Aug. 11, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork added to his leadership team when he announced that Jennifer Saxon would join the Ole Miss Athletics Department as assistant AD of student- athlete development. Saxon joins the Rebel team after a five-year stint at South Carolina State including serving as senior women's administrator and assistant AD for athletics academic enhancement.
"Student-athlete welfare and development is at the center of the core values that guide our athletics program each day," said Bjork. "In searching for a new assistant athletics director to lead this unit, our vision was to find someone who exuded the same level of commitment and had the experience to match. Jennifer's unique perspective in a senior-level administrative role at South Carolina State and her upbringing as the daughter of a football coach, destined her for this role. Her personality and work ethic will energize our student-athletes to become the best they can be both academically and socially. We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer to the Ole Miss family."
Saxon, who has a Bachelor of Science in physical education/health education services as well as a master's in counselor education and secondary education from South Carolina State, brings a variety of experience to Ole Miss' student-athlete development team. In her most recent position as assistant AD for athletics academic enhancement, Saxon was responsible for all aspects of the academic progress of all student athletes while coordinating all special fundraising events as well as serving as the primary community relations contact person.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to join the Ole Miss family," said Saxon. "I'm looking forward to working with not only the administration, coaches and staff, but also the student-athletes. Student-athletes here at Ole Miss are some of the best in the world and we're going to ensure that this program continues to enhance their abilities and move them forward into the next phase of their lives. When they leave Ole Miss we want the world to know that they're Ole Miss Rebels."
Saxon will work very closely with senior associate AD for academic support, Derek Cowherd. Cowherd spearheaded the national search and was impressed with Saxon's credentials, specifically her experience in the area of student-athlete development.
"We are elated to announce Jennifer Saxon as our new assistant AD for student-athlete development," said Cowherd. "She brings a magnificent set of experiences, academic background and formal student leadership training to our senior staff. Her passion for student-athlete development, attention to detail, and her plan for success for our student-athletes won us over. We could not be more pleased that she chose to join our team here at Ole Miss."
Saxon will oversee Ole Miss' student-athlete development area, specifically dealing with the life skills components. Saxon has extensive experience serving as a community relations contact during her tenure at South Carolina State. While at South Carolina State, she coordinated Youth Day activities, while also fostering relationships with local non-profits and organizations. Additionally, Saxon has served as Student-Athlete Advisory Advisory (SAAC) advisor, while heading life skills programming for nearly 200 South Carolina State student athletes. During her time in Orangeburg, South Carolina, she introduced the Bulldog Speaker Series, which engaged local and institutional speakers to talk on a variety of topics, including financial literacy, career development, leadership and public speaking. Saxon also introduced the Bulldog Challenge, which is a student-athlete challenge to increase student-athlete visibility in the local and university communities. She also developed an appearance form to track student-athlete community service and appearances, and executed the annual new student-athlete orientation activities.
Saxon, a 2013 graduate of the NCAA Leadership and a delegate at the 2014 NCAA Convention, holds memberships in the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) and American School Counselors Association (ASCA).
The Orangeburg, South Carolina native, begins her official duties at Ole Miss on Monday, Aug. 11.