Trussell leaving HPSD for Starkville

By CAMAL PETRO,

It was announced Monday that Hattiesburg Public School District’s Director of Athletics, Dr. Cheyenne Trussell, will step down to take over the same role for the Starkville Oktibbeha School District.

It was a tough decision for Trussell, but a move he had been dreaming of making.

“It was very difficult,” he said. “I spoke at my dad’s funeral and it wasn’t as tough as what I had to do at 4 o’clock (Monday), which was to look my coaches in the eye. But, it’s time. It’s time because the Hattiesburg Public School District athletics is in a good place right now.”

Trussell has been with the Hattiesburg Public School District since 2002, which marks 15 years in the Hub City. Hattiesburg has added seven additional sports, and the district has increased sports participation from approximately 300 student-athletes to 500.

Also, all Hattiesburg varsity sports achieved a collective 3.0 GPA last year.

“There was so much going on from that point that I felt it was a good time because we were in a good space right now,” Trussell said. “Starkville is a dream job. It’s in a college town, like here in Hattiesburg. The sports programs are already achieving and doing extremely well. I just feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to go in and engage and be a part of that community.

“It’s Christmas coming early.”

Hattiesburg has accomplished a lot since Trussell arrived. Like the old cliché, “leave it better than you’ve found it,” and that was a promise he kept with former Hattiesburg Superintendent, Dr. James Davis.

“I promised Dr. Davis when he hired me in 2002, when I left, I promised I’ll leave it better than when I’ve found it,” Trussell said. “Because of the support from the administration, the community and everybody involved, we’ve been able to achieve a lot of things.”

His final day at Hattiesburg is Jan. 8.