Summer Letter from the Athletic Director
July 20, 2012
Dear Bears Fans:
It has been a great year for Missouri State Athletics! Our incredible run was highlighted by winning the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy for just the fourth time in our history and three teams advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Congratulations to our coaches, student athletes and support staff that made our success possible. I’m very proud of winning the MVC’s top honor.
In addition to our teams succeeding, I want to extend my highest accolades to our two academic All-Americans: men’s soccer player Heath Melugin (cell and molecular biology major) and Lacey Boshe from women’s basketball (double major in Spanish and cell and molecular biology). They truly exemplify what it means to be a Missouri State student-athlete.
During spring commencement ceremonies, 57 MSU student-athletes earned their degrees. Including August and December 2011 ceremonies, a total of 95 Missouri State student-athletes earned their degrees during the 2011-12 academic year.
We received many other athletic and academic achievements throughout the year. As always, check MissouriStateBears.com for all of our news and highlights throughout the year. We also plan to produce a complete “Annual Report” brochure at the end of the summer documenting our many successes.
I hope you will be able to join us for one of our remaining “Athletics Summer Tour” stops. Coaches, student-athletes and support staff will be coming to a town near you to spread the word about Bears Athletics. The tour schedule is located on our web site, so come visit us around the state. We would like the Summer Tour to become an annual event to reach out to our fans and demonstrate the public affairs mission of the University.
As many of you know, Bryan Hicks, our Associate AD for Academics, has left to become the Director of Athletics at his alma mater, Alabama A&M. Bryan made a significant impact on our student-athletes and our university overall. I wish Bryan and his family the very best as they return home to start a new chapter in their lives. We also want to welcome Monica Jones to the Missouri State family as Bryan’s replacement and new director of the Achievement Center for Intercollegiate Athletics.
Our men’s and women’s basketball teams will have a couple of unique international opportunities this year as they travel to Costa Rica, Aug. 6-13, for a foreign tour, and later head to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for tournaments over Thanksgiving. The Lady Bears will play in Mexico, Nov. 20-22, and the Bears follow Nov. 24-25. Travel packages will be announced later in the summer, so please check the athletics website for current information.
The basketball teams will be conducting a scrimmage at JQH Arena starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4 prior to their departure for Costa Rica. The event will be free and open to all fans. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to interact with our returning players as well as our many new players and staff members.
Tom Ladd, our new general manager for Collegiate Consulting ticketing, has his staff in place and building up our ticketing efforts. Our third-party ticketing group is tasked with actively contacting all businesses and groups within the community and region to engage them in buying season, group or single-game tickets. In our efforts to increase our funding for the athletics department and continue to keep us at the top of the conference, it is imperative that we increase our season ticket base and levels of giving. Season ticket packages are available now for football, so support your Bears by calling (417) 836-7678 to be part of the new and improved football experience this fall.
The Board of Governors approved AECOM as architects for the JQH Arena basketball complex, which includes locker rooms, team facilities and offices. Fundraising is moving along nicely, and we expect complete the project in the next 3-6 months. We will begin construction on this project immediately. Thanks again to Jim D. Morris for his lead gift on this project.
Other fundraising projects we are currently working on include: the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Academic Achievement Center renovation, Plaster Sports Complex Weight Room improvements, and the Hammons Student Center Pool bulkhead renovation. As always, I encourage you to be a member of the Bears Fund to assist with these initiatives and show your support throughout the year to keep our programs competitive. Your donations assist the overall experience of our student-athletes and continue keep Missouri State Athletics on the national map.
Finally we will be hosting a kickoff pig roast event on our campus on Thursday, Aug. 23. The cookout for fans, friends, season ticket holders and all the Missouri State players and coaches will take place right at Plaster Field. I encourage you to come out and meet the 2012 team and enjoy a great meal with the Bears. We also will hold an auction with this event which will make the gathering even more important entertaining and fun for everyone. In conjunction with a similar event we will host prior to basketball season, both auctions will replace the traditional Auction Benefiting Athletics. Thanks to everyone who has made our big auction so successful the past 25 years, and we hope you will support these new initiatives in the same way as we look for new ways to maximize fund raising and reduce expenses.
Many thanks for all of your support this year and for being part of our success. I look forward to continuing our run in 2012-13 and look forward to seeing you along the way! Kickoff for the home football opener is Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. I hope to see everyone there!!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!!
Director of Athletics