The new program will start competition in the 2019 Spring.
Gilbert becomes the seventh person to hold position of Director of Athletics.
Gilbert, with long stints at two of the nation's most prominent all-around universities, is ready to take the Golden Eagles to the next level with an emphasis on not only athletics, but academics as well. He has worked his way up through the ranks, beginning as a graduate assistant football coach, spending time in facilities, scheduling and development just to name a few, Gilbert possesses a hands-on approach to running an athletic program and is excited each and every Golden Eagle supporter invested in making the department the best that it can be.
He came to Southern Miss from the University of Tennessee, where he has served as Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director since 2011.
At Tennessee, Gilbert has been responsible for all facets of day-to-day Department of Athletics operations. His role included leadership duties across the department from strategic planning and management, to external operations, academic affairs, and more.
Under Gilbert's leadership, Tennessee student-athletes averaged over a 3.0 grade point average, and all programs exceeded the NCAA Academic Progress Rate standard. Gilbert has demonstrated an ability to develop and implement creative ideas; for example, he was instrumental in negotiations for the university to host a football game at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016. He also trimmed operating expenses in multiple areas, negotiated a multi-million-dollar apparel deal for athletic programs, and planned, installed and managed the department's cost-of-attendance.
Prior to his experience at Tennessee, Gilbert worked for nearly 17 years at the University of Alabama, serving in multiple roles, including Associate Athletics Director from 2009 to 2011. There, the development office generated $82 million in gifts and pledges for the Crimson Tide Foundation, and Gilbert had oversight of the marketing and promotions department, as well as all facets of the ticket office and seat licensing program.
Gilbert is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., where he was a three-year letterman on the football team. He earned a master's degree in Sport Administration at Eastern Kentucky University, while working as a graduate assistant football coach. The Colonels captured one Ohio Valley Conference championship and earned two berths in the NCAA I-AA playoffs.
He and his wife, Katie, have two teenage children, daughter, Larsen, and son, Kent.
To the Top with Jon Gilbert
May 9, 2017 – I’ve Been Everywhere Man
May 22, 2017 – Take Me Out to the Ball Game
July 17, 2017 – Mission Possible
October 2, 2017 – Behind the Scenes
October 12, 2017 – I’m In. We’re All In.
November 2, 2017 – Our Vision for Athletics
November 30, 2017 – Diversity as our Advantage