Mar 4, 2024 - News

USD hires new athletic director from Oregon State

A man in a blue suit speaks at a podium.

USD's new athletic director, Kimya Massey, was introduced on campus Friday. Photo: Thomas Christensen/USD

University of San Diego hired Kimya Massey from Oregon State University as its new athletic director following a months-long national search.

Why it matters: As the new associate vice president and AD, Massey will carve out where USD fits in a rapidly-changing college athletics landscape and navigate challenges around conference realignment, NIL deals, the transfer portal, mental health and hazing issues.

The latest: At a news conference Friday, Massey talked about prioritizing not just athletic performance, but also wellness, as "the demands on student-athletes are higher than ever."

  • Addressing mental health challenges and the need for resources like nutrition and counseling services is critically important to ensure they feel comfortable, safe and healthy — physically and mentally, he said.
  • Massey, a former college baseball pitcher, also said he plans to develop a thoughtful NIL infrastructure that benefits student-athletes.

Context: USD's previous athletic director, Bill McGillis, left his post in November to pursue "other professional opportunities," as the school faced a civil lawsuit and was investigating football hazing allegations.

Catch up quick: USD launched an investigation in August when newly hired head football coach Brandon Moore reported the alleged preseason hazing.

  • In October, former freshman quarterback AJ Perez sued USD and 50 unnamed people, alleging "severe and pervasive acts of hazing" by upperclassmen football players.
  • The suit alleges coaching staff knew about "the hazing and the sexualized nature of the team activities" and took no action to prevent or stop it.
  • A second former Torero football player in December filed another civil lawsuit against the university, corroborating several reported incidents and adding new accusations, the Union-Tribune reported.
  • Massey said he was briefed on the situation and supported how university leaders handled it.

Zoom in: Massey comes to San Diego after nine years at Oregon State, most recently as the deputy athletic director, chief operations officer and chief diversity officer. He also served as sports administrator for football, men's basketball, baseball and wrestling.

  • USD touted his work in student-athlete development, OSU's NIL platform, fundraising and management of capital projects, including the Beavers' $161 million Reser Stadium project.
  • Previously, he worked in athletics departments at the University of Central Florida, University of Memphis, Indiana University and Michigan State University, where he played baseball.
  • USD did not provide Massey's salary information, but McGillis made just under $400,000 per year in salary and benefits in 2021, the U-T reported.
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