“THE CONVERSATION” Episode #7 With Jeff Mitchell, Deputy Director of Athletics, Southern Mississippi University

February 11, 2020

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Photo: Southern Mississippi University

Jeff Mitchell is in his second year at Southern Miss as the Deputy Director of Athletics and assists with day-to-day oversight of the department of athletics. Mitchell joined Southern Miss after a twelve year stint at Santa Clara University where he most recently served as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations.

From December 2014 to August 2018, Mitchell managed the day-to-day operations of the Santa Clara athletics department with a directed focus on external operations and revenue generation while providing guidance and support to the department’s administrative and coaching staffs. Mitchell was the department’s chief financial officer, chief revenue officer, and primary legal liaison. In addition, he served as the sport administrator for the Broncos’ men’s basketball and baseball programs. Mitchell was a member of the West Coast Conference basketball cabinet and served a three-year term (2015-2017) on the NCAA Division I Baseball Regional Advisory Committee for the West Region.

Mitchell led the department to three consecutive years of record financial growth with year-over-year increases in operating budgets and in revenue generation. He tripled the size of the department’s external operations staff and negotiated deals to partner with The Aspire Group to grow the department’s ticketing efforts and with Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment to develop a comprehensive corporate sponsorship program. Mitchell also finalized the department’s current Nike apparel agreement.

Mitchell is a 2001 graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was a four-year member of the varsity baseball team and a four- year member of the athletic department’s sports information staff. After graduation, Mitchell began his professional career as the Director of Sports Information at Millsaps and served as an assistant coach for the 2003 Millsaps baseball team, which advanced to the NCAA Division III South Regional Tournament. Mitchell also earned an MBA from the Millsaps College Else School of Management in May of 2003.

Mitchell’s career in athletic administration was nurtured while he was in law school at the University of Mississippi, from which he earned a Juris Doctorate in December of 2005. While at Ole Miss, Mitchell served as a graduate assistant in the external relations unit and primarily worked with the Ole Miss football and men’s basketball programs.

Mitchell is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Mitchell has been a guest lecturer on the NCAA and intercollegiate athletics for the Sports Law class at the Santa Clara School of Law and has been a panelist at multiple Sports Law forums. Mitchell has also co-authored a text book entitled Sport, Ethics and Leadership, which was published in July of 2017.

As an accomplished public address announcer for 20 years, Mitchell has announced Division I baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball in the SEC, PAC-12, and/or WCC, Division III football and basketball in the SCAC, and Division III NCAA Tournament basketball.

Mitchell resides in Hattiesburg with his wife, April.  They have one daughter, Harper Wynne, age 10, and one son, Carson James, age 6.

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