HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Former Southern Mississippi athletic director H.C. "Bill" McLellan has died after a short illness. He was 81.
McLellan, who died early Monday, led the Southern Miss athletic department from 1986-99 and helped the Golden Eagles become a charter member of Conference USA in 1996. The Southern Miss athletic budget grew from $2.7 million to nearly $10 million per year during his tenure.
The Dillon, S.C., native played football at Clemson and served in the university's athletic department for nearly 30 years, including a 14-year stint as athletic director, before coming to Hattiesburg.
He was inducted into the Southern Mississippi Hall of Fame in 2001.
Southern Miss said a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C.