After serving Delta State University for the past 37 years in various capacities, Ronald G. "Ronnie" Mayers was officially named Director of Athletics and Director of Aquatics on Friday, May 24 by President William N. LaForge. Mayers, who has served as interim director since October 1, 2012, replaces Jeremy McClain, who resigned to accept a position at the University of Southern Mississippi.
"I am pleased to announce the selection of Ronald G. Mayers as Delta State’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Director of Aquatics," LaForge said. "Ronnie has served very ably as Interim Athletic Director. He has been associated with Delta State for 37 years in numerous capacities in the department of athletics including Assistant Athletic Director, Director of Recreational Facilities, and head coach of the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen Swimming and Diving teams. I am pleased to appoint Ronnie to this important position. I am convinced that he is the very best person to lead Delta State Athletics and that he will serve with distinction."
"The search committee, chaired by Cleveland businessman and Delta State alumnus, Ned Mitchell, did an excellent job in evaluating nearly 40 candidates for the position," LaForge added. "At the conclusion of the search, including review of applications, interviews, and lengthy deliberations, the committee unanimously recommended Ronnie Mayers from a small group of finalists."
"I am very grateful to Ned Mitchell and the search committee for the hard work and dedication they committed to this search," LaForge concluded.
Committee members include: Kent Wyatt, President Emeritus; Wayne Blansett, Vice President for Student Affairs; Michael Sanders, Chief Executive Officer of Sanders; Mike Kinnison, Head Baseball Coach; Lanier Geothie, Assistant Football Coach; Matt Jones, Assistant Athletic Director; Cooper Johnson, Chair, Entrepreneurship in Business Technology; Casey Charles, Head Softball Coach; Phyllis Bunn, Professor of Management; Butch Caston, Chair/ Professor Emeritus; Rose Strahan, Chair/ Professor Emeritus; Kendall Sizemore, Student.
Mayers has been a staple at DSU since stepping foot on the Cleveland campus as a student-athlete. The Natchez, Miss., native has served the department as Head Swim Coach, Director of Aquatics, Assistant Professor of HPER, Assistant Athletic Director for Special Projects and Development, and most recently as Interim Director of Athletics.
"I am truly excited about the opportunity to lead Delta State Athletics," Mayers said. "DSU Athletics has been one of the most successful departments in Mississippi for many years and we will continue to develop champions on the field and in the classroom. I’ve had the chance to see the department grow over the years and the opportunity to lead this great organization was one I could not pass up."
Since his retirement as head coach of the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen Swimming and Diving teams, Mayers has served DSU as an Assistant Athletic Director for Development and Director of Aquatics. In 2006-07, Mayers served as Interim Director of Athletics for a six month period.
Known as one of the nation’s top collegiate swim coaches, Mayers spent 20 years as the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Delta State. His teams captured five women’s New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference titles in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2002 and four men’s championships in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002. Mayers has also garnered 14 NSISC Coach of the Year honors.
The swimming program under Mayers’ leadership produced 56 individual All-Americans and 21 Academic All-Americans. The DSU teams made 15 N.C.A.A. Division II National Championship appearances.
He began his career as an instructor in the DSU Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1976. He also served as the head coach of the Delta Aquatic Club age-group team from 1974-1989.
Mayers is a member of the College Swimming Coaches Association, United States of America Swimming Association, Mississippi Swimming, Inc., American Swim Coaches Association, American Red Cross, National Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, and Mississippi Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.
Ever active in the Cleveland community, Mayers, who currently serves on the City of Cleveland Mayor’s Council, is a member of the Lion’s Club, United Way, Bolivar County Red Cross Disaster Team, Cleveland Country Club, DSU Alumni Association, and DSU Athletic Alumni Association.
Mayers has also held leadership and volunteer positions with Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Crosstie Arts Festival, DSU Aquatic Club, and Boy Scouts of America.
Mayers graduated from Delta State with a B.S.E. in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1974. He would later earn a Master of Education in Physical Education, and Recreation in 1975.
Mayers is married to the former Karen Scott of Natchez. They have one daughter, Ann Marie.