CSU Athletics Director departs to coach Francis Marion basketbal - WRBL

CSU Athletics Director departs to coach Francis Marion basketball team

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Columbus State athletics director Jay Sparks has resigned after six years of running the CSU athletics department.

Sparks departs to take the head women's basketball coaching job at fellow Peach Belt Conference member Francis Marion.

“We are very thankful for Jay's service as a coach, administrator and friend to this university,” said CSU president Time Mescon in a release. “We wish him the best in the future, as we look forward to working with Johnny Williams and starting a national search to begin the next phase of our athletics program history."

Williams has been named the interim AD. He has served as athletics director at Troy University, as well as the senior associate athletic director for external operations at the University of Alabama.

Friday ends Sparks's 25-year history at CSU. He came to the school in 1989 as women's basketball coach. He led the Lady Cougars to a 31-1 record and the NCAA Division II Final Four in the 2000-01 season.

Over his career as coach, Sparks went 367-231, with 10 20-win seasons.

Sparks is a Columbus guy at heart. He began his coaching career coaching the girls basketball team at Hardaway from 1980-84, and coached the boys at his alma mater Brookstone in the 1985-86 season.

During his time as athletics director, CSU won two PBC Commissioner's Cups, presented to the conference's best overall athletic department.

“I am very proud of everything that we accomplished here at Columbus State from the moment I stepped foot on this campus,” Sparks said in a release. “Whether I was the athletics director or the head women's basketball coach, I think we found success in many different areas, and I want to again thank everyone who contributed to that.”

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