By Parrish Alford | NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – With the football coach hired and the new year approaching, the search for the next athletics director at Ole Miss will soon pick up speed.
When Ole Miss chancellor Dan Jones announced on Dec. 7 that football coach Houston Nutt would not be retained, he also announced that athletics director Pete Boone – the subject of an attack ad campaign in the fall -would step down sometime in 2012.
Archie Manning and FedEx vice president Mike Glenn co-chaired the committee that recommended Hugh Freeze as the Rebels’ next football coach. They will chair the committee to find Boone’s successor as well.
Manning and Glenn conducted a quiet search for a football coach, and what follows is not an official list of candidates but names that have been discussed by sources.
Walker Jones played football at Ole Miss under Tommy Tuberville and later worked as an administrative graduate assistant and as assistant athletics director for internal affairs.
Jones, a Jackson native, is presently the director of sports marketing for Under Armour.
Brad Teague, also a Jackson native, has a combined nine years of AD experience first at Delta State and now at Central Arkansas where he was hired in January of 2007.
During his time at Delta State, 10 of the school’s 13 teams were nationally ranked.
A name that has been added to the mix recently has been Austin Barbour, a Jackson lobbyist and the nephew of Gov. Haley Barbour.
A source familiar with Barbour says the Ole Miss alum has had contact with Jones, Manning and Glenn and expects to receive an interview.
Teague has overseen a UCA move from Division II athletics to Division I-AA in football (Football Championship Sub-division) and Division I in other sports.
The move up in class required major facilities upgrades for Central Arkansas, and Teague has helped raise money that has led to football sky boxes, video boards for football and basketball, a new baseball stadium and a new track and soccer complex.
Teague received his undergraduate degree from Delta State and his doctorate in philosophy and leadership from Ole Miss in 2000.
He previously worked at Ole Miss as an assistant athletics director and associate director of the Loyalty Foundation.