Contact: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum announced the launch of a national search for a new Athletics Director at MSU with the departure of former AD John Cohen for the same post at Auburn University.

“The landscape of college athletics has changed dramatically in recent years and brings new challenges and opportunities,” said Keenum. “Our next director of athletics needs to be experienced and nimble in navigating those changes but also committed to doing things the right way and in keeping with the rules. Compliance, good sportsmanship and seeing our student-athletes leave this institution with an earned degree remain our abiding commitments.”

Keenum said he plans to move swiftly “to find the right individual with the right skill set and the right temperament our Bulldog family expects and deserves at Mississippi State.”

An executive search firm has been engaged to assist in this effort. Keenum said he intends to follow the same basic procedures employed during the two prior athletics director searches he has led during his tenure as MSU’s president.  He also indicated he would seek input from MSU stakeholders throughout the process, as in prior AD searches.

Earlier in the week, Keenum thanked Cohen for his service to the university and praised his accomplishments while leading the Athletics Department at his alma mater. “As I said earlier, together as the Bulldog family, we will move purposefully to find a new leader who can both embrace and continue to build on MSU’s culture of success.”

Keenum named Bracky Brett as interim Athletics Director. Brett, a 20-year veteran administrator at MSU, currently serves as executive senior associate athletic director for compliance.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Friday, November 4, 2022 - 9:06 am