Sonya Varnell joined the Southern Miss Athletics department in 1999 as the Senior Woman Administrator and has served as a Senior Associate Athletic Director since 2005.
In this role, Varnell provides oversight of nine of the department's 17 intercollegiate sport programs, which includes complete management of the sport, including business and finance, facility development and fundraising.
She also directs and monitors the department's gender and minority equity plans, as well as coordinates fund raising efforts for the women's sport programs. Her other areas of responsibility include coordinating the department's performance evaluations and monitoring the hiring practice of the athletics department and provide diversity training workshops for the athletics staff.
Prior to Southern Miss, she was the Business Manager for Varnell Construction for one year and worked with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as a Bundeskanzler Scholar.
For four years, from 1993-97, she was the Coordinator of Multicultural Programs for Athletics at Nebraska, and a two-year stint as the Compliance and Academic Affairs Assistant for the Southeastern Conference preceded that. Varnell, a 1991 and 1989 graduate of Ole Miss, spent two years as the graduate assistant track and field coach for the Rebels after a four-year letter winning career.