O’Malley ready to step in as Lamar University’s new Athletic Director

Published 11:22 am Friday, June 17, 2022

By Lamar SID Office

BEAUMONT — Lamar University President Jaime Taylor announced today the selection of Jeff O’Malley as the university’s new Director of Athletics. O’Malley joins the Cardinal family after a highly successful 20-year tenure at Marshall University serving as the Associate Director of Athletics/Chief of Staff and liaison to the university’s General Counsel.

Taylor stated, “Jeff O’Malley is a trusted collaborator who understands it takes all facets of a university to support student-athletes. He established very positive relationships with faculty and with academic affairs at Marshall University and has an absolutely stellar reputation for ensuring student-athletes are successful in the classroom as well as on the field of play.”

O’Malley will take over the reins of Lamar University Athletics effective July 1.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead Lamar University Athletics. This is a program with a proud tradition of excellence, and we will do all we can to make it even better both in the classroom and in competition,” O’Malley said. “I met many great people through this process, and I would like to thank Dean Spina and Don Shaver for their work co-chairing the search committee. I also would like to thank President Taylor for providing me with the opportunity to work with him again and share his vision for Lamar University. I am looking forward to meeting our student-athletes, collaborating with the campus community and working with our coaches and staff to provide a first-class student-athlete experience.”

O’Malley comes to Beaumont with a long-standing history of overseeing many facets of the Marshall University Athletics program including men’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s golf and baseball, as well as the department’s academics and compliance offices. In July 2021, he was named interim athletics director for Marshall University Athletics. During his tenure as interim athletic director, he successfully navigated conference realignment and negotiated Marshall’s move to the Sun Belt Conference, in addition to leading the department through the challenges of COVID-19 and a transition in university leadership.

In August 2021, O’Malley was also named NCAA Secretary Rules Editor for Men’s Basketball. This is a role he will begin Sept. 1 in addition to his duties as Athletic Director.

In recent years, both the Marshall men’s basketball program and the men’s soccer program reached the NCAA tournament, the former of which snapped a three-decade NCAA tournament drought, and the latter of which won the 2020 NCAA National Championship defeating Indiana 1-0 in overtime. In 2017-18, the men’s basketball program won the Conference USA championship and upset No. 4 seed Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament to capture the program’s first NCAA win.

Taylor said O’Malley was instrumental in cultivating a winning culture in athletics at Marshall University and has an unwavering commitment to student-athlete well-being.”He worked behind the scenes to ensure all the pieces came together. The student-athletes and coaches knew they were supported, which inspired a level of confidence and camaraderie that wins championships.”

During his tenure, O’Malley developed partnerships with several outside vendors in an effort to educate, protect and empower student-athletes as they navigated name, image and likeness. He also collaborated with the Student Affairs Office to appoint two mental health specialists to support student-athlete well-being.

“I am very excited not only for Jeff, but for Lamar University. He is an outstanding college administrator and he was very instrumental in all the athletic success we had here at Marshall University,” said Mike Hamrick, former director of athletics at Marshall University. “We won a lot of championships, we built a lot of facilities and most importantly, we graduated a lot of student-athletes and Mr. O’Malley was a big part of that. I have no doubt he will bring a vision to Lamar University that will enhance and take your intercollegiate athletic program to a high level.”

O’Malley came to Marshall University after serving as Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for six years at the University of Massachusetts. In addition to his time at Massachusetts, he also served as Compliance Coordinator at the University of Dayton from 1994-96, he serves on the board of directors of the Marshall University Child Development Academy and was a member of the Southeastern Babe Ruth Board of Directors. He also served two terms on the board of directors of the United Way of the River Cities, was a member of the National Association of Sports Officials and has worked as a college basketball official for 24 years. A 1990 graduate of Miami (Ohio) with a degree in Accounting, O’Malley received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton in 1994 and is a member of the Ohio Bar.

Today’s announcement follows a nation-wide search that began in April with CarrSports Consulting, LLC leading the search process and a search committee comprised of Lamar University administrations, faculty, staff and alumni who are an integral part of the Beaumont community.

“We were honored to have LU alumni David Bernsen, Jerry Dearing, David Montagne, Glen Morgan, and Don Shaver on the search committee. This caliber of business leaders on the committee helped us to attract a candidate with Jeff’s sterling credentials,” Taylor said. “I am grateful that Don Shaver and our faculty athletic representative, Dean Robert Spina, agreed to co-chair the committee. Both perspectives are vitally important if we want collegiate athletics to strengthen the bond between Lamar University and southeast Texas.”

Spina, who serves as dean of the LU College of Education and Human Development, said the committee worked diligently, enthusiastically and responsibly to sort through a strong pool of candidates in a short amount of time. “It was a privilege for me to co-chair this search committee with my good friend Don Shaver –– the quality of the applicant pool was incredibly strong due to the draw of Lamar University and the efforts of CarrSports Consulting. We are delighted to welcome Jeff O’Malley as our new athletic director. The experience and expertise he brings is exactly what LU needs at this time. We wholeheartedly welcome Jeff to the Cardinal family!”

Beaumont community leader Senator David Bernsen expressed his gratitude for serving on the search committee and said Lamar University plays a key role in Beaumont with athletics being a crucial link between LU and the community.

“As a student athlete, I benefitted from the important connections between LU and our local business community and am pleased to have participated in extending that legacy through the selection of Jeff O’Malley as our next athletics director,” he said. “The commitment and concern that each member of the search committee devoted to the process is evident by the outcome of the committee’s work. We were pleased to present to President Taylor four strong candidates from which he and his leadership team selected our new AD. As a life-long Cardinal fan, I look forward to working with Jeff O’Malley to elevate LU athletics to the next level.”