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Ole Miss drops interim tag, names Keith Carter as new AD

Ole Miss AD Keith Carter. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss has removed the interim tag to make Keith Carter the university’s new full-time Athletic Director. Carter has served in an interim role since May after Ross Bjork left to take the same position at Texas A&M. 

“I want to thank Chancellor [Glenn] Boyce for his trust in me to lead this great athletics program forward,” Carter said. “In my time as a student-athlete and an administrator, I have experienced championship heights at Ole Miss, and I will work to provide the leadership and resources necessary for our teams to compete at that level year in and year out.”

Before being named as the interim AD in May, Carter served as Ole Miss Deputy AD for Development and Resource Acquisition starting in February 2018. He was the Chief Revenue Officer for the athletics department while overseeing the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation and serving as the sport administrator for baseball and men’s basketball.

Carter joined the athletics department in September 2009 and served as Executive Director for the Foundation beginning in June 2012. He received the 2016 Fundraiser of the Year Award from the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD).

Under Carter’s guidance, the Foundation experienced its four highest years for donations, including a record $45.6 million in cash contributions in 2015-16. During his tenure, commitments to the Forward Together capital campaign increased from $62 million to $182 million in cash and pledges toward its goal of $200 million.

“This search was committed to finding the right leader who possesses the integrity and character needed to lead Ole Miss Athletics, a strong and proven record of success and excellent management and interpersonal skills. We were looking for someone who wants to be at Ole Miss, and who believes all of our programs can compete and win at every level. Keith Carter is absolutely the best person to lead Ole Miss Athletics to a new era of success,” Chancellor Boyce stated. 

The announcement comes less than a month after the formation of a search committee consisting of Ole Miss faculty, alumni and former athletes. The athletic department stated that Carter received a “unanimous recommendation from the members” of the committee. 

“The Chancellor’s charge to the committee was to hire the best Athletics Director for Ole Miss,” Search committee chair Mike Glenn said. “After conducting an extensive search and interviewing a number of outstanding candidates, including sitting ADs from across the country, the committee made a unanimous decision to recommend Keith Carter. Keith’s extensive background in fundraising and athletics administration, combined with years of experience at Ole Miss, were important factors in the committee’s decision.”

Ole Miss football legend Archie Manning served as an advisor to the committee. 

“Keith Carter knows Ole Miss Athletics well after several years on Ross Bjork’s leadership team, and he is already held in high esteem by ADs around the SEC. In short, Keith Carter offers the complete package to enjoy a long and successful run, and I am thrilled about the future of Ole Miss Athletics under Keith’s leadership,” Manning said.

Carter’s Ole Miss ties began with his time as a four-year starter with the Rebel basketball team in the late 90s. Carter earned All-SEC honors while helping lead the Rebels to a pair of SEC Western Division titles in 1997 and 1998 and earned All-America honors after his senior season in 1999.

A formal announcement will be made at 1 p.m. this afternoon.

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