Athletic director’s contract will not be renewed, search begins for replacement

University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett announced Wednesday morning at a press conference that the contract of the athletic director would not be renewed for the next year.

Bennett said the contract of Southern Miss athletic director, retired Army General Jeff Hammond, and would not be renewed when it expires June 30.

He said Jeremy McClain would serve as the interim athletic director effective July 1.

Bennett does not have a particular candidate in mind to replace Gen. Hammond.

“The next athletic director has not been predetermined…I am confident highly qualified, experienced candidates will be excited about this opportunity opening up,” Bennett said at the press conference.

Bennett said Hammond received the official word last night, but that several conversations took place before last night regarding his future at Southern Miss.

“General Hammond served our university well,” Bennett said.

The search for the next athletic director is expected to begin immediately.