department supporters, alumni and community leaders.
The committee is identifying a number of qualifications, traits and characteristics they envision the new athletic director possess, including:
· a record of successful fund-raising ability and a keen business sense;
· established relationships with athletic directors and coaches across the country;
· skilled communication and public relation abilities;
· a passion for accepting the challenges currently facing Southern Miss; and
· an ability to build additional links to all areas of campus and focus on student success.
Assisting the committee in their work is search consultant Bob Beaudine of Eastman & Beaudine Inc. The search firm has assisted in 40 athletic director searches nationwide, as well as searches for top Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League executives.
The athletic director position opened in December, when Richard Giannini announced he was stepping down from that role. Giannini worked in that role for 13 years and continues to serve Southern Miss athletics in an advisory capacity.