BIRMINGHAM, Alabama– Two months into his new role as commissioner of the Gulf South Conference, Matt Wilson has hardly had time to catch his breath. Following the executive search conducted by Collegiate Consulting, Wilson has proven to have the vision – and energy – to guide the conference during a time of uncertainty in intercollegiate athletics. Collegiate Consulting was able to catch up with the commissioner while on his way to the GSC’s annual summer meetings to discuss his hiring process and his first sixty days at the conference’s helm.
“I first saw the position advertised online, but it was announced during the A-Sun basketball season,” said Wilson, who spent the previous nine years at the Atlantic Sun Conference, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Associate Commissioner. “I wasn’t able to pursue the position that well at first. Russell Wright and Collegiate Consulting reached out to me regarding the position and helped to open the process up for me.
“I had never worked with a search firm before, so I was not sure what the dynamic was going to be,” Wilson continued. “I credit Russell and his staff with making the search an open and easy process for me. The composition of the search staff and committee was excellent. Everyone was very thorough and asked great questions.”
While with the Atlantic Sun, Wilson helped the conference create a four-year production partnership with ESPN while also organizing the conference’s regional basketball television package. Now, he’s in charge of one of the premier conferences in Division II.
“To be the commissioner of a great conference like this was a chance that was hard to pass up,” Wilson explained. “The quality of the schools in the Gulf South is tremendous. The programs are all in a great position financially and competitively.”
In his first week as a commissioner, the Gulf South hosted two conference championships, tossing Wilson into what he calls “championship operations mode”. Next, he dove right into preparations for conference meetings. His list goes on and on.
“After our conference meetings have concluded, we’ll start with our preparations for next year. I’ll start the process of creating a strategic plan for the conference with a particular focus on membership and student-athlete experiences.”