Southern Miss has turned over the reigns of its athletic department to Jon Gilbert, former Tennessee Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director since 2011.
Gilbert, who also spent 17 years at the University of Alabama working in the athletic department, takes over the Southern Miss program after the recent departure of Bill McGillis to San Diego. In his press conference, he stressed the importance of student athletes being the priority. He also stressed that community engagement will be of paramount importance for this athletic program.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know our staff, our student-athletes and coaches, and the great supporters of the Golden Eagles,” Gilbert stated at today's press conference.
“Our goal is to provide our student-athletes with the best college experience possible, while having success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We understand there is plenty of work to be done, but myself and our staff are going to work tirelessly to take Southern Miss to new heights.”
Gilbert kept the academic side for Tennessee meeting all requirements for their student athletes. Under his leadership, they averaged a 3.0 grade point average overall. He also helped to balance the budget and was instrumental in landing the Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech football game at Bristol.
According to a press release from USM Sports Information, at Tennessee, Gilbert has been responsible for all facets of day-to-day Department of Athletics operations. His role included leadership duties across the department from strategic planning and management, to external operations, academic affairs, and more.
Gilbert will take over no later than March 1st as the Southern Miss Athletic Director.