NewsUSM grants four-year extension to Athletic Director

USM grants four-year extension to Athletic Director

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Athletic Director Jeremy McClain| Photo courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics

The University of Southern Mississippi announced the four-year extension contract of Athletic Director Jeremy McClain. The contract runs through April 30, 2026. 


Before being announced as Athletic Director in April of 2019, McClain previously served as Director of Athletics for Troy University for four years. Before then, McClain was the Deputy Director of Athletics for Southern Miss for three years before leaving in August 2015. 


In McClain’s tenure, he has hired five new head coaches in the following sports: basketball, football, softball, beach volleyball, and indoor volleyball. McClain welcomed the addition of its beach volleyball program in 2019. 
Under McClain, after 26 years of being a member of Conference USA, he assisted the athletic program in making a move to the Sun Belt Conference in July of this year. 


“Jeremy has demonstrated exemplary service and dedication to our Department of Intercollegiate Athletics,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “Extending his contract ensures the continuation of our current momentum to support the holistic growth and development of our student-athletes, which enhances their ability to compete at the highest levels both on and off the field.” 


In the fall of 2021, McClain and his staff opened the Bower Academic Center in Cook Library. The academic center provides an expanded workplace for over 400 Southern Miss student-athletes, bettering the work area for those that oversee the process of those individuals meeting their academic goals.


Under McClain, student-athletes have seen improvements to its facilities with the opening of the Wellness Center, housing the university’s volleyball team, and installing a new synthetic turf and new lights at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field. 


The improvements to facilities have, in part been due to McClain’s marketing department with the influx of season ticket sales in the baseball and football programs. Just this year, Southern Miss baseball broke its single-season attendance record and ranked tenth in the nation in average attendance per game for the regular season. 


There have also been various renovations to athletic programs’ weight and locker rooms and more improvements to facilities. Next, McClain and his staff’s agenda is to look to improve the program’s basketball teams’ facilities housed in Reed Green Coliseum. 


“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to lead Southern Miss Athletics into the future and am grateful for Dr. Bennett’s support,” said McClain. “As we make the exciting transition to the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, there has never been a more critical time for our athletics department. I look forward to working with our outstanding coaches, staff, and student-athletes to capitalize on our momentum and chart a new path forward.” 

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