What has it been like watching Mizzou Athletics unfold and improve since you took over?
It has been so fulfilling for all of us associated with Mizzou Athletics to see the overall improvements academically, socially and competitively over the past 14-plus years. We hope all of these improvements have added value to the overall Mizzou experience.
What is something that most people wouldn’t know about being an athletic director of a Division I school?
Many people might think there’s a down time in Division I athletics; that’s certainly not the case at the BCS level or specifically at Mizzou. As we remind ourselves: You’re always on, and the logo never comes off.
A lot has happened with conference expansion lately. What has been the most frustrating part of it?
There is no instructional booklet to assist in navigating conference expansion/changes. You have to be as proactive as you can in talking with the very few who have experienced this process.
Have you seen an influx in donations?
We have seen a terrific increase in season ticket sales and members of the Tiger Scholarship Fund. It’s really exciting.
What is going on during the 30-month transition?
Why is it important for fans to be patient? Every single day is a new experience when learning and teaching about the SEC. We believe it will take us two competitive seasonal cycles for our fans, alums, students, faculty, staff, etc. to feel integrated into the processes, challenges, enthusiasm and passion of the SEC.
What will you miss most about competing in the Big 12?
The rivalries, the great communities of the Big 12, the traditions of competition: These are just a few of the things we’ll miss about the Big 12.
The university is investing $200 million for renovations and additions to Mizzou athletic complexes. Why is this important?
Facility improvements are a constant need in college athletics. Although we have seen significant improvement in the sports park at Mizzou, we have to continue that momentum. This will further enhance our athletic facilities for many years.
How are the coaches and your staff feeling about Mizzou starting its first season in the SEC?
Our coaches, staff and student athletes are excited about the challenges. We’re competitors; we want to measure ourselves every day against the best, and the SEC gives us that opportunity.
If you could change one thing about the culture of college athletics, what would it be?
I would want to see improvements in sportsmanship and respect for opponents throughout all of sports, not just college athletics. This is an area of the culture of our industry that we must continually address.
If you could change one thing about the business of college athletics, what would it be?
The financial model is one that I don’t believe is sustainable. How can we limit the scope of our industry, focus on the basic premise of our academic mission and provide increased understanding of the limits of our respective programs?
What has been the most exciting?
The most exciting part has been the enthusiastic response from our students, the members of our university community, the communities throughout the state of Missouri, our alums, fans and friends.