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Director of Athletics, Kyle Moats
Director of Athletics, Kyle Moats
Kyle Moats' Fall Letter to Bears Fans

Oct. 24, 2011

Dear Bear Fans-

First, I hope you will join me in welcoming Clif Smart to his new role as interim President of the University. I have worked with Clif for the past two years and find him to be practical, fair, a problem-solver and a big sports fan. He will be a great advocate for Missouri State University.

The fall semester is well underway, and mid-terms are upon us. It is hard to believe Homecoming is right around the corner, and we need everyone to be part of the weekend's events, including the football game at 2 p.m. on Oct. 29. Our football team had the toughest schedule in the country during the month of September, and returning to the friendly confines of Plaster Sports Complex will be a big boost for their morale! We have a number of games, events and activities on campus for Homecoming, so please visit http://alumni.missouristate.edu/Homecoming.htm for the complete schedule and to reserve your spot.

Congratulations to Melissa Stokes on becoming the winningest head coach in Missouri Valley Conference volleyball history. She became the all-time wins leader in the conference with her win over Bradley on Sept. 30. This is a credit to her, the assistant coaches and the many student-athletes who have been a part of our program during her tenure and helped make MSU volleyball the third-winningest program in Division I history.

Our legacy game, which is our men's soccer marquee game is scheduled for Oct. 30. This couldn't have been possible without the assistance of Ben Goss and his marketing classes. This is another example of how athletics and our academic counterparts are working together more than ever.

Our women's soccer team is playing very well in spite of some key injuries. Coach Rob Brewer has done a great job with this year's team with non-conference wins over Saint Louis, Vanderbilt and Arkansas.

I'd like to welcome two new head coaches to our staff, Gabby Gomez Sosa (field hockey) and Alick Musukuma (cross country). Gabby has been an assistant coach the past two seasons and is a former MSU standout player. Alick comes to us from Oral Roberts where he was a highly-successful cross country and track coach and international competitor. Please make it a point to welcome them and support their programs.

By now most of you have had a chance to browse our new web site. I'm pleased with our new partnership with CBS Interactive and the new MissouriStateBears.com. Kudos to Rick Kindhart, Tim Bohn and the rest of the Athletics Communications staff for serving all our constituents and making the site a great one. Please check the site frequently for news, videos, auction items, apparel and changes and improvements. As always, your feedback is appreciated and welcome.

We have been working diligently in the off season on a number of fronts. I hope to have information on the athletics long-range plan, facilities master plan, all-school merchandise deal and ticket sales information in the coming weeks. All of these were goals of mine from the onset, and I'm pleased to announce we are making good progress.

In order to stay competitive, we will need to continue to be good stewards of our monies and increase revenue through sponsorships, game guarantees, ticket sales, merchandise, media contracts and philanthropy. I encourage you to be a member of the Bears Fund, bring a friend to the game and get others in the community and surrounding areas involved in MSU. If you have a certain project of interest, we have four key endeavors that need immediate attention and for which we have started fundraising:

  • The Mary Jo Wynn Academic Achievement Center (Academic Unit), this is a $500,000 project designed to upgrade our academic success area.
  • The Men's and Women's Basketball locker rooms and offices. This is a $2.8 million project that is the final piece to the JQH Arena project and will help us stay competitive and attract great recruits and performing acts to campus.
  • The Hammons Student Center pool. We are in immediate need of a new bulkhead which costs $250,000.
  • Strength and conditioning center upgrades which cost $400,000.

Much has been discussed with fans about conference realignment and its effect on Missouri State and the Valley. I see no changes in the near future for either the conference or MSU. As you know, most, if not all, of the realignment has been centered on FBS football. Time will tell how this will all shake out, but until then it's all great water cooler talk that we are observing with interest.

And finally, it is with great appreciation that I inform you that long time men's and women's swimming coach Jack Steck is retiring this season. He has accumulated more than 350 wins in his 29 years at Missouri State with numerous conference championships. More important than his wins and losses are the thousands of student-athletes he has had the privilege of mentoring. Thanks for the memories, Jack!!

As always, Go Bears!!

Kyle Moats
Director of Athletics