HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) – The University of Southern Mississippi welcomed back home one of its own to serve as the athletics department’s main liaison with the community.
Brad Smith, who graduated from USM in 2003, was hired earlier this month as senior associate athletic director for external affairs.
Smith spent the past four-plus years in the same position at Morehead State University, where he oversaw fundraising, corporate sponsorships and ticket sales, as well in-house oversight for media relations, video production and marketing.
He also had administrative oversight responsibilities for Morehead’s football team as well as its cheerleading and dance squad.
“As a Southern Miss alumnus and native Mississippian, it’s always been a dream of mine, since I started in college athletics, to come home,” Smith said in a statement. “I’d like to thank (USM Prsident Rodney) Bennett and (interim athletic director) Jeff Mitchell for making the dream become reality.
“I'm excited to get started as soon as possible and look forward to meeting our student-athletes, coaches and Golden Eagles everywhere.”
Smith’s first day will be Jan. 14, 2019.
While at Morehead, Smith helped lead facility improvements, including sponsorship for beach volleyball and naming rights for the department’s training facility, new air conditioning in the football and women’s soccer locker rooms, upgrades to the baseball scoreboard and basketball court design.
In Smith’s time at Morehead, total revenue through fundraising and corporate sponsorships increased, rising by 220 percent since 2015.
Smith led a new branding campaign and helped create a targeted social media effort that bumped its Twitter followers to more than 37,000.
"We are thrilled to have Brad Smith join our team," Mitchell.said. “Time and again, throughout his career, Brad and his colleagues have produced enhanced marketing and promotions initiatives to improve fan experience and game day atmosphere.
“Brad is a Mississippi native with a passion to serve this community. We are excited to add Brad's creative mind and energetic work ethic to further develop our external relations efforts."
Prior to Morehead State, Smith worked at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (2011-13), Texas A&M University (2010-11) and Middle Tennessee State University (2005-2010).
He started his post-USM career as marketing director for the Mississippi Sea Wolves. In his first stint in Hattiesburg, Smith worked in marketing/promotions with ISP Sports.
Smith and his wife, Melanie, have two sons, Grayson and Garrett.