Keeping Score

USM to announce new AD Thursday

Southern Miss will introduce its new athletic director at 11 a.m. Thursday in a press conference at the Trent Lott Center on the school's campus.

School officials are not commenting on the new athletic director, but names tied to the job opening include Southern Illinois athletic director Mario Moccia and Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb.

Cobb was a candidate for the position last year before Jeff Hammond was handed a one-year contract to take over as athletic director.

Hammond was not renewed as athletic director when his contract ran out at the end of June. He has been offered the opportunity to stay on at the university in a different capacity.

Moccia has been at Southern Illinois since 2006 and has been credited with bolstering the athletic department's fund-raising efforts. He was named a 2012-13 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year as one of four to earn the honor.

Prior to arriving at SIU, Moccia was the senior associate athletic director at Missouri.

USM wants to keep the selection under wraps until Thursday, but there is plenty of buzz surrounding Moccia.

8:05 p.m. EDIT - San Diego State assistant athletic director Roger David Wicker is also a name that was in the mix for the job, but it's uncertain on where he stands at the moment. He would've been a dark horse in the search considering he is not a sitting athletic director. There's always the chance a name that's not been mentioned walks up to the podium on Thursday.

Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague, East Carolina assistant AD Nick Floyd and North Texas AD Rick Villarreal have also been mentioned as potential candidates.

3:40 p.m., Thursday EDIT - It did indeed turn out to be someone who had not been mentioned before Thursday - South Florida assistant athletic director Bill McGillis.