USM names Vols’ Gilbert as athletic director

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Jon Gilbert, executive senior associate athletic director at the University of Tennessee, is the new athletic director at Southern Miss.

Gilbert was introduced at a press conference Tuesday morning.


He succeeds Bill McGillis, who left USM last month to become the athletic director at the University of San Diego.

Gilbert has been at Tennessee since 2011. Before that, he was the associate athletic director for external operations at Alabama. He served various roles at Alabama including external operations, athletics development, facilities, event management, ticket office and oversight of numerous sports.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin, formerly of Mississippi State, is known to have recommended Gilbert for the USM job.

“Jon is a hard-working guy who understands all the facets that make a successful athletic program,” Stricklin said. “I’m excited to to see a friend – someone I’ve gotten to know well during the last 10-plus years in the SEC – get an opportunity like USM. I know he’ll do a fine job in Hattiesburg leading the Golden Eagles.”

Gilbert is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., where he was a three-year letterman on the football team. He also earned his master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University, where he served as a graduate assistant under legendary EKU football coach Roy Kidd.