Mississippi State athletics director nearing deal with SEC rival Auburn

Mississippi State athletics director John Cohen is nearing a deal to take the same position at Auburn, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Saturday to the Clarion Ledger.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.

MSU had no intentions of firing Cohen, the person added. He signed a four-year contract extension over the summer — the maximum contract length permitted in Mississippi.

Auburn has been searching for an athletics director since August, when Allen Greene resigned.

Cohen has been Mississippi State’s athletics director since 2016. He oversaw the hiring of baseball coach Chris Lemonis, who led MSU to a national title in 2021, and football coach Mike Leach among others.

Prior to serving as athletics director, Cohen was MSU’s baseball coach (2009-2016). He was 284–203–1 in his tenure. He was also an assistant for Missouri baseball before head coaching stints at Northwestern State (1998-2001) and Kentucky (2004-2008). He was an assistant at Florida (2002-2003) as well.

Cohen is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He played baseball at Birmingham–Southern in 1986 before coming to Mississippi State where he played from 1987-1990.

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