BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (September 8, 2022) – Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey announced several changes to the Conference Office staff Thursday. Recent additions to the SEC staff are Jeremy Hammond, Assistant Commissioner for Championships; Matt Evans, Assistant Commissioner for Network Relations; Whitney Tarpy, Associate Director of Academic Digital and Social Media, Michael Emert, Assistant Director of Championship Ticket Operations and Patrick Mills, Assistant Director of Video Operations. John Sullen has been promoted to Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Engagement.
In addition, Jean Marie Jenkins was recently announced as the SEC’s new Edward Aschoff Digital Communications Intern and Akiya Thymes has joined the SEC as an intern in Competition and Student-Engagement.
Hammond, a 2008 graduate of Ohio University, joins the SEC from Ingress Events where he was Vice President for Events and Strategy since 2018. He previously served in event and sponsorship management positions with CSE and WWE after working closely with the SEC staff as Senior Event Coordinator at The Georgia Dome from 2008-11. Hammond was also in ballpark operations for the Cincinnati Reds for two seasons as an undergraduate at Ohio University. Hammond earned a certificate in terrorism and counterterrorism from Georgetown University.
In his role with the SEC, Hammond will oversee and manage all aspects of the SEC Football Championship game, serve as the liaison to SEC softball head coaches and will direct the SEC Softball Tournament, serve as the primary Conference liaison to member institution game management directors, oversee and enforce implementation of SEC game-management policies atmember schools for designated sports and develop best practices in event management to deploy at all SEC championship events.
Evans, a 2010 graduate of the University of Georgia, was manager of programming and acquisitions for ESPN from 2016-17 and held other positions at the sports network beginning in 2010. He was a core member of the ESPN team that launched the SEC Network. He joins the SEC from Activision Blizzard where he was senior manager of business development and media distribution since 2017.
In his role with the SEC, Evans will work closely with SEC staff to develop and maintain Conference schedule parameters while balancing institutional needs and SEC Network affiliate commitments and established priorities. He will identify new strategic programming opportunities, including emerging non-traditional content categories, that continually enhance Network value. He will also work closely with the SEC Network and campus productions to ensure the successful continuation of the league’s school production model and will communicate with campus officials on issues related to the SEC Network. In addition, he will work closely with ESPN on matters related to the SEC sponsorship program as well as serve as the liaison to the SEC men’s tennis coaches and direct the SEC Men’s Tennis Championship.
Tarpy recently served as the Manager of Marketing and Communications at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. Previously, she worked in sports information at the University of Evansville, Western Kentucky University and the University of Georgia. Tarpy earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ole Miss and master’s degree with an emphasis in Sport Management from UGA. As a student and graduate assistant in those respective athletic departments, she volunteered at numerous SEC tournament, championship and media events.
In her role with the SEC, she will lead all academic social media and digital efforts, including content development and strategic initiatives that highlight the accomplishments and impact of SEC member universities. In addition, Tarpy will serve as liaison to the SEC’s academic social media managers and oversee the SEC’s academic website and brand management. She will work closely with SEC universities to help publicize a range of academic SEC programs and events.
Emert, a 2015 graduate of the University of Florida, joins the SEC Office from the Birmingham Legion where he served as Vice President of Sales and Service after previously holding other positions in the Legion ticket operations since 2018. Prior to his service with the Legion, Emert served as a senior account executive for IMG Learfield at UAB and as an assistant for the Auburn IMG Sports Network.
In his role with the SEC, Emert performs primary ticket operations and credentialing duties for assigned SEC Championship events and assists in those operations for other championship events while overseeing ticket operations for various ancillary Conference events such as the SEC Coaches Luncheon and SEC Legends Dinner presented in association with the SEC Football Championship. In addition, he will be responsible for maintaining key working relationships throughout the SEC office and member institutions on matters related to ticket operations and credentialing.
Mills, a 2018 graduate of the University of Memphis, joins the SEC from Virginia where he was assistant video coordinator since 2021 after serving as a football video intern at Florida for one year. He has also worked in video operations for the Pilgrim Media Group and the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football.
In his role with the SEC, Mills provides support to all aspects of the SEC’s Video Operations Department, including assisting with management of technology associated with centralized and collaborative replay in the SEC Video Center and at each campus. In addition, he will work with sport officiating coordinators to deliver training videos for officials, among other duties related to video operations.
Sullen, a former Auburn football student-athlete, has served as Competition and Student-Athlete Engagement Intern in the SEC Office for the past year. The position was established as part of the SEC Student-Athlete Internship Program. He previously served at the University of Oklahoma in student-athlete development. Prior to his appointment at Oklahoma, he was a seventh-grade teacher and career coach in Alabama high schools after playing briefly for the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants of the NFL.
A 2015 graduate of Auburn University, he earned a master’s degree in Adult Education with a minor in Sports Administration at Auburn and later earned a master’s in Human Relations from Oklahoma. In his role with the SEC, Sullen will assist the student-athlete engagement department in various areas to include student-athlete leadership and career development.
Jenkins, a native of Houston, Texas, was a member of Texas A&M’s nationally-ranked women’s track and field team. She also served on the Texas A&M Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She joins the SEC staff after she served as a marketing and social media content creator for Texas A&M’s B.L.U.E.print (Black Leaders who Undertake Excellence). She also assisted in the creation of promotional content and video production for 12th Man Productions. Jenkins graduated from Texas A&M earlier this year with a degree in sport management and a minor in business.
Thymes, a double graduate of LSU in 2019 and 2021, played for the Tiger softball team and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll four times. She also recently worked as an operations coordinator for the LSU football program and interned with Nike-Global Brand Marketing in the summer of 2020. She was co-founder of LSU’s Black Student-Athlete Association.