On March 26, 2019 Jaime Gordon was appointed as interim director of athletics at Morehead State University. He officially assumed the post on April 1, succeeding his longtime boss Brian Hutchinson (96), who accepted the athletic director (AD) position at Lincoln Memorial University after 20-plus years of service at MSU.
Gordon also has invested nearly two decades with the blue and gold, entering his 17th season as head volleyball coach. During that tenure, the 47-year-old has compiled seven Ohio Valley Conference regular season championships and 11 20-win campaigns. His teams won OVC tournament titles in 2011 and 2013, advancing to the NCAA Tournament both seasons.
The volleyball program has also been the gold standard for student-athlete achievement, earning eight OVC Team Academic Awards and 11 consecutive Team Academic Awards from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Numerous players have been named CoSIDA Academic All-District and Academic All-Americans.
It was that cumulative success on the court and in the classroom that led to the phone call from Morehead State University President Dr. Jay Morgan.
“Dr. Morgan frequently boasts of the resiliency of our institution and I believe that our student-athletes embody the virtues he is referring to. I appreciate his task and commitment to the mission at MSU. He identifies that our students are the reason we’re all here and he wants to ensure that they’re given every opportunity to succeed.”– Jaime Gordon
“I was on the road recruiting when Dr. Morgan reached out to see if we could schedule a meeting upon my return to campus,” Gordon shared. “Brian had just announced that he had accepted another position and Dr. Morgan shared that he wanted to discuss the prospects of me serving as the interim director of athletics. During our meeting, he explained he wanted someone to serve who has head coaching experience, a positive mindset, brings a variety of experiences to the position and can grow relationships across our campus and regional communities. At the end of our conversation, he asked me if I would accept the position. I requested some time to process and discuss with my wife (Ashley) but, in all honesty, it didn’t take long to say ‘yes.’”
Although Gordon was perfectly content in his role as Eagle Volleyball coach, he admits he has pondered the idea of working in administration. Gordon has been an active member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) serving on and chairing various committees. He is also a 2016 graduate of MSU’s President’s Leadership Academy and is currently working on his doctorate in educational leadership.
Gordon said he and President Morgan have a relationship of mutual respect and trust—and they’re both on the same page when it comes to moving MSU athletics forward.
“He appreciates and values the role that athletics play at Morehead State. We are both committed to ensuring that all our students have the support they need to pursue their aspirations.”
Gordon is eager to be an administrative voice for his coaching peers at MSU. He understands full well the challenges they face on a year-round basis and the support that’s needed to be successful.
“As a head coach, a lot of what we do is respond to the unexpected. No plan progresses from A to Z without adjustment. I believe my peers are excited and know I’m here to support them. Whether it’s recruiting, training or the growth of young people, we’re all in this together. Our principal goal is educating students and athletics is a vehicle to do that.”
Gordon is also thankful for the athletics’ administration that has long been in place and will lean heavily on their expertise moving forward.
“Fletch (Richard Fletcher (92), associate director of athletics), Rhonda (Ferguson, administrative assistant to the AD) and Paul (Rhodes (07), tickets and facilities manager) have been critically supportive. They’re all so knowledgeable and concise in their roles. Of course, Brian (Hutchinson) was responsible for having them in place and I appreciate his continued good counsel.”
Gordon knows the limited staff in athletics has resulted in heavy workloads with people taking on roles they’re not accustomed to. One of the new AD’s goals is to meet individually with staff to see how to best ease the burden and focus on their respective strengths.
Of course, some may ask how Gordon will manage his own added responsibilities as AD along with the current duties as head coach?
“I’m confident I can balance the demands of both positions because I am blessed with an outstanding coaching staff (Kyrsten Becker and Sarah Martin), determined student-athletes in our program and an incredibly supportive family at home. I was encouraged recently when one of my players shared that she forgets that I’m also the AD now because I’m the same person and nothing has changed for her. That is what we are all working hard for.”
As for how long the AD appointment will last and if the interim tag will eventually be lifted, Gordon said that’s still to be determined.
“I’ve articulated to Dr. Morgan that I am committed to serve in this capacity as long as he believes it’s beneficial for the department and institution. That’s where we are right now and I’m honored to have this opportunity.”
For more information on Eagle athletics, visit www.msueagles.com.