Southern Miss AD accepted position at East Carolina


They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire and that was certainly the case regarding the reports of Jon Gilbert’s departure as USM’s athletic director that turned out to be true.

Yesterday, Gilbert filed his resignation to University President Dr. Rodney Bennett to accept the AD position at East Carolina.

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Brian Bailey of WNCT out of Greenville, North Carolina was the first to break the news. Rumors of mutual interest between the two parties started two weeks ago and really picked up steam last week when Gilbert flew to North Carolina for an interview.

In a letter to alumni, Dr. Bennett says he expects to name an interim AD in the coming days and will target a permanent replacement as soon as possible.

Gilbert took over for Bill McGillis in January 2017, leading USM for 22 months.

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A native of Pass Christian and a St. Stanislaus alum, Jeff Haeger comes to News 25 from right in our backyard. He most recently spent more than three years working as the sports reporter for WHLT-TV in Hattiesburg, where he provided extensive coverage of his alma mater, The University of Southern Mississippi. At Southern Miss, Jeff was a member of the Honors College and graduated with a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. He also wrote for USM's award-winning school newspaper, The Student Printz, where he won first place for Best Sports Story in 2013. Jeff loves to travel, and is excited to get back on the water to reunite with his family. In his spare time you can find Jeff spending time with his friends, and maybe even winning a fantasy football league. For sports stories contact Jeff at


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