The following is the statement as presented The University of Southern Mississippi Public Relations:
Richard Giannini has indicated to me that he is retiring as director of athletics, effective in early January.
Jeff Hammond, senior associate athletic director for advancement, will serve as interim athletic director as the search for a permanent athletic director commences. Jeff will also take on duties as chief executive officer of the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation on an interim basis. We will form a search committee with a goal of having a new athletic director in place by Fall 2012.
I appreciate Richard's service to Southern Miss over the past 12 years, a time during which Golden Eagle student-athletes experienced great success on the playing fields and in the classrooms. His leadership has Southern Miss athletics poised for continued success as it enters its second century.
Martha D. Saunders