After months of searching for the right candidate, Mississippi State University has hired Zac Selmon to serve as the university’s newest athletics director. 

Selmon makes history as MSU’s first Black AD. The 37-year-old fills the role that former AD John Cohen left vacant in early November, as Cohen left to take the same position at Auburn. Director for Compliance Bracky Brett has served as the school’s interim AD over the past few months and helped navigate some difficult and unprecedented trials. 

Selmon previously served as the University of Oklahoma’s deputy athletics director for external engagement and advancement. He oversaw stakeholder relations for OU and OU’s storied football department and played a key role in eight other areas: brand management, marketing, digital media, fan engagement, ticket sales, licensing, multi-media rights and strategic communication. Selmon also worked for the University of North Carolina as the associate athletics director and special assistant to the athletics director during the 2014-2015 academic year. 

During his time with the Sooners, Selmon helped OU raise roughly $200 million in a capital campaign and took charitable giving to new heights. He saw as the university’s athletics programs — including softball, women’s gymnastics, men’s gymnastics and men’s golf — took home a combined 13 national championships. 

The native of Norman, Oklahoma, traces his roots far back into OU athletics history. Dewey, Lee Roy and Luscious — Selmon’s father and uncles — played football for the Sooners from 1971-1975. The trio combined to help lead the program to a winning percentage of .940 and two national championships over their careers. They are honored with a statue outside of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. 

Selmon continued his family’s presence in college football as a starting tight end at Wake Forest in the early 2000s. During his collegiate career, he played in 35 games and recorded 24 receptions for 294 yards, averaging at least 12 yards per catch. 

Selmon’s heart for service and ability to lead big movements carries beyond any playing field or court. In 2005, he co-founded The Shine Foundation, a non-profit organization that initially provided support to orphans in the African country Liberia. Today, the Shine Foundation has grown to support those at home and abroad who suffer from poverty and homelessness. 

The news couldn’t have come at a better time for the Bulldogs, as Mississippi State is currently undergoing a multitude of changes in its various athletics programs. Zach Arnett was recently named the newest head coach of the Bulldogs’ football program after Mike Leach’s death in December. Three facilities are seeing some changes, most notably Humphrey Coliseum, which is undergoing major renovations that will be completed toward the start of the 2023 college basketball season. The busy spring sports season, which features baseball, softball, track, tennis and golf, is also about to begin. 

Although Selmon will begin serving the Maroon and White as it goes through big changes across countless programs, he has all of the tools needed to help the Bulldogs grow and succeed across the college athletics landscape. 

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