Sports With Walter Moore


KSU Hires Jones as Athletics Chief Operating Officer

Kennesaw State University Director of Athletics Milton Overton has hired Tamica Smith Jones to serve as the Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Athletics.

The move marks a homecoming for Jones, who is a native of Atlanta with over 20 years of experience in collegiate athletics, including the last five years as the Director of Athletics at the University of California Riverside.

During her time at UC Riverside, Jones oversaw the department’s winningest academic year in Division I history, leading the Highlanders to their highest finish in the Big West Conference Commissioner’s Cup standings. In her inaugural year with the program, UC Riverside captured two Big West Conference Championships and the program’s first DI National Championship, an individual performance by Vesta Bell at the 2016 NCAA Track & Field Championship.

In her new role, Jones will run the internal day-to-day operations of the department and oversee strategic planning initiatives, departmental policies, game operations, budgets scheduling, facilities and capital projects. She will also serve as the program administrator for select sports.


Prior to her arrival at UC Riverside, Jones served as Senior Associate AD for Internal Affairs and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Texas, San Antonio from 2013- 2015.

Before that, Jones served as Athletics Director for Clark Atlanta University from 2008-2013. Before moving into her role as the CAU director of athletics, Jones served as the Panthers’ director of compliance and SWA for three years. Prior to entering athletics administration, Smith- Jones was the head volleyball coach at Clark Atlanta during the 2003-05 seasons. She guided the Panthers to 57 victories in her three years, including four against NCAA Division I teams. Smith-Jones led the Clark Atlanta to a 27-11 record in her second campaign and was named SIAC Coach of the Year, and she followed that with a 21-7 mark in 2005.


Prior to her time at Clark Atlanta, Jones spent four years in various roles at Morris Brown College. She was the senior associate athletics director, SWA and head volleyball coach from 1999-2003 in addition to serving as an assistant women’s basketball coach in 1999-2000.

Jones was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Savannah State University in 1997-98 and then was interim head volleyball and women’s basketball coach in 1998-99.

She played basketball at Troy University (1993-95) and Alabama A&M University (1995- 97) and also was a member of the Alabama A&M cross country team in 1997.

Jones earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Alabama A&M in December 1997, her master’s in public administration from Savannah State in December 1999 and her doctorate of philosophy in business administration from Warren National (formerly Kennedy-Western) in February 2005.

Nesbitt Earns Football Honor

The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference announced their 2020 Football All-Conference

selections and individual award winners on April 16 and Savannah native Malik Nesbitt was among the winners.

Nesbitt, who plays at Avila University, was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year. The junior running back rushed for 1,156 yards (128.4 yards/ game) and scored 17 rushing touchdowns during the season. Nesbitt also contributed in the receiving game, catching 21 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns.

Listed at 5-foot- 10 and 205 pounds, Nesbitt’s best game came on April 3 when he ran for a career-high 250 yards while scoring five touchdowns. The Savannah High alumnus scored on runs of 1, 4, 5, 25 and 50 yards in a 47-21 win over Sterling.

Avila finished the season with a 8-1 overall record and a 6-1 conference mark. The Eagles played six games in the fall and three contest in the spring.

SSU Coaches

Speak At Coaches Clinic

Savannah State head football coach Shawn Quinn and some of his assistant coaches recently spoke at the Georgia Football Coaches Association Spring Clinic.

Quinn along with assistants Russell DeMasi, Nate Baker, Thomas Sims and Zack Johnson spoke to the group on April 20.

Co-offensive coordinators DeMasi and Baker spoke during the offensive breakout session while Sims, who is the SSU defensive coordinator/defensive line coach and Johnson, who works with the Tiger safeties and special teams, spoke during the defensive breakout session.

Quinn gave a overview of the Savannah State football program while De- Masi spoke about the dynamics of the triple option and Baker talked about power reads for offensive linemen. Sims talked about pass rush fundamentals while Johnson spoke on secondary drill techniques.

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