Melissa (Murray) Thompson, Ph.D., was appointed the Director of Student-Athlete Development when the program was established in the early Spring of 2017.
Thompson has served as a professor for sport coaching education at Southern Miss since 2009, instructing several graduate and undergraduate courses. She first moved to the university in 2009, initially appointed as an Assistant Professor prior to achieving her current position of Associate Professor.
Prior to moving to Hattiesburg, Thompson served as a lead Graduate Teaching Assistant at Florida State from 2007-08, where she earned her doctorate of philosophy in educational psychology with an emphasis in Sport Psychology. She received her Master’s of Science in Kinesiology in 2004 from Georgia Southern, where she served as an assistant softball coach. Thompson was a member of the women’s softball team at Rockford University (Illinois), where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology and elementary education in 2002.
Thompson is also a certified with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and NSCA, as well as being a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry among several other organizations.