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Deputy AD Jeff Mitchell Selected to Participate in TopConnect Leadership Institute

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Jeff Mitchell, Deputy Director of Athletics at Southern Miss, has been selected to participate in the TopConnect Leadership Institute, beginning May 18.

TopConnect, formerly Villa 7, originated in 2003 by then VCU Athletic Director Dr. Richard Sander and identifies the top basketball assistant coaches and senior level athletics administrators in the country.  The institute provides them the necessary skills and relationships to assist them on their career path.

TopConnect Leadership Institute is a the most exclusive program offered by TopConnect and is for experienced and successful assistant basketball coaches and senior level athletic administrators who have been identified and recommended by Athletic Directors across the nation.

Twenty-six highly qualified individuals (13 coaches and 13 administrators) will comprise the inaugural cohort. The mantra, CONNECT. PREPARE. LEAD. is more than a slogan, it is the purpose of the Leadership Institute.

The program has been designed to provide the selected attendees the extra edge or advantage to both acquire their leadership opportunity and be successful in their leadership role. Being held over a 4-month span, TopConnect Leadership Institute is built off the annual symposiums and will allow for a more in-depth curriculum with leadership discussions, activities, and networking opportunities. Topics and sessions will include: Mock Interviews, Branding, Crisis Management, Myers Briggs evaluation and education, and an in-depth look at the search process.

TopConnect Leadership Institute participants will be awarded a leadership certificate of achievement from East Tennessee State University upon the completion of the program.

TopConnect continues to pave the way in development of the next generation of leaders in college athletics. Since its inception in 2018, fourteen attendees have been hired as Athletic Director, Head Men’s Basketball Coach or Head Women’s Basketball Coach. That list includes:

Director of Athletics:
Randale Richmond, Kent State University

Women’s Basketball:
Ganiyat Adeduntan, Colgate University and Mark Campbell, California State University – Sacramento

Men’s Basketball:
Dwayne Killings, University at Albany; Kyle Neptune, Fordham University; Tony Stubblefield, DePaul University; Greg Gary, Mercer University; Kim English, George Mason University; Brett Nelson, College of the Holy Cross, Rashon Burno, Northern Illinois University; Bryan Mullins, Southern Illinois University; Steve Lutz, Texas A&M, Corpus Christi; Drew Valentine, Loyola University, Chicago; and Jay Young, Fairfield University.