SAN ANTONIO — Athletics Director Lynn Hickey announced Monday that she has hired Dr. Tamica Smith-Jones as senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator (SWA). She replaces Elizabeth Dalton, who left in February to become the athletics director at St. Mary’s and her appointment is effective Aug. 1.
“It is very exciting for us to be able to bring on board someone of Tamica’s background and status,” Hickey said. “She has very unique experience in that she already has been an AD, so we are very fortunate that we are able to add that type of experience to our staff. Plus, she is extremely bright, has a high energy level and is a well-respected administrator in our profession. She is going to be an outstanding addition for our department.”
“I would like to first thank Lynn Hickey and the search committee for the confidence they have placed in me to team with such an outstanding senior staff in support of the vision, talented student-athletes and coaches at UTSA,” Smith-Jones said. “It is both humbling and exciting to join this university during this historic time for athletics. I know it will be both challenging and exciting, but the timing is perfect. I look forward to embracing and working with the entire UTSA community.”
Smith-Jones comes to UTSA from Clark Atlanta University, where she has led the athletics department since 2008. She was appointed liaison to the office of the President in January 2008 then was promoted to interim director of athletics in December of that year before being named director of athletics in January 2010.
Under her leadership, the Panthers captured seven Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Championships, including the first men’s basketball title in 46 years and the first-ever women’s cross country and volleyball crowns. Smith-Jones also played a vital role in securing funding for numerous projects on campus, including new field turf for the football stadium, a pair of weight room upgrades and a football facility renovation. She established Clark Atlanta’s Athletics annual giving fund in 2008 and instituted several new opportunities for student-athlete participation and staff development.
Smith-Jones was featured in the Diverse Issues in Higher Ed Magazine in March 2013 for bringing heightened attention toward student-athlete well being and establishing a successful academic support program at Clark Atlanta. Her initiatives included “Grades First Software,” which helped to enhance the student-athlete experience and academic success.
The Atlanta, Ga., native is an active member of many professional organizations and committees. She is or has been a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators, NCAA Leadership Selection Committee for Ethnic Males and Females, and Achieving Coaches Excellence Program Selection Committee. Smith-Jones also has served at or presented to the NCAA Committee for Women’s Athletics, NCAA Division II Athletic Directors Committee, NCAA Football Coaches Academy and Selection Committee, NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Continuing Education Conference and NCAA Division II Leadership Action Academy.
Before moving into her role as Clark Atlanta’s director of athletics, Smith-Jones served as the Panthers’ director of compliance and SWA for three years.
Prior to entering athletics administration, Smith-Jones was the head volleyball coach at Clark Atlanta during the 2003-05 seasons. She guided the Panthers to 57 victories in her three years, including four against NCAA Division I teams. Smith-Jones led the Clark Atlanta to a 27-11 record in her second campaign and was named SIAC Coach of the Year, and she followed that with a 21-7 mark in 2005.
Prior to her time at Clark Atlanta, Smith-Jones spent four years in various roles at Morris Brown College, also in Atlanta. She was the senior associate athletics director, SWA and head volleyball coach from 1999-2003 in addition to serving as an assistant women’s basketball coach in 1999-2000.
Smith-Jones was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Savannah State in 1997-98 and then was interim head volleyball and women’s basketball coach in 1998-99.
She played basketball at Troy (1993-95) and Alabama A&M (1995-97) and also was a member of the Alabama A&M cross country team in 1997.
Smith-Jones also is founder, president and chief executive officer of TJ Sports Complete, Inc., a non-profit organization that helps expose parents and youth to the resources needed to make a smooth transition from high school to college. She also is the author of a self-published autobiography, “A Ball and a Dream.”
Smith-Jones earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Alabama A&M in December 1997, her master’s in public administration from Savannah State in December 1999 and her doctorate of philosophy in business administration from Warren National (formerly Kennedy-Western) in February 2005.