Today: Apr 21, 2024

Terrance Jones named new Athletic Director

Dillon Flanigan- Sports Editor

Following a nationwide search, Terrance Jones has been named as the new Owls Athletic Director. 

In September 2023, the university Athletic Department announced that the previous director of athletics & recreation, Chris Barker, had resigned to take on a new opportunity at Northern Illinois University. 

In part due to his Midwest ties, Barker left to become Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and Revenue Generation for the Huskies. 

The announcement included that Associate Athletic Director Matt Letkowski, who oversees NCAA compliance, would be tabbed as the Athletic Director in the interim. Prior to Barker’s appointment, Letkowski was also the interim Athletic Director in the Spring of 2021. 

According to the Athletic Department, Monday, Feb. 5 was Jones’s first day in office. His previous employment journey included stops at North Carolina Central University, Delaware State, Alabama State and Jackson State combining over 17 years of experience as an understudy. 

The news broke in an email written by Interim President Dwayne Smith over winter break, reading “Terrance brings a proven leadership background to the position, with many years spent as an athletics administrator. He will use this experience to elevate our programs and enhance the academic, personal, and competitive excellence of our scholar-athletes.” 

Over the last two years in Jackson, Mississippi, Jones served as an Assistant Athletic Director of External Operations and Stadium Management with a budget of 10 million dollars. His supervision spanned 16 different sports, a Division I school, highly regarded for its football program under the former National Football League Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. 

In an email sent to university students and staff, Smith alluded to Jones’s experience at Jackson enabling him to enhance campus life for the Owls. Through athletics and recreation, efforts will be made to improve enrollment and retention of the university’s long-term strategic plan. 

During his time, he presided over the daily operations, including community outreach, diversity efforts, facility operations and marketing. This assisted in Jones introducing a new system to buy tickets for all athletic events, thus increasing gate receipts in its first year.  

“Southern’s athletic program is highly competitive within the Northeast 10 Conference and has regularly earned team and individual titles at the national Division II level. Southern also has a robust program of club sports, intramurals, fitness, and recreation. With this new leadership hire we are seeking to build on these accomplishments and grow the programs in myriad ways,” Smith said. 

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