About the University

As a comprehensive, doctoral degree-granting institution with a nationally and internationally diverse faculty, staff and student population, Mississippi State University (MSU) is emerging as one of the nation’s premier public universities. Founded in 1878, “The People’s University” provides the academic, leadership, and social opportunity to help each person excel.

As a land grant institution, MSU is dedicated to three broad purposes: learning, research, and service. Learning, both on- and off-campus, enhance the intellectual, cultural, social, and professional development of students; research, both to extend the present limits of knowledge and bring deeper insight, understanding, and usefulness to existing knowledge; and service, to apply knowledge and the fruits of research to the lives of people.

Located in Starkville, MS, MSU is the largest institution in the state, boasting an enrollment of more than 22,000 students, 1200 faculty members, and a living alumni family of more than 143,000. Surrounded by the energy and enthusiasm that the university brings, the growing agricultural-commercial-industrial city with over 25,000 residents offers to its visitors many intellectual, cultural, and recreational advantages.

About MSU Athletics

Known as the Bulldogs, a name earned and maintained over the decades by the tough, tenacious play of student-athletes wearing the Maroon and White, MSU’s Athletic Department is one of rich history and tradition. Sponsoring 14 highly competitive NCAA Division I athletic programs, the Bulldogs have enjoyed immense athletic success to include 40 SEC Team Championships, 149 SEC Individual Championships, and its first team National Championship in 2021, defeating Vanderbilt in the 2021 College World Series. As MSU furthers its vision to achieve long-term, consistent success and compete for championships, it is relentless in its commitment to: ensuring the welfare and academic success of its student-athletes; following the rules of the University, NCAA and SEC; providing a great experience for its student athletes and fans; promoting diversity with its student athletes and staff; building and maintaining facilities for its student athletes and staff; and competing for championships.

About the Position

Reporting to the President, the Director of Athletics serves as the chief athletics officer for the University, providing leadership, management, and administrative direction to intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women. As the chief athletics officer, the Director of Athletics is responsible for the administration, operation, maintenance, and control of all aspects of the University's Athletics program, including, but not limited to, the actions of independent agencies or organizations or of representatives of athletic interests, in a manner consistent with federal and state law, NCAA and SEC rules and regulations, IHL, and University policy.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manages the division's personnel, develops and monitors budgets for each program, and is directly involved with University fund-raising activities and public relations.
  • Represents the University at state, regional, conference, and NCAA events/committees as requested/appointed.
  • Provides oversight of scheduling and contracting for athletic events, employment and direction of athletic coaches, publicity, ticket sales, and equipment and facilities maintenance.
  • Encourages academic progress, in conjunction with the faculty and University, of student athletes toward graduation.


  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.
  • Experience as a senior athletic administrator at an NCAA member institution or possess senior corporate leadership experience is strongly preferred.
  • Experience in financial administration, fund-raising/revenue generation, games operations, facility management, human resources policy, and public relations within a major athletic conference or corporate environment is strongly preferred.
  • Experience in implementing programs in full compliance with NCAA regulations, experience in fund-raising, public relations, or marketing and promotions.
  • A demonstrated understanding and appreciation of the role of NCAA athletics in the context of an academic environment, emphasizing the importance of the scholarly growth and development of athletes.
  • Possess excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills and a capacity to develop a strong and inclusive leadership team.
  • The highest level of personal integrity and ethical standards, including a commitment to and compliance with NCAA and conference rules is required.
  • The ability to develop and implement innovative approaches for revenue development in athletics to include conducting long-range strategic, financial, and facility planning and budgeting on behalf of the division.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with senior University administration and other relevant University divisions, and to communicate effectively with and command respect of coaches, student-athletes, and other internal athletic constituencies, across all intercollegiate sports.
  • Communicate effectively with media, alumni, donors, boosters, and other external constituencies.

Applications and Nominations

Mississippi State University invites nominations and applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Applications must include a cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae, and list of references. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted to Parker Executive Search’s website by November 18, 2022. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. For additional information, please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director
Grant Higgison, Principal 
DeLaina Jordan, Senior Associate
Parker Executive Search
danielparker@parkersearch.com | ghiggison@parkersearch.com | djordan@parkersearch.com
770-804-1996 ext. 118 | 770-804-1996 ext.119

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution. Discrimination in university employment, programs or activities based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, or any other status protected by applicable law is prohibited.

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