New Athletic Director Announced for USD Athletics
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New Athletic Director Announced for USD Athletics

USD has finished their months long search for a new athletic director.

On December 20, it was announced that Jon Schemmel would serve as USD’s 14th Athletic Director (AD).

Schemmel previously worked for USD as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development from 2012-2017.

Before returning to Vermillion, Schemmel worked in Madison as the President, CEO and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the Dakota State University’s (DSU) Foundation & Alumni Association. Schemmel didn’t think that he would be leaving DSU until he did.

“I mean this was probably the one job that would have really enticed me to leave where I was at,” Schemmel said. “President Gestring is a big part of that, I’m a big believer in her. I know her belief and vision in college athletics is second to none as far as being a president and a leader on a campus, and that isn’t always the case.”

Schemmel wasn’t under the impression that he would ever be back in athletics when he went to work for DSU, but it gave him a new perspective towards athletics at the university level.

“I think when I took the job at DSU, I probably figured my career in athletics may be over,” Shemmel said. “I think coming to realize how valuable that was, to see an entire university operate from a very different perspective, not with just your athletics blinders on, You understand when in athletics it is  appropriate for them to be in the front and when it’s time for us to serve and be in the back.

Schemmel felt many emotions as he went through the hiring process.

“You feel all the emotions right? It’s exciting, it’s nerve-wracking. One minute you think you’re the one, the next minute you’re convinced you’re not. And that basically goes on for weeks,” Schemmel said.

On Jan. 2, Schemmel finally started working for the USD, taking over for interim Athletic Director Corey Jenkins. Since then, Schemmel has promoted Jenkins to the Deputy Athletic Director position.

Schemmel said that it was 100% his decision to put Jenkins in this position. Schemmel knew he needed someone who would be able to run the department as much as him when he steps away from the office.

“I’m going to be out on the road. That’s what I do best, and I’m going to continue to do that. So with that, I need someone running the department and he’s already proven he can do that,” Schemmel said.

Jenkins also applied for the Athletic Director position but was unfortunately not selected, however,he is ecstatic about the opportunity he has been given by Schemmel.

“Thrilled about the opportunity that Jon has given me to step into the position of Deputy Athletic Director …I am very excited and I love the university of South Dakota, excited to continue to serve our university, our community and certainly our student-athletes and coaches. To be able to step into this role is very exciting for me both personally and professionally.” Jenkins said.

Jenkins and Schemmel met throughout the process of moving Schemmel into his position and both agreed that they clicked right away. One big reason for their instant connection is the fact that they both have grand plans for the university.

“The grand plan or vision is to push us forward,” Jenkins said. “I think one of the reasons Jon and I clicked is because we are both highly ambitious beings and we both believe that USD athletics hasn’t scratched the surface of its potential, so I think the future is very bright and I think there is a lot that we are going to do over the next couple of months and years.”

With Schemmel and Jenkins taking over the athletic department, the university can look forward to their changes.

Photo Credit: Submitted | USD Athletics