HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Two days after its football program won its first bowl game since 2011, Southern Miss found out it would need to start looking for a new athletic director.
USM athletic director Bill McGillis announced he would be leaving Hattiesburg to become the associate vice president and executive athletic director at the University of San Diego. He will be leaving Southern Miss in mid-January and starting at San Diego on Jan. 23. Zac Woodfin, who has been the head strength and conditioning coach for Southern Miss, has been named the interim athletic director.
“We will leave Southern Miss with a heavy heart and very mixed emotions,” McGillis said in an open letter. “Margie and I will be forever grateful for the kindness extended to our family throughout our time here, the special friendships we have made, and for the wonderful support of our program and student-athletes”
McGillis a West Coast native and said this move is one that focuses on his family.
“It has been an unbelievable privilege and true blessing to serve as the Director of Athletics at Southern Miss and to call Hattiesburg our home,” McGillis said. “Quite simply, we are at a point in our life and career at which resetting our priorities is important. The University of San Diego presents a very special opportunity to return to the West Coast to be near both my, and my wife Margie’s, entire families and to serve one of the great Catholic universities in America — critical factors that make this the right decision for our family.”
“I am grateful to Bill for his good work here, and I am excited for this new opportunity for Bill and his family,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “I want to reaffirm my commitment to athletics and the critical role it plays not only in enhancing the overall student experience, but also in elevating the profile of the institution and bolstering our region and state as an economic driver for south Mississippi.”
Click the video above to hear from Southern Miss basketball coach Doc Sadler on what he thinks of McGillis as a leader as well an examination of what USM accomplished under McGillis.