Former Athletic Director, University of Southern Mississippi
Richard Giannini has enjoyed a 48-year career in sports administration, development and sales and is currently serving as a consultant to Conference-USA and several new collegiate bowl games. He retired from Southern Miss in December of 2011 after serving as athletic director since 1999.
A 1966 graduate of the University of Florida, Giannini joined the Gator staff that same year as assistant sports information director. In 1970 he was named the sports information director at Duke University and later became assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions for the Blue Devils.
In 1976, Giannini joined the staff of the National Collegiate Athletic Association as director of productions and marketing. He was the executive producer for ABC’s Weekly College Football Highlight Show and headed the television syndication of all the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships that were not televised by the networks. In addition, he oversaw the first licensing programs for the NCAA.
Giannini returned to Florida in 1978 as associate director of athletics and in 1979 became senior associate athletics director for external affairs.
In 1986, Giannini left the Gators to join Raycom Sports. Giannini served as president of Raycom Management Group, a subsidiary, to develop and manage sporting events. After a stint with his own company, Giannini returned to a college campus in 1994 when he became the director of athletics at Louisiana-Monroe.
In April of 1999, Southern Mississippi named Giannini as director of athletics. Under his leadership nearly $100 million was raised to build a new administrative and football complex; a baseball complex and expanded; an $11 million renovation to its basketball complex; a new softball field and stadium; tennis complex; and 34-suite, 5,000 seat addition and an artificial surface to its football stadium. The programs won three league titles in football, earned 12 bowl appearances; won a C-USA title in men’s basketball; made nine NCAA Baseball Tournament appearances and one College World Series; three NCAA appearances in softball and two College World Series; and several track & field national champions.
Giannini and his wife Gayle, have four daughters and nine grandchildren.
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