After spending more than 10 years away from his roots, Jeffery Higgins is coming home to Stetson.
A 1997 graduate of the Stetson University College of Law, Higgins has been hired as Assistant Director of Athletics for External Operations. His duties at Stetson will include overseeing the Hatters’ Athletics marketing efforts as well as ticketing, corporate sales and development. He is slated to begin his duties with the Hatters on January 14.
“We had an outstanding field of candidates to fill this position, which demonstrates the strength and success Stetson athletics has enjoyed over the past,” Director of Athletics Jeff Altier said. “I want to thank the members of the search committee for their assistance during this process.
“While there were a number of very qualified applicants for this position, Jeff’s combination of experience at UNLV and with the NCAA, along with his obvious passion for Stetson University, moved him to the top of the list. His record of success on both the academic side and in marketing at UNLV is very impressive and I am looking forward to having him continue that level of success for the Hatters.”
Higgins is a native of Gainesville, Fla., and attended the University of Florida as an undergrad, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management in 1995. He moved on from there to the Stetson College of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate in 1997. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1998 and spent five years as an assistant public defender in Lake County before venturing into college athletics as an Assistant Director of Enforcement at the NCAA Office in Indianapolis from 2002-07.
“I'm very happy to be coming back to Florida and thankful for the opportunity to work at Stetson,” Higgins said. “I am looking forward to working with President Wendy Libby and Director of Athletics Jeff Altier, along with the group of coaches and administrators they've put together.
“Of course it's special to come back to where I have so many roots, but this is a really exciting time for the university and the athletic department as well. I'm looking forward to helping everyone – students, alumni, faculty, staff, fans and local businesses – understand what's being built at Stetson. I want to make sure they know how vital their support is to the success of the program, and I want to get them as involved as possible.”
Higgins has been employed at UNLV since 2007, serving in a variety of capacities.
In April 2011, he was named Associate Athletic Director for Marketing. In that capacity he managed the marketing unit, worked closely with the Rebel Athletic Fund and IMG College, and oversaw many of UNLV's branding and revenue-generating efforts, including ticketing, licensing and the recent restructuring of UNLV's merchandising operations.
Those efforts helped lead to increased attendance for seven of UNLV's eight ticketed sports, a 27 percent gain in Rebel Athletic Fund membership and a significant increase in licensing revenue for UNLV in the 2011-12 academic year.
Prior to his move into marketing, Higgins was promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Services in September 2010. In that capacity he had general oversight of UNLV's student-athlete academic services (SAAS) unit, and administrative responsibility for women's volleyball.
During his time overseeing the SAAS unit, Higgins led the charge to rejuvenate that unit to ensure all student-athletes at UNLV have the resources they need to graduate. He also worked in conjunction with other campus leaders at UNLV to develop the Rebound Initiative, a program dedicated to the success of first-year and academically at-risk student-athletes at UNLV. That program has been so successful that many of its measures have been adopted as part of the academic advising model for the general student population at UNLV.
In his spare time, Higgins has served as a volunteer for American Legion baseball and YMCA basketball and also served as a high school football official.
Higgins is the father of four children: Alexa (21), Austin (18), Nolan (15) and Delaney (6).