Spring Letter from the AD
Jan. 27, 2014
Dear Bear Fans-
Hopefully you have been able to stay warm during this unusually-cold winter stretch. Even though the conference races are heating up in basketball, it is difficult to believe baseball and softball are getting started soon, and our spring sports will be in full swing in February.
Work is underway on our Athletics and Recreation fields on campus. The cold weather has not substantially delayed progress, and if you drive through campus, you’ll notice these projects taking shape. In meeting with the contractors, they assure me everything is on track. We’re installing live cameras at each of the stadium sites, and will have live construction cameras on the website in the coming weeks for you to follow progress.
I want to personally thank Bobby Allison for his continued support of students at Missouri State. In addition to the new fields, you will be seeing some additional enhancements Bobby has provided to the University. I know students and alums will be excited when these enhancements are complete. His passion is about making the experience of being a Missouri State student a better one. Thanks, Bobby!
In addition to our fields we will begin renovations soon on the Mary Jo Wynn Academic Achievement Center, which is located in Forsythe Athletics Center. I’m very excited for our student-athletes and the opportunities this project will provide. It will be a great area for them to study, get academic advisement and congregate when they’re not playing or practicing. The center will be complete when the students return in August.
Prior to the holidays we opened the Jim D. Morris Basketball Complex at JQH Arena. This facility has received rave reviews from players, coaches, donors and the public. The complex will help recruiting as well as improving the functionality of both programs. Thanks to all those who have donated to the project and to those who helped sponsored lockers. It was a great team effort that we all are very proud of.
Speaking of students, in my last letter I indicated I would touch on the goals of the department and better explain them to you. Our first goal is to win. That’s pretty simple and straight forward. We want to win on the field of competition as well as in the classroom, and these goals are not mutually exclusive. Academically, are coming off the best semester ever at MSU. 239 student-athletes received a 3.0 or higher during the fall semester, while 40 students achieved a perfect 4.0 for the semester. That’s over 64 percent of our student-athletes in the exclusive 3.0 range. This progress is a tribute to our student-athletes, coaches, Academic Achievement Center staff and faculty. There is still room to improve and we will strive to get better every year.
We want to be competitive in every sport. My goal is to win championships and finish atop the conference in the All-Sport Trophy race. If we do this, Missouri State will get opportunities to compete in the NCAA Tournament against the nation’s best. All of our coaches are aware of these goals.
How do we become competitive and stay competitive? My primary job is to provide the necessary resources for our coaches and student- athletes to be successful. This may mean providing better facilities, better support for our students in the academic, training, strength and conditioning areas for example. This leads me to our second goal which is-to put the student athlete at the heart of our program. All of these support areas affect the ability of our athletes to succeed on the field and in the classroom. We want them to have a great overall experience, graduate and start a meaningful career.
The Bears Fund is a great way to help support these initiatives. In addition to your philanthropic donations, ticket sales are a significant revenue source for our department. If we want the best experience for our teams and fans, we need to come out and consistently support our teams. It not only helps financially but also in recruiting. Recruits want to see “butts in the seats.” It indicates to them that the community cares about athletics and their institution. It also has a direct correlation in the retention of coaches.
If you haven’t purchased your 2014 baseball or softball season tickets, please do so by calling (417) 836-8899. MVC Basketball Tournament Basketball tickets are also on sale, and if you haven’t experienced “Arch Madness,” you need to make this pilgrimage to Scottrade Center in St. Louis for the men’s tournament or The Family Arena in St. Charles for the women’s tournament. You’ll be glad you did, and our teams will appreciate your support.
Finally, I encourage you to stay connected to Missouri State Athletics through MissouriStateBears.com, through the MSU Athletics Facebook page (MissouriStBears) and by following me (@kmoatsmsubears), the department (@missouristbears) and many more teams and staff on Twitter. You can find our social media directory on-line at MissouriStateBears.com/multimedia/social-media-directory.html . I’m still getting used to Tweeting relevant information I think you care about. I hope to see you at the Q, or at the ball park!