Keeping Score

USM plans to have AD in place by end of July

RYAN MOORE/HATTIESBURG AMERICAN 
 University of Southern Mississippi President, Rodney Bennett, left, announces that the university will not be renewing Athletic Director Jeff Hammond's contract at the end of June 2013 as Bob Beaudine, president and CEO of Eastman and Beaudine search firm, center, and Deputy Athletic Director Jeremy McClain look on during a press conference Wednesday morning.
RYAN MOORE/HATTIESBURG AMERICAN University of Southern Mississippi President, Rodney Bennett, left, announces that the university will not be renewing Athletic Director Jeff Hammond's contract at the end of June 2013 as Bob Beaudine, president and CEO of Eastman and Beaudine search firm, center, and Deputy Athletic Director Jeremy McClain look on during a press conference Wednesday morning. Ryan Moore/Hattiesburg American

The process to hire a new athletic director at Southern Miss appears to be moving quickly.

USM president Rodney Bennett plans to have a new athletic director in place by the end of this month, according to Jim Coll, USM's chief communications officer.

Jeff Hammond was not renewed as athletic director when his one-year contract expired at the end of June, but Bennett offered him the chance to stay on at the school in a different capacity.

Coll said that the window remains open for Hammond to remain at the school and that he and Bennett are scheduled to meet this week to discuss his future.

USM hired the search firm of Eastman and Beaudine to identify top candidates and former Georgia football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley is serving as a consultant in the process.

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