While sports may not have been in season this summer, Athletics saw many changes, including a new director.
Tim Hall named Director of Athletics
Tim Hall took over as Director of Athletics after former director Brad Hewitt retired. During the national search for a new director, Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Student Services Jaci DeClue stepped in as Acting Director of Athletics.
Hall previously was director of athletics at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and the university boasted nine conference championships under Hall’s leadership.
But Hall’s work is not limited to UMBC, as he formerly served as the president of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association and chair of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics, among being involved in various other athletic organizations.
While Hall will be working closely with student-athletes in his role, he said he also hopes to make sure all students feel welcome at athletic events and he intends on partnering with student organizations to make events enjoyable for the entire SIUE community.
“I love education in every way, and while I’m the leader of the athletic department, I want students to know that what I want to create for the general student is an area within athletics,” Hall said. “What I mean by that is coming to our athletic events where they can feel a sense of pride, a sense of community and a sense of home.”
Athletics communications director retired
After holding the position of athletic communications director since 1988, Eric Hess announced his retirement at the end of June. He operated the NCAA Division I sports information program as well as being the main contact for many sports including softball, women’s basketball, wrestling and volleyball.
Softball sees updates to coaching staff
Last month, Jessica Jones was officially named softball’s head coach after serving as interim head coach for the Fall 2019 season. Jones has been with the Cougars for six seasons.
Jones said she is looking forward to her first season as the Official Softball Head Coach, as she believes her goals for the team are within reach.
“My number one goal is to get these kids graduated with a great experience and to win,” Jones said. “We have a lot of talent, we have a lot of tradition here and we can accomplish [both] of those goals, and we’re lucky to do that. Some people have to give one of them to get the other, and I don’t think we have to, so that’s one of the things I’m really excited about.”
In July, Jones brought former Lindenwood-Belleville Head Coach Charlie Kennedy to SIUE. Kennedy served as Belleville’s head coach for eight seasons and lead them to win the American Midwest Conference in 2015.
Men’s basketball welcomes new assistant coach
Jones’ title is not the only coaching change that has recently taken place. In early May, Troy Pierce joined SIUE Athletics’ staff as an assistant men’s basketball coach.
Changes provide unique opportunity
Hall said joining the Athletics’ team in the midst of all these other staff changes provides him with a unique opportunity.
“I want to be able to come in and build relationships with all of our coaches, ones that are brand new like Cale Wassermann our men’s soccer coach and then ones that have been here for 11 or 12 years like Derek Burton, our women’s soccer coach,” Hall said. “So the nice thing about coming in with some other individuals who are newer is being new myself, we can kind of learn together.”
For more information on SIUE Athletics, visit www.siuecougars.com.