Kennesaw State athletic director Milton Overton announced the addition of Tamica Smith Jones to serve as the department’s chief operating officer.

Jones has more than 20 years of experience in college athletics, including the last five years as the athletic director at the University of California-Riverside. She also has had stops at the University of Texas-San Antonio as the senior associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator, and at Clark Atlanta University as the athletic director.

Jones will run the internal day-to-day operations of the Kennesaw State athletic 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, starting Feb. 1.

“Tamica is a native Georgian who has dedicated her professional career to the overall success, health and wellbeing of student-athletes which places her values in clear alignment with KSU’s mission to build champions in the classroom, on the field, in the community and in life with academic integrity and excellence,” Overton said in a release. “We are super excited to welcome her as the newest team member of our Owl Family.”

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 department, UC Riverside captured two Big West Conference championships and the program’s first D-I national championship.

Jones currently serves on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee and is on the Women Leaders in College Sports Board and Foundation Sub-Committee. Jones is one of the founding members of the executive board for the newly formed Black Athletics Directors Alliance and chair of the Race and Social Justice Taskforce.

“I am honored and grateful for this opportunity to continue making a positive impact and supporting scholar-athletes, coaches and administrators and being able to do so in my hometown is priceless,” Jones said in the release. “KSU has great leadership and a rich academic and athletic history as a R2 institution. I am excited to get back to football country and be part of the vibrant spirit that a well-integrated athletics model brings to the campus and community. It will be a great privilege to serve alongside AD Overton and the Owls team.”

In 2017, she was named the Women Leaders in College Sports Division I Administrator of the Year, awarded the 61st Assembly District Woman of Distinction Award, and recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in Los Angeles.

Prior to her arrival at UC Riverside, Jones served as senior associate AD for internal affairs and senior woman administrator at UTSA from 2013-15, where she was the chief diversity, inclusion and outreach officer. She also served as the department lead for the student athlete advisory committee, student athlete well-being and career and life skills programming.

Before her days in San Antonio, Jones served as athletic director for Clark Atlanta from 2008-13, leading the Panthers to seven Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, including the first men’s basketball title in 46 years and first women’s cross country and volleyball crowns.

A native of Atlanta, Jones played basketball at Troy University in Alabama, before transferring and graduating with B.S. in business management from Alabama A&M University, where she participated in basketball and cross country. She also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Savannah State University, and a certificate in business administration from Warren National University.

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