On Friday, McClain announced that he will resign as DSU Athletic Director to take a job at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. At USM, McClain will be the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs. McClain will begin his new job at USM on Oct. 1. Ronnie Mayers, DSU’s Assistant Athletic Director for Development, will be the school’s interim AD.
McClain, who also pitched for the baseball team at DSU from 1996-99 and earned a school record 45 career victories, didn’t have an easy choice as he had to leave a school and a Cleveland community that has been home to him.
“Anybody who knows me knows how much I care about Delta State,” McClain said. “Our family has been here for six years, and it’s a part of our lives. Me and my wife Christie graduated from here as well. Even when a great opportunity comes along, it’s always difficult to step away from something that means that much to you.
“Delta State means so much to us, and it always will,” McClain said. “We’re appreciative of the time we’ve had here and the support from everyone associated with Delta State.”
In McClain’s five years as AD at DSU, the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen athletic programs continued to see great success. In 2010, the Statesmen football team went to the NCAA Division II National Championship game. This past year in baseball, the Statesmen advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Division II World Series in Cary, N.C. All total, Statesmen and Lady Statesmen athletic programs have won eight GSC titles and five NCAA region championships and 21 NCAA postseason appearances.
Off the field, the services offered for student athletes increased through DSU’s CHAMPS/Life Skills Program and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Also under McClain, scoreboard upgrades were made for Parker Field-McCool Stadium, Ferriss Field, University Field and the Walter Sillers Coliseum.
The move to USM would be a move forward as it gives him a chance to work at a well known Division I school that has produced its share of successful athletic programs.
“I’ll be overseeing several different aspects within the athletic department,” McClain said about his job at USM. “It’s a great opportunity. There’s a lot of pluses there career wise. Hattiesburg is a great area and Southern Miss is a great institution. It’s hard to step away from a great program, but I have an opportunity to be apart of another great program.”
DSU President Dr. John Hilpert said he appreciates the work McClain has done for the university.
“We appreciate the work Jeremy McClain has done to keep Delta State Athletics at the forefront of the Gulf South Conference and NCAA Division II,” Hilpert, who recently announced he will resign as president in Dec., said in a statement released by DSU. “This is an excellent opportunity to further his career, and we wish him the best at USM.”
Mayers, who has been working at DSU since 1976, will hold down the post of interim AD until DSU announces its new president in December.