CLEVELAND, Miss. (WTVA/DSU Athletics) – After spending the past five years leading the Delta State University Department of Athletics as Director, Jeremy McClain announced his resignation on Friday. McClain has accepted the position of Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi, and will begin his new role with the Golden Eagles on October 1.
“We appreciate the work Jeremy McClain has done to keep Delta State Athletics at the forefront of the Gulf South Conference and NCAA Division II,” DSU President Dr. John Hilpert said. “This is an excellent opportunity to further his career and we wish him the best at USM.”
Dr. Hilpert tabbed Ronnie Mayers, Assistant Athletic Director for Development, as Interim Director of Athletics. “Coach Mayers has devoted his life and talents to furthering DSU Athletics and we look to him again for his leadership during this transition.”
Hilpert also announced that Mayers will hold the post until a new president is announced at Delta State in December. “It is important that the new president have the opportunity to conduct the search for the next Director of Athletics as he or she builds a new management team.”
McClain’s tenure saw an increase in the services offered to Delta State’s 350-plus student-athletes through the school’s CHAMPS/Life Skills Program and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Improving academic performance and seeing that his student-athletes had the best chances after graduation were two additional areas importance for the Houlka native.
Delta State’s successes on the field increased under McClain, as the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen have claimed eight Gulf South Conference championships, five NCAA regional crowns and 21 NCAA postseason appearances. In 2010, the Statesmen football team appeared in the NCAA DII National Championship. Last season, Statesmen baseball finished national runner-up in the NCAA DII College World Series in Cary, N.C.
A commitment to the fan was also a priority for McClain, who successfully completed a scoreboard renovation in 2009 at Parker Field-McCool Stadium, Ferriss Field, University Field and Sillers Coliseum. Plans are still in the works for renovations at Parker Field-McCool Stadium and the long-anticipated Statesman Boulevard.
Mayers, a native of Natchez, Miss., has served the Delta State and Cleveland community for over 30 years.
Known as one of the nation's top collegiate swim coaches, Mayers spent 20 years as the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Delta State. His teams captured five women’s New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference titles in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2002 and four men’s championships in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002. Mayers has also garnered 14 NSISC Coach of the Year honors.
The swimming program under Mayers’ leadership produced 56 individual All-Americans and 21 Academic All-Americans. His DSU teams made 15 NCAA Division II National Championship appearances.
He began his career as an instructor in the DSU Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1976. He also served as the head coach of the Delta Aquatic Club age-group team from 1974-1989.
Mayers graduated from Delta State with a B.S.E. in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1974. He would later earn a Master of Education in Physical Education and Recreation in 1975.